Hey there, kids. How are you doing? I've got a long one for ya but I promise it's worth the read.
I've been trying to stay on an even keel here since the Presidential election. While I've always been a fairly liberal person, I haven't been a registered Democrat since the 2004 Presidential election because I recognized that the Democratic party was a corrupt mess. Similarly, I've known for even longer that the Republican party doesn't have the best interests of the United States in mind. In other words, I'm pretty jaded, politically. I have hopes and dreams about a utopian society but I'm a realist and recognize those are silly.
Now despite the man's obvious lunacy, his associations with awful people, and the terrible things he said (and the shitty way he said them), I opted to hunker down and let Donald J. Trump get his Presidency on. In my mind, most of his campaign promises - while vile and moronic - were inattainable fluff. (LOL)
In an attempt to inform myself, I made a post-election quest to talk to people who voted and figure out what made them tick. Now, I had come across Michael Moore's speech about the Ford plant and the molotov cocktail and had dismissed it as irrelevant at some point, but with hindsight deigned to view it again. In combination with the insightful series that Van Jones made (The Messy Truth) I felt genuinely awful about the circumstances that lead people to voting Trump.
The unrestrained liberal left was so smug, haughty, and stuck in their echo chamber that a good majority of his supporters desperately needed to tell them to fuck off. So I sought to let the man do his work. Obviously, Trump has come at the job like a whirlwind already, but that isn't a topic I'm going to be discussing.
You see, there's a different thing that's got my panties in a bunch: Both sides are in their echo chambers and it's only gotten worse. The divide is being strengthened via partisan news sources, something many of you know will know I've been railing against for years now.
What am I talking about? Facebook pages that share stupid memes and news stories bearing emotionally manipulative headlines - and the lousy web sites that peddle those things. You know what I'm talking about:
Oh really, destroyed, you say? I guess we'll need to get some new Republicans.
I'll bet whatever this article contains, it's either misleading or an extreme stretch.
I'm not even going to point out the stupidity of this meme.
Real mature, guys. Why bother writing this?
The news feed of your average liberal or conservative right now is a mix of completely worthless junk like that. My problem here is that these kinds of pages/web sites don't offer anything constructive. All they do is give the average idiot who thinks they are politically active the simulation of sticking it to someone they disagree with. It's emotional manipulation, it's bald-faced, and it's utterly confusing to me that people let themselves be swindled by it.
Being the computer nerd I am, I did some digging on six liberal sites, six liberal Facebook pages, six conservative sites, and six conservative Facebook pages: A single person holds the domain name registration of every single site I came across. With what little information is available through Facebook, I noticed that the email addresses attached to the accounts of each page's primary admins, while different, followed similar patterns - consistent with generated names, like the ones you see in those spam emails about your missed FedEx delivery.
That's right: They're playing both sides for profit.
So not only are you helping to propagate the basis for the "fake news" complaints across the web, you're also giving personally identifiable information to untrustworthy sources. Perhaps it's time for you to both wise up on attempts to manipulate your emotions and to broaden your horizons, kids.
† CloudFlare is a web-hosting company. Each user can generate multiple "properties" but each of those properties are tied back to the account. So there may be a unique ID associated with Liberal Site A and Conservative Site A, but both of those IDs are subdivisions of one account.