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 (Seven-minute read) 

In this day and age we go online for everything from news, shopping, and travel to everyday conversation, and most of the websites we visit encourage interaction through platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

We witnessed this during the build-up to the Brexit vote with the spreading of untruths and now with a man who was elected the President of the USA with Twitter lies.

So, here we are staring down the barrel of a cocked gun with the odd situation where freedom of speech is censored by Algorithms.

Twitter who supported the spread of false news trying to wash their Pontious Pilate hands of Donald Trump, by moving his followers to a new platform called Parler, removing his twits permanently, and  Brexit leading to the break up of the UK weakening the EU. 

Rather than being shocked by the events in the USA of a groomed mob breaking into the house of Representatives perhaps we now see when we set the rules for who we allow into our social media bubbles and we don’t, we are reinforcing our own beliefs against reality. 

Interestingly, different social media platforms are employed for different purposes during both the above situations.

Supporters get stuck in an infinite loop of making claims and increasing fear of the other group of supporters. Meanwhile, there is no discussion between the groups.

Claims are not countered, and both sides dig in further creating an isolation chamber where we live unchallenged lives that only reinforces what we don’t believe in.

Twitter is generally used to share or obtain information related to the event. Facebook, on the other hand, is used to check on the wellbeing of friends and loved ones. Twitter generally being open and fit for public broadcast, whilst Facebook is exclusive to friends and family by its own design.

There is a darker side to this refusal to accept even seeing these opposing views.

The downside to all of this is massive.

Social media is making our world less genuine.

The problem is, the way our technology-dependent world is headed isn’t going to just go away anytime soon. Alternatively, it’s going to keep evolving and transforming into new forms with who knows what other ideas to accompany it. 

If we aren’t careful, we will continue spiraling down into this insensitive, demoralizing world that has become of our society today, due to social media, and now with covid-19, we are facing an economic recession that is driving us all on line. 

One quick click and anyone who challenges your view on a topic are gone, leaving you exclusively in the company of people who agree with you 100% of the time. You are now isolated with people who just echo your own views.

It might be unfair to say that Twitter is now full of right-wing Trump supporters, and Facebook is full of left-wing Biden supporters with both sides preaching to the choir!

If our beliefs are not challenged, they do not evolve and grow, and we become more insular in our beliefs.

This is why Donald Trump is unwilling to accept that his time is up. 

Using Twitter to encourage his followers with countless claims and counterclaims of voter fraud and other election wrongdoing. (In amongst this heated battle, Twitter and Facebook have started to censor unproven claims, but Social Media allows us to set our own rules.)

The problem is that Social Media is having a massive effect on journalism – in how it is delivered and consumed.

We now receive updates delivered in real-time from individuals all over the world. where items are brought to prominence through the “likes”, “shares”, “favorites” and “follows”  Taking away what once use to be called the “exclusive scoop”

In a world that has become so dependent on technology, Governments can’t make social bubbles illegal, and the social media giants prefer you to stay in your bubbles

What it excludes could do us harm.

THERE IS NO REASON THAT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS SHOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATIONS AS OUTLETS OF MEDIA.

For those who still dismiss social media as a passing craze or fad, here is a simple test – for one week, keep a tally of websites you visit that do and do not have links to Facebook/Twitter pages, options to “share”, “like” or “follow”.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.