Donald Trump Caused The Techlash

from the 2016-election-was-the-tipping-point dept

In October 2016, I pitched USC a research proposal about the tech coverage’s non-investigative nature and the influence of corporate PR. I thought that at the end of this project, I’d have indictive documentation of how the tech media is too promotional and not tough enough. When I sat down to analyze a full year of tech coverage, the data presented quite the opposite. 2017 was suddenly full of tech scandals and mounting scrutiny. The flattering stories about consumer products evolved into investigative pieces on business practices, which caught the tech companies and their communications teams off guard.

Like any good startup, I needed to pivot. I changed my research entirely and focused on this new type of backlash against Big Tech. The research was based on an AI-media monitoring tool (by MIT and Harvard), content analysis, and in-depth interviews. I had amazing interviewees: senior tech PR executives and leading tech journalists from BuzzFeed News, CNET, Recode, Reuters News, TechCrunch, Techdirt, The Atlantic, The Information, The New York Times, The Verge, and Wired magazine. Together, they illuminated the power dynamics between the media and the tech giants it covers. Here are some of the conclusions regarding the roots of the shift in coverage and the tech companies’ crisis responses.

The election of Donald Trump

After the U.K.’s Brexit referendum in June 2016, and specifically, after Donald Trump became the president at the end of 2016, the media blamed the tech platforms for widespread misinformation and disinformation. The most influential article, from November 2016, was BuzzFeed‘s piece entitled, “This analysis shows how viral fake election news stories outperformed real news on Facebook.” It was the first domino to topple.

When I asked what was the story that formed the Techlash, all the interviewees answered, in one way or the other, that it was the election of Donald Trump. “Even though it wasn’t the story that people wrote about the most, it was the underlying theme.” Then, new revelations regarding the Russian interference with the U.S. election evolved into a bigger story. On November 1, 2017, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, testified in front of the U.S. Congress. The alarming effect was from combining the three testimonies together.

In the tech sector, there’s a sentence that you hear a lot: “change happens gradually then suddenly.” There were years and years of “build-up” for the flip, but the flip itself was in the pivotal moment of Donald Trump’s victory and the post-presidential election reckoning that followed it. The main discussion was the role of social media in helping him win the election.

If Hillary Clinton had been elected in November 2016, the Techlash might have been much smaller. “We would not have seen the amount of negative coverage. It is not just because almost every tech journalist is reflectively anti-Donald Trump; it is that almost every tech person is anti-Donald Trump.” As a result, Silicon Valley began to regret the foundational elements of its own success. The most dire warnings started to come from inside the industry as more sources spoke up and exposed misdeeds.

Then, in 2018, the Cambridge Analytica scandal unlocked larger concerns about social media’s influence and the careless approach toward user privacy. It also shed light on the fact that technology is progressing faster than consumers’ ability to process it and faster than the government’s ability to regulate it.

The companies’ bigness and scandals around fake news, data breaches, and sexual harassment

There were more factors at play here. It was also the tech companies’ scale and bigness, being too big to fail. All the tech giants are at a place where they are getting scrutiny, if nothing else, because of how big and powerful they are. On the one hand, growth-at-all-cost is a mandate. On the other, there are unforeseen consequences of that same growth.

According to the tech journalists, those unintended consequences are due to the companies’ profound lack of foresight. They were blind, and this blindness came back to bite them. Thus, it’s the companies’ fault for not listening to the journalists’ concerns.

However, the big data analytics and content analysis showed that focusing only on the post-election reckoning or the tech platforms’ growing power won’t fully explain the Techlash. A large number of events in a variety of issues shaped it. Their combination led to the “It’s enough” feeling, the mounting calls for tougher regulation, and the #BreakUpBigTech proposition.

We had cases of extremist content and hate speech, and misinformation/disinformation, like the fake news after the Las Vegas shooting; privacy and data security issues, following major cyber-attacks, like “WannaCry” or data breaches, like Equifax, but also at Facebook, Uber, and Yahoo, which raised the alarm about data privacy and data protection challenges; and also allegations of an anti-diversity, sexual harassment, and discrimination culture. It was in February 2017 that Susan Fowler published her revelations against Uber (prior to the #MeToo movement). It symbolized the toxicity in Silicon Valley. All of those time-bombs started to detonate at once.

The tech companies’ responses didn’t help

When I analyzed the tech companies’ crisis responses, I had different companies and a variety of negative stories, and yet the responses were very much alike. It created what I call “The Tech PR Template for Crises.” The companies rolled out the same playbook, over and over again. It was clear; big tech got used to resting on their laurels and was not ready to give real answers to tough questions. Instead, they published the responses they kept under “open in case of emergency.”

One strategy was “The Victim-Villain framing”: “We’ve built something good, with good intentions/ previous good deeds and great policies -but- our product/ platform was manipulated/ misused by bad/malicious actors.”

The second was pseudo-apologies: Many responses included messages of “we apologize,” “deeply regret,” and “ask for forgiveness.” They were usually intertwined with “we need to do better.” This message typically comes in this order: “While we’ve made steady progress … we have much more work to do, and … we know we need to do better.” Every tech reporter heard this specific combination a million times by now.

They said, “sorry,” so why pseudo-apologies? Well, because they repeatedly tried to reduce their responsibility, with all the elements identified in number one: reminder strategy (past good work), excuse strategy (good intention), victimization (basically saying, “We are the victim of the crisis”), scapegoating (blaming others). They emphasized their suffering since they were “an unfair victim of some malicious, outside entity.”

The third thing was to state that they are proactive: “We are currently working on those immediate actions to fix this. Looking forward, we are working on those steps for improvements, minimizing the chances that it will happen again.” It’s Crisis Communication 101. But then, they added, “But our work will never be done.” I think those seven words encapsulate everything. Is the work never done because, by now, the problems are too big to fix?

It is the art of avoiding responsibility

One way to look at the companies’ PR template is to say: “Well, of course, that this is their messaging. They are being asked to stop big, difficult societal problems, and that is an impossible request.”

In reality, all of those Techlash responses backlashed. Tech companies should know (as Spider-Man fans already know) that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Since they tried to reduce their responsibility, the critics claimed that tech companies need to stop taking the role of the victim and stop blaming others. The apology tours received comments such as “don’t ask for forgiveness, ask for permission.” The critics also said that “actions should follow words.” Even after the companies specified their corrective actions, the critics claimed the companies “ignore the system” because they have no incentive for dramatic changes, like their business models. In such cases, where the media push for fundamental changes, PR can’t fix it.

The Techlash coverage is deterministic

On the one hand, there’s the theme of: “We are at a point where the baby is being thrown out with the bathwater. There was a perhaps ridiculous utopianism. But it has become just as ridiculous - if not more so - on the flip side now, of being dystopian. The pendulum has swung too far” (Evil List articles, for example). On the other hand, there’s the theme of “Journalism’s role is to hold power to account. We are just doing our job, speak truth to power, reveal wrongdoing, and put a stop to it. Whoever is saying that the media is over-correcting doesn’t understand journalism at all.”

While I articulated both themes in the book, one of the concepts that helped me organize my thoughts was ‘technological determinism.’ In a nutshell, some argue that technology is deterministic: the state of technological advancement is the determining factor of society. Others dispute that view, claiming the opposite: social forces shape and design technology, and thus, it is the society that affects technology. I realized that we could describe the Techlash coverage as deterministic: technology drives society in bad directions. Period.

Then, perhaps what the few tech advocates are pointing out is that this narrative doesn’t consider the social context or human agency. A good example was the Social Dilemma. The tech critics targeted the scare tactics used to enrage people in a documentary filled with scare tactics used to enrage people. And they didn’t even notice the irony. Sadly, since they exaggerated and the arguments were too simplistic, they made it easier to dismiss the claims, even though they were extremely important. My fear here is that the exaggerations overshadow the real concerns, and the companies become even more tone-deaf. So, perhaps, we deserve a more nuanced discussion.

It’s cool -- it’s evil” “saviors -- threats”

From the glorious days and the dot-com bubble to today’s Techlash, there were two pendulum swings; the first between “It’s cool” and “It’s evil,” the second between “saviors” and “threats.” Moving forward, I would suggest dropping them altogether. Tech is not an evil threat, nor our ultimate savior. The reality is not those extremes, but somewhere in the middle.

Dr. Nirit Weiss-Blatt is the author of The Techlash and Tech Crisis Communication

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Filed Under: donald trump, journalism, narrative, techlash


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  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 11:16am

    Words from my mother…

    When I was a small child, I would ask my mom something to the extent of "Are we better off than in the past?" and she would reply that while we now have medicines that would cure us of diseases that would have ravaged us, we also have atom bombs that would destroy us.

    The nuanced point of this blog post, and many of Mike Masnick's points is the same: Tech is a yin/yang; good and evil at the same time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 12:47am

      Re: Words from my mother…

      "Tech is a yin/yang; good and evil at the same time."

      Sorry but...that's a horrible way of putting it.

      Tech means opportunity. For everyone. Good and evil doesn't come into it. THAT part is all up to the users.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 14 Apr 2021 @ 12:14pm

    Long ago, when the Information Age was starting, I knew it would also be the MisInformation Age as well because of the humans behind it.

    Like so many other tools, it's what we do with it that matters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:01pm

    good! more! too much corporatism.

    no wonder the election was stolen.


    YOU ARE. "Submitted" (to censoring) at 11:50 Pacific:

    Okay, Maz. I'll put this in and SEE if comes out. Only you and I will know whether you're lying -- at least until I can get through your blocking again.

    If we were trying to "censor" you,

    You're not just "trying"! You say that while my comments are "hidden", with editorial warning added, and requiring extra effort of a click. -- Disadvantaged is close enough to full censoring. Just because you're trapped by prior statements doesn't mean you aren't trying to make me STOP commenting here, so be SAME EFFECT as your deleting them, right? Only you get to claim that you're not responsible!

    You seem pretending that the first goes in, and then I keep clicking. Simply not true.

    Just yesterday you were laughing at my stupidity. Today you've admitted I only get in through holes in your censoring, and you seem angry that I did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:03pm

      Re: good! more! too much corporatism.

      TD has today shown WHY the "Techlash". YOU ARE CENSORING ORDINARY VIEWS SO CORPORATISM CAN TAKE OVER.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:07pm

      Re: good! more! too much corporatism.

      That was intended as reply to Maz in the Cruz / Hawley topic. But anywhere on this tiny is okay, all gets seen, another flaw to your scheme.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:12pm

      Re: good! more! too much corporatism.

      "no wonder the election was stolen."

      Stolen with legit votes. How sad.

      Again, thank Trump by losing all his court cases about fraud. He helped proved the election was legit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:02pm

    whoa! I'm in again!

    So you're just annoyed that I keep EXPOSING you.

    Behind the scenes right here at TD, supposed "Free Speech" advocates, the actuality is that I get the "Held For Moderation" lie, mine never come out because are looked at and dumped.

    ONLY if I persist is an apparent switch clicked and I'm then allowed -- until get TOO ON-TOPIC relevant and then that browser session is canceled.

    Any system unworkable for censorship so long as SOME gets out! You just can't get people to agree to be censored, key flaw of the corporatist soft-fascism plan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:05pm

      Re: whoa! I'm in again!

      How many comments showed in your queue before you decided I'm not giving up? That's the way YOU play out of sight. I'm just wanting ORDINARY access that's apparently offered to all. I'm on-topic and civil.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:12pm

        Re: Re: whoa! I'm in again!

        Could you not be a spamming shitgibbon, just for 5 seconds? Please? K thx bai.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:23pm

        I'm just wanting ORDINARY access that's apparently offered to all.

        Then stop using TOR, asshole.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 5:32pm

        Re: Re:

        I've never seen someone try so hard to increase engagement and activity on a site he hates so much he cheered someone else's efforts to destroy it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 9:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The increased engagement thing certainly is true. The length of threads where he... uh... participates can be extraordinary.

          Some other internet destinations monetize that kind of eyeball and click magnetism.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 12:55am

        Re: Re: whoa! I'm in again!

        "I'm just wanting ORDINARY access that's apparently offered to all."

        Then, if you want to retain anonymity and security, do like everyone else does and *don't use the proxy provider guaranteed to push your comments through an exit node blacklisted as the main portal of a thousand spammers. Tor is free, yes, and you get what you pay for; an ip address guaranteed to make every spam filter in the world slam the door on your input.

        "I'm on-topic and civil."

        You really aren't. Mad accusations aren't "civil" nor is it "on-topic" to ignore the OP in favor of your personal conspiracy theory.

        On both those counts you resemble the irate drunk who won't stop bellowing about the time the grays probed his anus back in '65.

        Get yourself a genuine, reliable VPN, - like the ones recommended by pirates - get yourself an actual Techdirt account so people can follow your statements, and back your assertions up with facts, evidence, and logic.

        Then perhaps like the rest of us no one will flag your post as irrelevant spam for being irrelevant spam.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 2:03am

          Re: Re: Re: whoa! I'm in again!

          get yourself an actual Techdirt account so people can follow your statements, and back your assertions up with facts, evidence, and logic

          Why do you think he left Torrentfreak to start with after they started using the Disqus system?

          Accountability to copyright advocates is like sunlight to vampires.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Apr 2021 @ 4:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: whoa! I'm in again!

            "Why do you think he left Torrentfreak to start with after they started using the Disqus system?"

            Oh, I know. Once he was unable to log on and pretend to be six different people all backing up his latest argument he was gone.

            Ironically here, five years or more later, he's currently going the distance advocating that anonymous posting should be legislated out of existence. Apparently without a single thought that once again he advocates his own permanent muzzling.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Apr 2021 @ 2:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: whoa! I'm in again!

              Once he was unable to log on and pretend to be six different people all backing up his latest argument he was gone.

              There was that fitta account that ran around for a bit - but frankly once K'Tetch started putting his foot down bobmail finally gave up trying to push the pro-Prenda narrative.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Jojo (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:27pm

      Re: whoa! I'm in again!

      Listen, idiot. You’re not exposing anything. You don’t have proof. You don’t have sources. You are spouting nonsense. The only thing that you’re exposing is yourself as a complete, utterly egotistical ignoramus. I suggest that you take a break from the internet for a while, do your goddamn research to know the difference between moderation and censorship, and come back here with a coherent argument that doesn’t resort to exclamation points or pointless bold lettering.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 14 Apr 2021 @ 4:12pm

        Re: Re: whoa! I'm in again!

        Listen, idiot. You’re not exposing anything. You don’t have proof. You don’t have sources. You are spouting nonsense. The only thing that you’re exposing is yourself as a complete, utterly egotistical ignoramus.

        Are you calling him presidential material?

        I suggest that you take a break from the internet for a while, do your goddamn research to know the difference between moderation and censorship, and come back here with a coherent argument that doesn’t resort to exclamation points or pointless bold lettering.

        Who is going to vote for someone talking over their head?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    crade (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:23pm

    Speaking of scapegoating..

    You don't need an art to avoid responsibility that isn't yours.
    It's not the phone company's fault that your friend lied to you on the phone.
    The tech companies have actually been taking responsibility and trying to deal with problems not at all of their making.. They are hammer manufactures trying to figure out how to keep people from choosing to bash someone over the head with hammers. They aren't mitigating problems that they caused or contributed to they are just getting blamed for the bad actions of others who happen to use their general purpose services and trying to figure out how to use their "great power" to solve age old societal problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crade (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 1:47pm

      Re:

      Rather than spiderman they are going to end up mirroring old Batman looking back in angst considering how they made things so much worse by using their "great power" to "fix" others' actions that are none of their business and an elected government should be taking responsibility for

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Darkness Of Course (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 2:43pm

    Don't forget the snake from Redmond

    MSFT had a decades long "Screw Google" campaign. It pushed the "too big" argument, and while personally failing at privacy urged that Google's entire business was about violating people/citizens/users privacy - for profit.

    Which, oddly enough, is at least as difficult to get out of MSFT privacy agreements as they are at Google.

    I am not saying they were the cause of this swing, but don't forget they have been paying for breakfast in DC for a long, long time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 4:01pm

      Re: Don't forget the snake from Redmond

      I think Oracle is far more to blame than Microsoft, to be frank. At least Microsoft creates stuff.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 1:03am

        Re: Re: Don't forget the snake from Redmond

        "At least Microsoft creates stuff."

        Microsoft also swung around a while ago, from "open source and free tech is the devil" to "Free tech is great, we can't get enough of it, and we'd rather people pirate our stuff than use the competition". These days I'm actually giving MS the benefit of doubt that it's an honest mistake when their updates fuck up my rig.

        Oracle, otoh, has always been the snake in the grass. Never making that much noise, just making sure to lock-in their extortionate business practices and funneling money to the lobbies.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 14 Apr 2021 @ 4:13pm

      Re: Don't forget the snake from Redmond

      Also, there's another Snake in Redmond: Nintendo of America's Headquarters.

      Twin Snakes, perhaps?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 5:02pm

      Re: Don't forget the snake from Redmond

      Since the last attempts of the DOJ to file antitrust against MSFT, they have been throwing shade at anyone else for that reason as well. Nuuuu, look at teh shiny over there!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 3:17pm

    Moderation at scale is still hard

    But then, they added, “But our work will never be done.”

    I think those seven words encapsulate everything. Is the work never done because, by now, the problems are too big to fix?

    The answer to that question, as folks who have been paying attention here know, is "they have never once been small enough, or well defined enough, to 'fix'." Moderation at scale is hard. And moderation at all will never satisfy everyone.

    This can be seen even in "Evil Corporations list" that the author points to an example of. One company is chastised for being slow to take down objectionable third party material, and another company is chastised for taking down material a government objects to.

    You apparently can't even quit the game:
    (The One Evil thing about Twitter)

    "Dorsey announced a high-flying idea to decentralize social networks that evoked the ideals of an older, purer internet. But some critics saw the proposal as a convenient way for Twitter to eventually offload responsibility for what its users do."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2021 @ 5:03pm

      Re: Moderation at scale is still hard

      Heaven forbid smaller communities police themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 12:28am

      Re: Moderation at scale is still hard

      Why should Twitter be responsible for what its users do in the first place?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re: Moderation at scale is still hard

        Because they want control and power. Making it diffuse and popular would be the last thing they want.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Drew Wilson, 14 Apr 2021 @ 6:44pm

    Trump Exacerbated the Techlash

    I don't think I agree with Trump being the cause of the so-called "techlash". He certainly exacerbated it to be sure, but the development towards it was building before he arrived on the scene so to speak.

    Before Trump was elected, there was a major push to try and normalize "FANGS" as this monolithic terrible thing that must be stopped at all costs. Netflix was being blamed for the downfall of rental video stores. Facebook was being blamed for the spread of anti-vaxxer information. Facebook was also buying up smaller companies and seemingly skirting anti-trust rules to retain their dominance. Amazon was being blamed for the cratering of brick and mortar retail stores (I believe someone used the phrase "Retailpocalypse"). Certain game developers were (rightfully in my opinion) being blasted for loot boxes being little more than a gimmick for skirting rules about gambling. YouTube's ContentID was screwing over smaller creators. Countless large sites were losing people's personal information which helped convince European lawmakers to pass GDPR in 2018 (meaning it was building up to that moment long before then). This was, rightfully or wrongfully, leading towards a wave of criticism of what "big tech" had become.

    After that, Trump came along. It started with the Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal. This bled over into the spread of misinformation and the fake "anti-Conservative bias" which has been debunked long ago. Trumps administration did feel like a whole eternity of "now what is that guy and his enablers breaking?". Trump ultimately shifted and rearranged the focus of what the "techlash" ultimately became (exacerbating it in the process), but I disagree that he ultimately started it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2021 @ 1:05am

    Tech companies made the mistake of using the customer-service apology. When you ritually preface every statement with "I'm sorry," everyone knows you don't really mean it. But it still signals that you're not ready to stand your ground on the matter.

    They didn't stand their ground, merely whimpered uselessly while allowing themselves to be saddled with the impossible responsibility of magically stopping all the "bad speech" in the world. Which is how we get to today, with everyone constanly blaming them for using the wrong definition of "bad." Every decision wrong for someone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Barry Winters (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 11:19am

    ...the Techlash

    US culture thrives on pendulums. The middle is static and evil since constant motion is "good". It seems that business theory is based on keeping things moving-the pendulum, rather than accepting a static middle where the pendulum stops and life is "good". That's why I have preached the goal of a Radical Middle for over 50 years! Progress is good, but monetized progress pushed to extremes always results in bad shite.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Apr 2021 @ 2:43pm

      Progress comes not from fighting for the status quo, but from fighting against it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2021 @ 10:16pm

        Re:

        But Stone, your side is the status quo. Masnick's worldview is the Establishment now. You guys won. Do you not see that?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rocky, 18 Apr 2021 @ 4:02pm

          Re: Re:

          But Stone, your side is the status quo. Masnick's worldview is the Establishment now. You guys won. Do you not see that?

          I think you are missing something obvious, pointing out bullshit never ends as long there are assholes misusing what power they have. Status quo comes from assholes protecting and expanding what power they have, and fighting against that leads to progress. Since human nature is what human nature is, getting rid of the assholes is a never-ending task, as evidenced by the assholes coming to this forum and shitting all over.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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