The Insidious Impact of Twitter
Twitter claims to be a modern-day public square wherein those without a forum can discuss, debate and share their opinions and views. However, it has evolved into a primary source of fabricated stories and copy farming for the media, the principal driver of policy for the political parties, particularly the Democrats, and a vehicle to intimidate businesses and major corporations.
On July 14 Bari Weiss, former New York Times opinion writer and editor, penned a scathing letter of resignation addressed to the publisher of the Times wherein she stated: “Twitter is not on the masthead of the New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor.”
A recent study by the Columbia Journalism Review concluded:
Twitter may not have the same globe-spanning reach such as Facebook, but one group of professional users has adopted it en masse: journalists. The lure of an always-on, news-heavy social network that includes access not just to an audience of consumers but direct input from news makers like Donald Trump is impossible to resist.
In a study to find out if journalists ascribe too much importance to Twitter, an experiment was conducted with 200 journalists. Some of the subjects saw only headlines from the Associated Press website while others were randomly shown tweets that contained the AP headlines but had been manipulated to look like anonymous tweets by any random Twitter user. The researchers then asked the journalists to rate the newsworthiness of the tweets. The result? Journalists who said they spent a lot of time on Twitter and rely on it for their work ranked the anonymous tweets as having equal credibility or more than the actual AP stories. This was particularly true for the younger, considerably less experienced journalists, who are now in the majority.
These researchers concluded that journalists oftentimes get caught up in a pack mentality in which a story is seen as important and must be published because other journalists on Twitter are talking about it, rather than because it is newsworthy and truthful. The examples are legion but among the most egregious was the mad dash by virtually the entire cadre of mainstream journalists to condemn the Covington Catholic boys based solely on a Twitter feed.
Another study revealed that tweets posted by Russian Agents working for a “troll farm” known as the Internet Research Agency found more than 30 news outlets -- including NPR, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed and The New York Times -- had willingly embedded copious amounts of anonymous tweets from fake accounts in their news stories on a wide range of political issues.
It is not just a reliance on Twitter for stories. Editors and publishers oftentimes react to the volume of tweets directed at their news outlet to determine what stories to publish, whether to rebuke a reporter or commentator or to tint a story with a certain, in virtually all cases left-wing, point of view. Falsely believing that Twitter is representative of not only their readership but the viewpoint of a vast swath of the citizenry, they react accordingly. It is not the accuracy or fairness of their reporting that is paramount but clicks on the internet and the number of positive Twitter comments and likes.
The hierarchy of the Democrat party has also become reliant on Twitter, as they seemingly believe the number of likes or retweets on a particular issue or individual is representative of a plurality of the people. Living in their Washington-New York bubble and estranged from the deplorables in fly-over country, they genuinely believe that Twitter is the townhall its creators claim. Their public pronouncements, their political strategy of destroying Donald Trump regardless of cost to the nation, their tacit approval of the tactics of Black Lives Matter and their self-destructive adoption of the Marxist/socialist policies of Bernie Sanders are driven by this belief.
This same mindset of believing Twitter represents America also permeates the boardrooms of the nation’s major corporations as well. It has become an unfortunate reality that a large number of tweets directed at the marketing, product development, hiring practices or political leanings of the executives of these companies will almost always succeed in forcing them to change course and if necessary pay restitution in order to be left alone -- whether that be through charitable contributions, direct payments or publicly confessing their supposed transgressions.
Who are the army of Twitter users that are having such a disparate impact on the nation’s media, politics and business? The Pew Research Center recently conducted a nationally representative and comprehensive survey of nearly 3,000 Twitter users and discovered:
Twitter users are much younger, significantly more likely to identify as liberal or Democrat, more highly educated and have higher incomes than the overall population.
While 56 million Americans (17% of the total population) claim to use Twitter, just 10% of the users, or 5.6 million, are responsible for generating 80% of all the tweets in the U.S.
Of this group of 5.6 million prolific users (who generate an average of 140 tweets per month) 65% are women. Additionally, 70% of users tweet about politics and 61% identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party. The liberal or Democrat frequent users are by far the most active among the 5.6 million.
In other words, 3.4 million Twitter users that identify as Democrats are essentially driving the news coverage, the Democrat party agenda and, to a lesser degree, the Republican Party agenda as well as successfully intimidating much of the private sector.
This 1% of the overall population has convinced a willingly gullible ruling class that they represent a significant plurality of the citizenry. They have done so in conjunction with the Silicon Valley plutocrats and through the strategy of consistently generating directly or through “bots (automated accounts) an overwhelming volume of tweets in order to promote the appearance of massive support or opposition about an issue or an individual.
What has the unprecedented elevation of just 1% of Americans achieved for those who have naively succumbed to this faux influence?
The mainstream media is losing its grip on the American people, as per a Gallup poll only 14% of the citizenry has a great deal of confidence in the media. Further, major news outlets are hemorrhaging red ink and laying off thousands of employees, a process that will accelerate during a Biden presidency.
The Democrat party, if Biden wins in November, will be an irretrievably fully-owned subsidiary of the radical left and will have to, under the threat of unending riots and violence, espouse and enact the left’s Marxist/socialist agenda.
By spinelessly trying to placate the Twitter mob, far too many major corporations have placed themselves in the position of succumbing to never ending extortion and will, thus, be helpless in avoiding a cascade of new taxes and onerous regulations were Biden to win the White House.
While these groups would be loath to admit it, the only avenue out of this self-created debacle is to stop paying attention to Twitter and hope for the reelection of Donald Trump in November.