Monday, January 9, 2012

MAINSTREAM CENSORS CONTENT, WHY NOT SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook Censorship, Yes or No?
Yep the question is a serious one. Just how divided do we as a people want to be? I don't know that answer but I do know that there are many examples of efforts on both parts mainstream, and we the people, to censor material just for that purpose. So who wins when we are divided?

Those that have the money and resources to benefit from our division. United we stand, but divided we fall. How many actually agree with this statement anymore. Not many from the looks of things and that is the problem.

So why write an article such as this? Truthfully I am a political junkie and I enjoy it. I have no shame I know, BUT when I continually see an uprising against mainstream media for censorship, yep I am one who thins they do as well, I am always brought back down to earth and realize that they are not the only ones guilty of such.

WHAT???? How can you take their side you say?


It isn't taking the side of mainstream, who I abhor in so many ways for their failure to do their job professionally, and ethically (both of which many do not in my opinion), it is more taking the side of "pot meet kettle."

So why would I make such an assertion? That brings us to the social media networks of Facebook, myspace, etc.

Because I am a political junkie I pay attention to every available avenue for news info and sources. I am also media per se so why would I not keep up with events? And let's face it. No one can see everything, everywhere at all times, so these social networking sites are great for links to sources for different sides to stories on occasion. But that in and/of itself creates  problems all its own.

One of the biggest things that I see all the time are stories, links, and videos posted on these sites designed to inflame one group or another all in the name of "getting the truth out." Except just how truthful are the posters?

We expect full disclosure from mainstream media in their stories, yet many of these same people who are demanding such on these social media sites see absolutely no hypocrisy in not following the same rules they rail against.

So many times I see stories posted with Youtube videos about everything from President Obama to Ron Paul, or from a Homeowners Association threatening a disabled vet over bumper stickers to animal abuse.

All by design to inflame someone into taking action or getting angry to further one's agenda. And believe me no one in this world does not have an agenda. It is human nature after all.

The ethical problem for me comes in when you find that these stories are years old but because someone is currently in the news the posts are slanted to make one believe that they are current events. Which of course many people automatically assume is and react accordingly.

Of course then some, like me, will point out the obvious that a particular story is years old, has been settled, was proven to be false, or is intentionally cut so it is taken out of context. You know insert excuse here.

When called on with accurate info, alarmingly most delete the comment and/or evidence disproving the point of the poster. And that folks is censorship. More disturbing is when you look at a lot of the people involved they are usually a lot of the ones who scream about mainstream censoring information, or distorting stories for their own agenda.

Pot meet kettle definitely applies and that is one aspect we are overlooking.

While we continue to deride mainstream for what, in many opinions, is falsifying, distorting, or ignoring truthful or accurate information in reporting, many on the social media front are following the same path.

Social media is growing everyday and will continue to do so. That is the reality we face. Millions of people interact everyday on these sites with their views and opinions. It isn't about saying hi to a distant family members anymore. It is about making your voice heard, be a force today and be recognized for such.

But do we not as a citizenry have an obligation in a public forum to abide by ethical rules as well?

As more and more people reach out to the internet and social media for news in their quest for truth, do we not have an obligation as users to stick with the truth as well?

No we are not talking opinions here. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when you intentionally set out to deny the truth in  favor of one's own agenda then you just became part of the problem most rail against.

That is not conducive to finding solutions in our lives.

The old saying that "the truth shall set you free" is an honest one.

Accordingly if we are to rail against untruths in reporting, and claiming mainstream is doing so because they have their own agenda, then we must come to grips with the reality that many people who are stating this are living it as well. The hypocrisy is not lost.

It is time for many social networkers to heed their own advice. Disclose the truth in your stories. Use things like, "this video is an older one but still rings true today in my opinion," or provoke people with a statement such as, "when this video was posted two years ago our unemployment rate was 10% where it is today, why haven't things gotten better yet,"when your stories are years old. Anything to bring credibility and truthfulness through disclosure. This helps aid in ridding ourselves of the pretenders and getting back to the contenders in our lives.

Viewers have an obligation as well. Quit jumping on a bandwagon without knowing the truth. When someone posts a youtube video, or a link to a story, almost all are date stamped. See when it was posted originally by the youtube user. If it was posted in June 2009 then make sure the issue is the same today. If you do make a mistake like that (yep I have been guilty once and learned from it) go back, admit you erred, and take responsibility.

Then remember to verify before you justify. Simple really to help us all get along and quit being divided. If mainstream is the problem then it needs to be proven and it can't be when you follow the same plan.

Besides truth is stranger than ficton and in most cases a lot more fun. Let's work to make sure we know the truth.

Only then can we truly be free.....

Listen daily from 7-8pm at The Ed Springston Show. Also visit Louisville Politics for more details and in depth coverage of local political and news issues.

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Thank you for reading LNP. Open and honest discussions of local politics and relevant issues is important to voter understanding. Please listen to the "Ed Springston Show". We broadcast Monday through Thursday evenings at 7 PM on local media outlets. Please check for the links.
Yours truly,
Ed Springston