Do the people who constantly share incendiary comments they don’t agree with really not know what they’re doing?
Someone writes something that is meant only for the purpose of being shared; keeping their name out there by continually being “crazy” and “shocking.” Then a zillion people share/Retweet, aghast: “how dare that person (Congressperson/tech mogul/ex-President, mostly) say that?!!!” “What’s wrong with that person?!!!”
Or even worse: “If you agree with me that what that person said is abhorrent, and that person should be impeached/deplatformed/some form of neutered, please Retweet this.”
Then those zillion people are at the very least answering their own question, and at worst piggybacking on that despicable person’s Twitter, etc. acumen to raise their own profile.
Oh, let’s stop being polite and shift to 2nd person here: You are also compelling myriad media outlets (many also looking to boost their own #s), to write about the “simmering social media controversy”, giving that first person with a horrid post even more publicity.
Don’t you get it? That’s what that person wants. That’s exactly what they want. That’s why they do it. They only don’t score if they’re muted. The volume of people angry with them doesn’t count against on a daily basis. And it’s just that: more volume.
You’re doing just what people saying the horrifying things they’re sharing these days want you to do.
And it’s not just when you share core content: spelling and grammatical errors, failure to know basic historical facts. That’s all part of it, people!
And here’s the best thing about not sharing crap: it’s not censorship. No endless free speech pushback if someone says something, but then everybody else ignores them and just goes about their day.
That’s all I got to say on this. Mostly because I can’t write any more on this without referring to specific instances. Which is a trap. Not saying it’s not an easy, tempting or even at times righteous one to fall into. Just in the long run, you all really got to stop doing this so damn much over and over. Unless your purpose is to amplify. And I’ll take you at your word that you are genuinely outraged and not trying your best to boost whatever horrible person’s efforts to elbow their way to the center of public discourse.
I’m not saying ignore all the time. Some things are just too egregious to ignore. But there are ways to not sit by idly, but also not raise the profile of someone you’re at the same time saying you’re intending to cut down. And you might make a compelling argument that you’re a warrior who’s spreading knowledge about a person based on their own words and intent that takes it beyond their base and helps prevent them from gaining even more influence, later. When it’s too late. Maybe. Sometimes.
But most of the time these days it isn’t that. It’s handing someone a megaphone. Someone who really has nothing to say. It’s accelerating the dissemination of putrid ideas, even if your point is to point out how putrid they are. And it’s encouraging the frequency of same, just as a little child will do whatever annoys you the most, more.
Yeah it’s hard to tell because of how worked up all of us tend to get at anything these days, and it’s easy not to let anything slip by uncommented on, because it’s so easy to comment. And we all need to vent.
Just every once in a while just try it: ignore. Don’t take every bit of bait. Don’t always share.