The internet, or to be more exact, social media on the internet is now the weapon of choice for political control … saturation propaganda or the more subtle persuasions of individual messaging via subliminal texts are becoming the norm of political leafleting throughout Western countries …
Where once “speaker’s corners” told the interested public from soap-box or dais what the politician personally would try to deliver to his constituents, to an age of pamphleteering to jingles and television advertisements and now through Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts … and other well-used methods of connection – like Skype – social media has the capacity to deliver right up to a person’s eyes and ears that message sublime of political persuasion.
And if such and such a policy is yet not well enough explained to oneself, or there is doubt, there is the internet search that will deliver so much more information on any subject under the sun.
The adage of “I’ll just ask Mr. Google” has replaced that old boomer sarcasm of “Go look it up in the Funk ‘n’ Wagnalls” (from the US comedy Laugh In in the sixties).
I hear this very day that there have been several social media sites set up as fake union addresses so as to presumably undermine authentic union noticing and policy. Of course, false pamphleting is nothing new to politics … forged letterheads and fake policy is an old trick of electioneering … but now it has gone to a new level, helped along by a modern phenomenon of isolationism between citizen and citizen, with the most common communication tool used for interpersonal relations seemingly being the smart-phone … one’s “friends” need no longer be in the same suburb or state … they can be in another country yet as close as your digital allowance can afford …
Along with the technology to transplant a false or misconstrued statement right onto the lips of a manipulated high-tech video image of any political opponent, gives advantage to any who have access to such high-tech systems to manipulate political chicanery.
We, ourselves, whether we are aware of it or not, have grown with this new “weapon” to become more astute in our posting on blogs or Twitter … the restricted length of words that will be read or even absorbed by a passing reader persuades us to use brevity alongside alacrity to lure the reader to “stay awhile and browse” our message. Longer articles on serious political blogs demand an even more subtle allure to hold such whimsical readers on-page, on-subject … for just the slightest slip of language … of a loose word in the text will provide for that “aha!” moment and the reader will stop right there and proceed in haste to the comments section and rail incessantly against your “outrageous misrepresentation of …“ and you know you have lost the debate and the rest of the read to the modern self-righteous indignation of the culpable and guilty.
Heaven knows where such manipulations will end.
But with the slipping away of face-to-face communication, and the slippery wording of many posters manipulating conversations on blog or Twitter feed, the ability of many … particularly the younger, who are much, much too trustworthy of fake news and false intent of a twisted language, to turn the conversation to one’s advantage …
Again, we have this age of only two dimensional communication giving hope and promises to the … in many cases … gullible and naive … and going by examples seen on blogs and Twitter-stream … being too easily taken in a truth and wisdom.
This is where the use of social media will be perfected … in the art of persuasion … the ancient skills of the rhetorician may yet be resurrected by tech-savvy politicians to swing that small percentage of “no ideals/no ideas” swinging voters to their favour. After all, if millions of “views” can be gleaned by the most trite and childish presenters of the most silly and fatuous fashions or product gimmickry … then for the very astute political lobbyists … the likes of Crosby-Textor, they ought to be a pushover!
The time has arrived when any “self-respecting” terrorist group, in wanting to persuade, promote or claim ownership of their actions will make social media their first port of call. The hard-copy newspapers are well and truly finished; you can see the daily “remainder stack” there, unwanted even as a give-away at the check-out counter of the local store. Their influence and their reach is now minuscule. Their once revered journalists ridiculed and mocked in Tweet and blog … Instant news, instant views are now at the point of a click away, and with transport to and from so many casual work-sites taking so much time, the main object held for entertainment is the smart-phone …
So … C’mon internet! … tell me: What’s happening today?
Truly has Cicero lost his relevance.
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