Just had a "conversation" with someone on Facebook about an article that made it into our Newsroom, but I also posted on the Facebook page.
The article was about the misleading claim by the North Dakota Democrats that voting could cost hunters their out of state hunting licenses. The only comment I made was "WTF?!"
The following then happened, and I'm sure it isn't over, but it is for me.
I have no issue calling out anyone who pulls moves like this, I don't care what side of the isle you are on. It's been done in the past here and will be done in the future. And if you have evidence of this behavior to share that you think the readers should see, please, feel free to pass it on! I'll share the heck out of it!
But don't come in and throw what amounts to a temper tantrum. If you want to argue about it, cool. Toss me some stories, give me something to share with the readers, give me something other than, "BUT! BUT! THEY ALL DO IT!"
What he basically wants is for me to put a comment on stories like this that says something like, "The right does this, too." I'm not going to do that. If I got a story that said the North Dakota Republicans told women that if they'd had an abortion in the last five years they may not be able to register to vote, you can bet your butt I'd slap that up there as fast as I could. But I don't have a story like that to share. And he didn't provide any.
And I've yet to see anyone of his ilk claim the Democrats do it too when they post a negative story about the Republicans.
Yes... they all do it. They shouldn't, but they do. When an actual story with real evidence breaks, I like to share it so that people who may have seen it won't fall for it. Again, the side of the isle doesn't matter. Adding what amounts to a trigger warning to all stories like this accomplishes nothing. It divides further and offers nothing for people to look out for.
It wasn't an article that had a story that was opinion stating Democrats do this. It was an actual issue. Real, verifiable facts. And the fact that the claim is complete horse manure is important for the people in North Dakota to know. They need to know they can vote without fear. When this guy asked for his trigger warning, I told him I was open to sharing stories of Republicans doing this sort of thing, just give me some links and I'll share the stories with the readers, same as I did with this one. His response speaks for itself.
Don't do that. This guy had a shot at bridging a gap and didn't take it. There was an actual olive branch being offered there and he slapped it away. If you have real concerns, please, provide some facts for me to share and I'll help you out. No one likes political corruption. But without facts for me to provide the readers, it's just opinion against a fact.
So, somebody sent this to me on Instagram.
I was really confused at first, because I wasn't sure why I got tagged in the comments for it. I don't know the person who posted it. And after a minute I got my stuff together enough to realize the person who posted it didn't tag me in it, someone else did... and I also don't know them. Her comment with it was "this needs some attention." I'm not really sure what she expects me to do with it. I mean... I'm not going to troll this random person who posted it. For those who don't know me well, I'm not a troll. I don't do that stuff. I don't really care if others do, depending on their level and style, but it isn't my thing. I'm a little too chill to be a troll, frankly, and people like this aren't worth my time and energy. Life's too short.
But I'll make some comments.
1. So... abortion is murder then?
2. Kids tend to take after their parents. Not all the time, but a good deal of the time. Liberals have abortions. So basically... you may be thinning your own herd.
3. I'm not a republican, so...
4. I don't really care that this exists. It isn't actually threatening anyone. It's stating a political opinion that abortion should remain legal, and the rest is... a joke? I guess? It's attempting to draw attention to a website, and nothing does that better than shocking people and getting them to pass it all over the internet. I'm sure I could get a lot of new readers if I posted Uncle Sam up there with his finger up and my URL on lamp posts, too. I know the name of my website has drawn plenty of ire. But people that hate the message will go to the site and troll them, which raises their traffic and moves them up in search engine ranking, earning them more in advertising dollars. The trolls will feel righteous and the website owner will be making bank through those advertisements on their website. As my dad always said, "They'll be laughing all the way to the bank." So there's that.
5. Otherwise... alright. It's an opinion. You have a right to that. I don't aim to silence people, even if the statement is devoid of class or morals. You do you, and thank God the Constitution says you can without repercussion. That's how it's done. I don't agree, so I stated my differing opinion and now I'm moving on. That's how it's done.
I stood in the cold and rain this afternoon to get my vote in for the midterms.
Don't sit this one out, folks. It's time to stop letting the swamp win. Get out and vote. Don't let the shenanigans on the left stop you.
OK. Here's the deal. Most of the social media platforms out there are systematically erasing accounts. I've had my own issues that have already been covered here.
I hate the idea of having to move to alternative platforms. A lot of people have been calling for conservative social media platforms (they don't need to be made... they exist... just use them). My problem with that is that it just creates another echo chamber where we are preaching to the choir.
Yes, I know. Liberals just come in to conservative pages and spew the same talking points (like the girl on Instagram who has actually accused me of limiting the free speech of anyone I don't agree with, but got choked off and didn't know how to respond when I pointed out that she was still there and has been there for almost a year), throw insults, refuse to debate, etc. They are, of course, met by responses of the same talking points, throwing of insults, and refusal of valid debate. No, the non-leftists are not immune from this, either. I'm sorry. I do, in fact, read every single comment on every single social platform I have this page on. This is a disease that affects all sides (and there are more than two).
What most social platforms are becoming at this point, though, are liberal echo chambers where anything that challenges their thought process, ideas, or opinions is deemed hate speech and must be destroyed. And our response is to create conservative platforms that do the same thing.
While this ensures that we can keep our voices online, it does not ensure a return to debate or civility. It does not allow us to be challenged by opposing views. And we're just dropping our own thoughts and opinions on people who already agree with us and will nod along. It will reach no one who is looking for ideas, is researching, is curious, is on the fence, or who may be up for having their mind changed.
Why are we not fighting to bring back civil debate? It can actually be achieved.
Case in point, Facebook. Not too long ago, I had two liberals come into the page before we hit a major growth spurt. They did what a stereotypical liberal does... they began attacking and insulting. I let it go for two days. I know the tactic... they want me to ban them so they can play victim and wrack up their martyrdoms by adding my page to the list of conservatives who "silenced" them by banning them from the page. How intolerant it is of us to get sick of being called names all day long! Instead of banning them, I posted a note directed to them but readable publicly stating that we didn't mind alternative views on the page, but we did ask that they actually contributed to the conversation instead of just playing big man online. It actually resulted in one of them leaving on his own, and the other guy actually began engaging in debate. He was actually a friendly guy.
That isn't going to happen all the time, although I have come to realize that when you don't ban them, but choose to ignore them instead, they do eventually tuck tail and run because they want victim points, not discussion or challenge. And when I don't ban them, they get no victim points, so they move on to someone who will give them the points instead.
However, the idea of segregating people by opinion doesn't sit well with me. It doesn't accomplish anything, it doesn't change anything, and it doesn't bring anyone to your side. Throwing insults and being a childish piece of human trash doesn't, either. But when we segregate by opinions, you don't get your ideas challenged, you get them echoed. And that isn't good for the USA.
Yes, I do have the page on alternative social media. I'm not dumb, I know my Facebook and Instagram pages are on borrowed time. As much as I want us all integrated and taking part in civil debate, we have gotten so far from that that we may never recover. We've been completely torn apart. And these social media platforms have fallen victim to this as well. They want a certain kind of thought out there reaching the masses, and they are afraid of different ideas reaching those people because it might challenge their belief system and cause them to stop doing what they are told.
So if you have abandoned mainstream corporate social media, or if you click on ours one day and they are gone like so many before us, links are below.
That was the image I posted to Instagram and was amazed to find out they consider it hate speech!
It's hate speech to suggest we take care of our homeless here in the USA before taking care of illegal aliens swarming our border!
'Even if you didn't mean to offend..."
So, Instagram... who's offense is more important? Because, frankly, I'm offended that you consider caring for the homeless in the USA as hate speech. I am offended that you consider US citizens to be of less value than the rest of the world. I am offended that my first thought was forced to be, "Is it because the homeless guy is a white male?" and the question is actually legitimate. There is actual porn on Instagram. If you have a foot fetish or like leather clad men showing off their asses, you've got it made on Instagram. But God forbid someone suggest that maybe we, as US citizens, should maybe give a crap about the starving and dying in our own country before taking care of the rest of the world! This is from people who want socialism in the US because it's "compassionate." This is from people who claim anyone right of Karl Marx doesn't care about the poor.
Give me a damn break. This is beyond freedom of speech issues right now.