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posted by martyb on Tuesday May 23 2017, @12:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the closing-the-barn-door dept.

If anyone knows how important Twitter is to Donald Trump, it's the president.

“Without the tweets, I wouldn't be here,” he told the Financial Times last month.

To which Twitter's co-founder says: Sorry about that, world.

Evan Williams, who still sits on the company's board of directors, recently told The New York Times that he wants to repair the damage he thinks Twitter and the broader Internet have wrought on society in the form of trolls, cyberbullies, live-streamed violence, fake news and — yes — Trump.

“I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,” Williams told the Times. “I was wrong about that.”

“If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry,” he said.

Is Twitter responsible?


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by looorg on Tuesday May 23 2017, @01:45PM (8 children)

    by looorg (578) on Tuesday May 23 2017, @01:45PM (#514233)

    It's kind of interesting how all these outlets be them Facebook, Twitter or just "news" think that they somehow elected Trump to president. People elected Trump, they liked what he had to say -- or they hated what the other gal said. What he said could have been complete shit, largely that depends on your views of things but somehow they picked to vote for him over her anyway. Perhaps they felt he was right, or perhaps he appeared to be the lesser evil or perhaps a million other reasons why people pick one thing over another. Whatever it was that elected Trump. Not your shitty 140 character "social media". Did it help? Perhaps or probably, it could be worthwhile to investigate how many people that actually picked their leader based on communications outlet. It's one of those things that are rarely caught in polls - why people do things that they do. It's hard to formulate into easily asked questions and you usually frown upon having open ended box questions where people get to explain themselves and even if you do people don't usually like filling those in. Instead you have to generalize over other know variables such as race, gender, income, educations or your views of certain things. But the question usually remains in the end.

    Did Alexander Graham Bell or the Post office ever apologize about their inventions or service for them doing various things? I seriously doubt that. They (Twitter, Facebook, whatever) are just overestimating their own importance in the grand scheme of things.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 23 2017, @01:57PM (3 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2017, @01:57PM (#514242) Homepage Journal

    "It's kind of interesting how all these outlets . . . somehow elected Trump to president."

    Yep. Presumptuous, pretentious, egotistical assholes, aren't they?

    And, I'll bet their most pressing R&D projects now, involve swaying public opinion in time for the next election. You can bet both cheeks of your ass that lame-stream-media is doing exactly that.

    --
    There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @05:17PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @05:17PM (#514387)

      I used to have views opposite of yours, but now that you said "lamestream media", I've seen the error of my ways. All those dumb sheeple rooting for Obummer on lamestream media!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @10:07PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @10:07PM (#514545)

        Yep! Runaway convinced me with that comment, too! So now I am going to insist that Trump replace Pence with the true destined White Horse Prophecy Vice President of the United States of America: Sarah Palin! If we do not do this, those evil progressives will brainwash us all with there "learning" and "facts", "objective reality" and "science". Smug, arrogant elistist bastards! Runaway1956 for Secretary of Education!!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2017, @07:56AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2017, @07:56AM (#514718)

          Me, too! But for me it was more the part about "betting both cheeks of my ass". This seems to be a Runaway fetish of late, super effective! And much better than Eth's strange and bizarre obsession with the underarms of young female domesticated animals. Eeewww!

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @02:17PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @02:17PM (#514253)

    It's kind of interesting how all these outlets be them Facebook, Twitter or just "news" think that they somehow elected Trump to president.

    They were definitely filled with drivel like "orange one with small hands" or "he eats pizza with a fork", etc. It can't be good to have "your side" associated with stuff like that.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday May 23 2017, @03:22PM (1 child)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2017, @03:22PM (#514298)

      Exactly, nothing fired up the voters like seeing newscasters cry on TV. Decades of having to listen to some pompous arrogant asses blathering, now their tears are like the sweetest champagne, and its all because of Trump, that guy must be awesome gotta vote for him, can't wait to see the next media POS freakout on TV. But hatred of the media, although extremely popular, is probably not mass movement sustainable.

      Some of the Trump win was weaponized arrogance. So trust in congress is at an all time low and hatred of "congress in general" is at an all time high. I know, we'll manipulate things such that the two D party candidates are both east coast legislators, because the american public hates them as a class more than at any time in history what could possibly go wrong with that choice? Then we'll get a bunch of arrogant congressmen like Paul Ryan etc to denounce Trump, because being arrogant they can't help but bellow. They just aren't thinking it thru that if 95% of the American public hates congress, then the face of congress saying they hate Trump, makes Trump an automatic folk hero...

      I mean, if I could get Paul Ryan and Hillary Clinton to denounce me, I (VLM) could win the presidency... The lesson is to weaponize your arrogant enemies who are hated by the general population. Seriously the D party playbook last election was like having Darth Vader stand up and say "please don't vote for Yoda" and then acting surprised when Yoda wins.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday May 23 2017, @07:31PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday May 23 2017, @07:31PM (#514478) Journal

        They just aren't thinking it thru that if 95% of the American public hates congress, then the face of congress saying they hate Trump, makes Trump an automatic folk hero...

        Exactly. A couple of progressive buddies of mine were waxing all righteous last week about the prospect of impeaching Trump. They watch Rachel Maddow and hit refresh on DailyKos all day long. They were ecstatic at how the chatter there was spiraling into certainty that it was a done deal. "He has a historically low approval rating at 40%!" they crowed. I countered that the last poll on trust in the media was something like 25%, and that Congress's approval rating was bordering on single digits, so how did they think that was gonna work out for them?

        So your points are well taken. Many people hate Trump, but nearly everyone hates the media and Congress. If they're seen to take down the Whitehouse, about 100 days after the administration has gotten started, it will send a very different message to the public than they're expecting, and it will have a much different effect than they suppose. To me it seems like the branches conspiring to chop down the trunk because of its odious personality, when the fact is the trunk is what holds the whole tree up.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by sgleysti on Wednesday May 24 2017, @02:41AM

    by sgleysti (56) on Wednesday May 24 2017, @02:41AM (#514638)

    "People elected Trump"

    A minority of voters, but yes, I take your point. My gut reaction to the article was, "I blame the electorate."