Thoughts on online authenticity.
Today I was watching Senate committee hearings with Facebook, Twitter, and Google. They were testifying about russian ads/propaganda during and after the 2016 election. During the hearing, the point of transparency was emphasized. In other words, we need to know where an ad or story came from, (what country,) and who paid for the ad.
I definitely agree with transparency for political ads. I think we need to make it impossible for foreign entities and/or agencies to buy election ads here in the US. At one point someone brought up authenticity, (I believe they were asking the general counsel of Facebook a question.) I don’t remember the question, and I can’t remember who brought it up either.
Then again maybe it was Twitter’s general counsel, (I really can’t remember!) That made me think of people using social media, (especially Facebook,) to talk about only good things going on in their lives. I really don’t use Facebook enough to speak of, (although I do use messenger from time-to-time.) However, I do use Twitter, (a lot, and I’m starting to reconsider that.) Except for the fact that I’m not tweeting under my real name, (simply because I really don’t like it,) I try to be as authentic as possible. In other words, I try to paint a picture of who I am in real life. Obviously I don’t post private details like my address etc, but I try to post the bad as well as the good.
If I have a bad headache, and the cat’s meowing is getting on my last nerve, I post it. If the cat unrolls a full roll of TP and frustrates me to the point of almost throwing him over the rail of my balcony, I post that too. Last year, when my grandma gave me $1200 to buy the vary computer I’m using right now, I remember tweeting about it. When the SSA put me on DAC and said I was getting an increase of $410, I posted about it on my blog at the time, and tweeted it.
The reality is that I post everything, (again, to a point.) I try to avoid the “I’m having a sandwich for lunch” kind of post, simply because I’ve seen enough of those to know they’re boring. Some people may say I’m “oversharing,” but I think this kind of authentic way of doing things is necessary. It’s needed because a lot of people do believe most things they read. I always try to think for a few seconds after reading something, (and yeah, I do have a long enough attention span to read a whole article.) I try to think about where the article came from, (does the URL look suspicious?) Not only that, but I try to find the original source of something.
I think we do need to be honest and transparent with everything we share/post, and that includes advertising and news stories. I once said that all fake news really is, is inaccurate information, it really doesn’t have anything to do with whether a site is Conservative or Liberal. I still believe that’s the case.