The New World of Information Autocracy

Vitae:
US Population:  332 million
Twitter Users: 426 million
Facebook Users:  2.9 billion

The US is a defined nation state; both Twitter and Facebook are global social media/information platforms.

The numbers speak for themselves; moreover, when you view these as single channel conveyances of information, the US drops out since it has no single channel of information.

Information is channeled through the US through thousands of broadcast and print media outlets including the two social media listed.  And there’s more.

Knowledge is power — “scientia potentia est” — and information is the foundation of knowledge.

Governance is a political construct that exists in organized societies and establishes and controls the laws, norms, languages and power within said societies.  It sets boundaries within which people carry on their personal and professional lives. America, for example, proclaims itself a “nation of laws not men.”
Translation:  Every man, woman and child in America is on equal footing regardless of their race and religious beliefs and must be treated fairly.

What about the governance of information platforms especially in a democratic society?
Who or what controls this information and the profound influence it has on the minds of people within our society?
Answer: There is no control.

Information/propaganda platforms like Twitter and Facebook, together, exert more influence on American political thinking than all other information channels combined.
Furthermore, each of these platforms is controlled by a single billionaire who “owns” the right to use the platform to espouse whatever fits his particular ideological bias.

It’s Information/Propaganda Autocracy.

I must repeat:  One person controls what is said, when it’s said and to whom. In effect, one extremely wealthy person determines the social, religious, scientific and political information/ propaganda that’s pushed through their proprietary media channel to large (captive) American, and by extension, global audiences.

Governance is nonexistent.  One person can act with impunity and with (potentially) harmful self-interest without the threat of penalty or retribution.

Information autocracy is antithetical to democratic governance and, when considered objectively, information autocracy and political democracy cannot coexist.

Just look at how Russian (autocratic) campaign interference (propaganda) along with Facebook and Twitter influenced our 2016 presidential election; moreover, 36% of American adults use Facebook as their primary source of news. The foundation of democracy cannot be built on information autocracies.

Neither Facebook nor Twitter (or any other social media) operates within defined guidelines for news verification, authentication and/or documentation.  “Anything goes“ is their current “governing” philosophy.

We must stop information autocracy now before propaganda is the rule not the exception in terms of the majority content of America’s news.  We must simultaneously stop billionaires from having the un-impeded right to determine and control this information.

Stop it now!

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