by Shelton Bumgarner
Trumplandia is very much a product of social media and more specifically Twitter. The case could be made that the combination of Russian hacking, Trump campaign collusion along with Twitter and FOX News made the crucial difference when it came to the outcome of the election.
In other words, the system failed and now we have a celebrity Twitter troll with a penchant for the Russians as president.
So, after that sinks in, let’s think about what the problems with Twitter are and how to fix them.
It seems as though there are two major problems with Twitter: how easy it is to peddle fake news and how the fact that you only have 140 characters make it difficult to carry on an intelligent conversation. As I have articulated at great length on Instagram, I have a pretty clear vision of how to fix those two problems while adding any number of features that no one asked for.
The crux of my vision is verified accounts would have more power than the average users. People with verified accounts could create things I call Groups. Within Groups would be Discussions would be threaded discussions that allowed for more cogent debate than currently found on Twitter or even Reddit or Facebook. As I have repeatedly said, what I want is to bring back the core concepts of Usenet in such a way that some of the features that we lost over the years would be brought back.
We really need to address the issue of fake news and I think giving verified account holders some sense that they were stake holders would cause them to produce more content that would hopefully flood the zone and crowd out fake news. This, of course, doesn’t address that Right Wing Nut Jobs believe what they want to believe and their anger at the status quo is so surreal in nature that I may be fooling myself.
Now, imagine that a newspaper company like Tronc was to create this Twitter Killer. I am of the opinion that the only way to disrupt the newspaper business is from within, so it’s possible that Tronc could fund a startup and that startup would turn around and disrupt the newspaper business by re-imagining what a newspaper was from the ground up.
In my vision of things, a newspaper company like Tronc would detach its writers from the print product, make them verified account holders in a new social media platform and not only save the newspaper business but the Republic as well.
Something needs to be done, is all I’m saying. We’re in dire straights right now and only by doing something dramatic can we dig ourselves out of this hole we find ourselves in. If we don’t figure out how to prevent the Russians from hacking our elections system, they are going to do it again.