by Wade Rathke
New Orleans Let me be honest. We can hardly keep our primary Facebook account and website up to date. We gave up on Twitter long ago and have sworn it off until Trump is gone. Because there are multiple organizations in our family of operations from unions to community organizations to radio stations to publications to research and training outfits and more, we are almost always deficient. We need someone to do this full-time, but finding the money to justify the wage and work has been a strain. I’m not whining, just stating the facts, but it makes me wonder how so many make such mischief and mayhem on social media? Who are these people? Where do they find the time?
Today’s headlines included social media attacks and threats against state level public health officials by “open-uppers,” or whatever they call themselves. They use Facebook to organize, and Facebook im-moderators allow anything to go, even if it breaks their rules of service until they hear complaints. The other day there was another published piece on how conservatives and racists were trolling around the Black Lives Movement to such a degree in their outrage at the protests and the very principles being advocated on the streets that they came up seven times out of ten on the most trafficked Facebook sites with a BLM reference. These folks have weaponized social media, particularly the passive-hostile Facebook and its lean-out overseers.
K-Pop fans and other groups counted coup on the Trump Tulsa rally claiming that they had signed hundreds of thousands of fake people up to register as participants to bust expectations for his rally. Trump campaigners swear that is not the case. Nonetheless, who are these people? It turns out that fans of various pop groups in Korea and their US counterparts for K-Pop and other groups regularly engage in on-line contests to defend or advance their interests and in some cases have also used their social media skills to raise money for favored causes as well.
These seem mainly to be volunteer armies using these methods for various madness, and then there are state actors from Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, and, let’s be honest, undoubtedly the United States, that also have paid and professional teams running other unsettling social media attacks. They target each other, all of us, elections, ethnic and racial groups, and whatever and whomever might divide us. I’m not even talking about free lance hackers and hustlers yet, but they are everywhere as well.
I find this confounding. How do we compete with all of this? How do we control and contain these multiple attacks and advances everywhere? Where is the line between free speech and the fact that we have to be able to get our word out and communicate and the way all of these tools are being manipulated and hijacked for either good or evil?
Today, I’m just raising my hands and crying help. You know how to find me if you have a clue. If there’s no solution, we need a volunteer army as well to fight for our side, contact me to enlist ASAP!
Wade Rathke is founder and chief organizer of ACORN and ACORN International. You can find Wade’s recent past posts here Chief Organizer Reports. And you can link to his website here Chief Organizer ACORN/ACORN International