So, I finally received the email from Twitter indicating that I had “followed or liked an account” that was associated with Russian influence during 2016 election. I’m not really that concerned with this finding and I am a little amused. One of the main accounts written about seems to be @Ten_GOP.
Disclaimer: To anyone reading this blog post, rest assured, I live in California and it is a “blue” state, so my vote most certainly did not impact the election results since the electorate votes of California went to Hillary Clinton.
Now, the reason I am writing this blog post is to share my own three reasons everyone should stay calm and carry on, even with the findings of the Russian influence, (if you want to call it that).
My Three Reasons to stay calm:
- Media Manipulates
- Strong Core Beliefs
- Twitter Fixed it, right?
My first reason to stay calm is to realize that all media, even social media manipulates people. Don’t panic. Every day, unless you live under a rock, you will be influenced by media on radio ads, tv ads, and ads on the internet while surfing or reading news, and don’t forget about the fake “Go Fund Me” accounts. A few articles you can read on subject are easy to find in internet searches.
The point that I’m making here is that everything we see in our day to day lives is trying to influence us into doing something; join a gym, buy this coffee and not that coffee, make some kind of purchasing decision, buy something you probably don’t really need. There are probably thousands of jobs in US alone in the marketing and advertising sector that think of creative ways to separate you from your money. Are you mad about that? Probably not under most circumstances. (I am not addressing scams here).
Now, the question of whether the Russian trolls used propaganda to influence voters, leads me to my next point about strong core beliefs.
My second point of strong core beliefs, is really my prescription to overcoming those trying to influence you. So if you know yourself, and where you stand on any issue: politics, religion, sexual orientation, what food you like, what you don’t, risk tolerance, etc., then you are less likely to be easily manipulated by whatever influencer crosses your path. Now, if you choose to like or follow an account like @Ten_GOP, and find that what he/she posts is aligned with your core beliefs, what harm is really done? Twitter is an open forum. Users can block, mute, unfollow, report, etc. and no one is stopping them from closing their accounts either.
A huge majority of accounts on Twitter are fake accounts with nameless faces and bios that are gibberish. Is it up to Twitter to “police” these accounts, or the consumers/members? Do you have a responsibility to manage your own account and belief system? I would say “Yes”. I follow, unfollow, like, or retweet a plethora of accounts and views. Anyone who has views different from my own, sometimes challenge me, but as long as I know my core beliefs, I am not “influennced” by them. On a few rare occassions, others have helped me shape an opinion about an issue on which I may not have held a viewpoint, but by only encouraging me to do my own research. If you blindly accept another person’s point of view or philosophy of thinking, you can only blame yourself.
Therefore, whoever was behind any of the “Russian” accounts does not concern me one bit. It is very likely that Democrats have had influencers from countries who might be sympathetic to their side too. We live in a global arena on the interent. Besides, the CIA has influenced other countries foreign policies and regimes for a very long time, and not nearly as friendly and silly as creating Twitter accounts. Does anyone really think the Russian accounts changed voters beliefs? How many actual voters have Twitter accounts anyway?
Now my third and last reason to stay calm: Twitter fixed it. From the email that I received, seems this should not be a problem in the future. Quite frankly, it was never a problem for me. What bothers me is the fighting and mud slinging between Dems and Republicans, which doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. We can’t blame Russia for everything.
- Get off Twitter (or take a break)
- Get off all social media (and destroy the internet – not likely going to happen)
- Stop watching TV (or at least MSM)
- Hide in your enclave, never leave the house, or become a hermit (not for everyone, not even me as an introvert, I need some human interaction sometime)
- Join some new social media that blocks countries hostile to the United States (or your own country of origin), in essence, become nationalistic, or perhaps, “counter social“.