I am a progressive liberal because I was taught to have compassion...

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs, who, however, has never learned to walk forward.
A liberal is a man who uses his legs and his hands at the behest ... of his head." - Franklin D Roosevelt

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Facebook - Battleground For America's Soul

When I first joined Facebook (summer of 2009), I wrote in the "About Me" section that I was dragged, kicking and screaming to Facebook and that it was the devil and would melt my brain.

(image is licensed by WikiMedia's Creative Commons License)

Little did I know how close to the truth I was - except it hasn't melted my brain, it's melted America's (collective) brain.  And as far as Facebook being the devil, one can certainly argue that like heaven and hell, Facebook is the battleground for America's soul.  For instead of being a social meeting place to keep up with old school chums, show off pictures of your dog and your kids, it's now a semi-anonymous platform for people to espouse hateful things that I doubt they'd otherwise say in person if confronted by those they attack.

I'd like to share 3 instances I've seen via my Facebook "wall".  One is a photo a "friend" shared.  Another is a conversation initiated by the national television morning show, Today Show.  And the third is the President of the United State's Facebook wall.

Check out this screenshot from a friend's Facebook wall (all personal info has been redacted).  This is a person I worked with and have known for 10 years.  Needless to say, I was surprised to see this "shared" photo posted:
 There were four additional comments following mine:
  • "Do some homework, Geoff. Get back to us when you see the truth." (comment was "liked by 4 people)
  • "People don't get angry at this photo because of Obama's policies. He disrespects America by not showing respect during the national anthem." (comment was liked by 2 people)
  •  "Thanks Steven! We all have a right to free speech!"
  • "This photo nothing more than propaganda nonsense.

The Today Show on NBC is a great morning television program (in my opinion), and their Facebook page can be quite controversial...not in what THEY post, but what their "viewers" post.  For example, their post asking people to grade the President's performance at the Apollo Theater (again, all personal info is redacted):

These are comments on the Today Show Facebook page JUST because the President was singing.  How pathetic.   You can't tell me that this open hatred of President Obama wasn't precipitated by the Tea Party Republicans-supported by Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks-funded by the Koch Brothers.

I think the last example we'll examine amazes me most: President Obama's Facebook page.  Now, I am not a fan of the Tea Party; therefore, I do not "Like" any of their Facebook pages.  Same with White Supremacist's pages, or the Green Bay Packers pages for that matter.  And yes, I understand that white supremacists and Green Bay Packers fans are not at all similar - I'm just trying to make a point, which is that I don't "like" those pages.  Why then, would someone who hates the President, "like" his Facebook page?  Simple answer: to espouse their hatred.  One post-er even has the poor taste to make her profile pic the photo of Arizona Gov., Jan Brewer sticking her finger in the President's face (this is how someone identifies themselves?):

Now I don't mean to suggest that you don't have the right to express your opinions.  Nor do I mean to suggest that Facebook is all bad.  But isn't there a point when it's no longer constructive to hate just to hate? 

It's the battle for America's soul, and it's just begun.  Good luck, America.

So to all of you who do hide your hatred behind the semi-anonymity of Facebook: 
"Ha, ha.  Charade you are." (Pink Floyd lyric)

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