Lies, dripping off your mouth like dirt / Lies, lie in every step you walk / Lies, whispered sweetly in my ear / Lies, how do I get out of here / Why, why you have to be so cruel / Lies, lies, lies, I ain’t such a fool — “Lies,” written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, 1978
We all have said things that are later proven to be mistaken, and I’m mouse enough to admit that on March 21st 2006 I fubared one right out of the park. Watching a CNET piece about Twitter, I proclaimed “who the hell wants to know what you’re having for lunch, and why it’s being served to you on such crappy plates?”
Of course, I was wrong to the tune of about sixty-five million American daily active users. One of those daily active users happens to be the President of the United States. He’s got 80 million followers worldwide, but that includes the media, other politicians, the curious and those hard up for light entertainment. Trumpsy loves Twitter because he has 100% control over his message… or at least he did until Tuesday. The Orange Fool repeated his completely baseless lie that mail-in ballots lead to vote fraud and forgeries. Twitter attached a warning to this and a couple other presidential fabrications suggesting readers fact check his claims.
Twitter did not say “This dipshit is lying again!” They didn’t even call bullshit on his bullshit claims. They just suggested people check it out, which they should be doing anyway… certainly by now.
Turns out, Twitter’s tweet hurt Li’l Donnie’s feelings. He tweeted “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen… Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”
Four exclamation points!!!! I guess he means it. He repeated his threats to regulate or shut down social media companies for trying to silence “conservative” expression. In so doing, Trumpsy betrays his lack of faith in capitalism: such conservative voices, no matter how few, possess on average nearly two eyeballs each and internet content providers cover their nut with the number of eyeballs they attract.
Therefore, if you are a “general interest” content provider, you don’t want to chase away any noticeable group of followers. Even Trumpsters buy stuff… like, say, Clorox and hydroxychloroquine.
According to Reuters, after Orangey made his threat shares of Twitter and Facebook dropped – temporarily.
As we all know, when threatened, Trump doubles down like an accordion. Yesterday, he threatened “big action” against Twitter. This brings into question whether he actually has such authority, a concept that has never, ever made the guy reconsider anything. Certainly the First Amendment severely limits his options, but had he the time and the power of recollection there are ways he could temporarily turn up the heat on content providers, somewhat.
I strongly doubt Donald Trump will ever be able to become as powerful as the greater internet industry, or whatever it will be called in the future. It’s really hard for one obsessive-compulsive megalomaniacal political hack to screw over that much money.
The laws of karma and irony possess even greater weight. Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a suit brought by the right-wing group Freedom Watch and the right-wing YouTuber Laura Loomer against Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple. They claimed these companies conspired to suppress the dissemination of their political views. Perhaps Ms. Loomer forgot that YouTube is owned by Google, although I know from personal experience that suing a large company does not necessarily limit your ability to be hired by that same company later on.
Right-wingers all across the time-space continuum have been trying to control the media ever since the Big Bang, and often they have found themselves in bed with left-wingers in these endeavors. They seem to do so without taking the necessary precautions, and thus they occasionally find themselves in great pain. The tricks to life’s lessons are to be found in the learning.
And you just can’t tell Trump nuttin’.