Excellent point about “social media” amplifying a few angry idiots into a scary army spoiling for civil war

Sekhnet cracked me up the other day, it was really the best laugh I’ve had in a long time. She told me she didn’t know what is wrong with her increasingly right-wing friend who was getting weirder and weirder. She told me she’d sent him something and got a very weird response. This is what she sent him.

Cohen makes an excellent point about the right demanding that everybody obey their morality because they are right and those who disagree are evil. Fair enough, the Supreme Court did it to a disgusting extent this term (with more big bombs in waiting for next term), extremists always do this when they have the power.

But Megan McArdle, writing in the Washington Post, makes an even better point. Before the anonymizing anger megaphone of “social media”, a worked up ignorant asshole could be tolerated by his or her family, who would quietly roll their eyes to each other and let hateful views slip by without a fight. On social media every one of these trolls now has a giant megaphone. Get a few thousand of them worked up about something, and it immediately looks like civil war is afoot. In this case, a small army of isolated, angry assholes on Twitter make it seem like there is a nationwide “right-wing boycott” of a restaurant chain for adding an item to its menu that they somehow find offensive, which it clearly is not.

Read McArdle’s great take, “Cracker Barrel leaders understand an often-forgotten truth of the internet.” I found it smart and reassuring.


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