Every human being wants to feel secure and in control. Of course, we know that won’t always be the case so we take action. We do that especially when we’re scared.
Social media provides easy targets, hints of “insider” information, and a feeling of safety in numbers which all seem to satisfy those basic wants no matter how illusory that feeling is. It’s so ridiculously easy to manipulate people who are afraid on social media that it’s almost feels criminal; understand a fear, present a trickle of information, provide a magical solution, feed the fear again, present another trickle of information, and on and on and on. Bigots are the easiest to manipulate because they bring a set of extra fears to the party, but we’re all susceptible.
None of that is news, just a reflection on how we got into this mess.
But should social media be regulated? CAN it be regulated? I don’t know. China has their censorship approach, which is obviously quite troubling for anyone interested in their freedoms. What if we just banned ads with political content on social media? Sadly, it seems to me like that would have MASSIVE unintended consequences and too many easy loopholes (such as massive likes artificially generated by an organization’s network for “personal” posts).
I fear the cat is out of the bag, and it’s not ever going back in.
PS - all people should carry their cats in approved cat-carriers. They’ll be the first to let you know they’re too good for bags … unless they’re grocery bags on the kitchen floor.