Sculpting Your Algo: What’s Wrong with Twitter and Tik*fkn*Tok

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Here’s the part that many people don’t understand about the power of social shaping and foreign governments or fascist billionaires owning major social media platforms. Think about this.

What’s In Your Field of Vision

Browsing through Twitter this morning I was wondering about the changes Elon is effecting on the platform. He’s going to allow anyone to BUY a blue checkmark, that once represented authenticity and authority. Today, a Putin impersonator can pay for an $8 checkmark to give them (you) the idea that they are legit. But this $8 per month income stream for Elon’s 44 billion dollar payback has more damaging aspects. In the information about Twitter Blue, you’ll see that your new “elevated” membership will buy your additional reach for your content. Of course it will. Just like ELON can make his dumb and stoned tweets can appear in ALL OF OUR FEEDS ALL THE TIME. Here’s an update: You are not going to miss any to @elonmusk’s tweets. Ever. He’s got control of the firehose and he can show you all of his “genius” all the time. That’s how ownership of the algo works.

So, Musk can filter feed you the content he deems worthy and important. Like this masterpiece of collusion.


Mr. Musk now controls your incoming content. All of it. He can shape your worldview based on HIS ideas. He’s not Christ (happy Easter everyone), he’s not Putin, he’s not even Joe Rogan, or very smart, but his stoned-ass billionaire cult of personality has grown large enough to control and manipulate one of the largest social media platforms in the world. Is that a problem?

As Musk Goes TikTok

So, we see how Musk can warp your worldview fairly easily. Zuck and Co. have been doing the same thing for more than 10 years. Remember their “depression” experiment? They can craft all the content in your feed. Not only “can” they, but they DO IT 24/7. Today, about 5% of your Facebook content is from your “friends.” The rest… Controlled by money, magic levers, and greed. Oh, and politics. Don’t think that Zuck is super woke these days. They like authoritarianism, as long as they are the ones with the authority.

Okay, it’s easy to see how Mr. Musk and Mr. Zuck can craft your news for you. But what about China? What “good interest” do the owners of TikTok have in crafting the flood of toks they share to your account? If they have an agenda (and you can bet they do) showing your PRO content is easy. Suppressing NEGATIVE content is also easy. It’s a bit harder to see when dances and the inane *bs* that is TikTok, but here’s the bigger truth: it’s not just about grooming your kids. TikTok is grooming all of us. Even if they are not flexing the full muscle of their platform at the moment, they ARE gathering every shred of digital data about YOU and ALL OF YOUR CONNECTIONS.

Why is this important?

Let’s say, Trump somehow makes it to run in the 2024 election, “The Revenge Tour” as his tribe calls it. And let’s say, the Chinese government has reason to believe he would be less controlling than Biden 2.0. What sort of ways can they feed you the information that would encourage a vote for Trump? How could they surface stories about the Biden controversy? Do you think Mr. Musk would’ve limited the “Hunter Biden Laptop Controversy” theories? No, had he been in the pilot’s chair, he would’ve BOOSTED the “Hunter Biden” lies 1000%. That’s what he’s doing now.

A quick look at Twitter these days and it’s hard to recognize what we used to love about the platform. Elon and his followers have center stage. I’ve blocked 90% of them, but their sh*tshorm still floods my newsfeed. Don’t like Elon and his BS? Don’t worry, you’ll see his message through his surrogates.

What Twitter Blue is offering is a way to pay $8 a month to gain influence and reach. But it’s more like the idea of influence. You’re not going to compete with the real OWNERS of Twitter. Same with Tik and Tok. They don’t care who you like, follow, or share. They are crafting the content you are seeing based on their agenda. Again, today, this is not as important. Next year, as the 2024 election cycle comes around, perhaps you might imagine Elon and TikTok and Zuck all want to see a Biden upset, even if the alternative is MoreEvilTrump.

There’s nothing we can do to slow the power and influence of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, SnapChat, yadda yadda yadda. Yes, we could all quit the platforms. We the “woke” could retreat to our real conversations and leave the social media to the social fascists and billionaires.  We could bury our heads in the sand and wonder why the GOP keeps taking the electoral college while losing the popular vote.

Musk is not your ally. Joe Rogan, Trump, KidRock, and Mike Tyson are fit to be in the same pod, but they should not be given an outsized voice to influence the next election or the next beer you purchase.

John McElhenney — let’s connect online
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