2020: The Big Cancel

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, 2018 — Anand Giridharadas

Coffee can only help a morning routine so much during these times.

I take a sip as I subject myself to the frenzy that is social media, where extremists with a knack for coding sway the public conversation via malicious bot. I see another teacher, coworker, family member regurgitate the bot propaganda and I read another article graphing the growing wealth of the 1% through a pandemic where people are suffering to put food on the table. I see a public callout to cancel an artist while the government continues to allow anti-black injustice prevail. I see a cute picture of a cat.

It’s easy to say we have a choice in the conversations we’re exposed to, but we don’t. It’s easy to pretend that what we witness online is a direct representation of reality, but it’s not.

The conversations I witnessed and/or engaged in over the past few years years have been completely out of my control and out of your control. After going through thousands of propaganda content generators on Facebook and Twitter, it’s clear who has had a huge impression on the American conversation.

A bit about myself: I am 24 years old, a self-taught software engineer in healthcare, and a night-time hacker. I was permanently suspended from Twitter for using automation tools to mass-report propaganda accounts on Twitter, mostly associated with QAnon (which Twitter announced they are now suspending 150k accounts). I am from the Ozarks, Missouri and I have made my career in New York City, San Francisco, Sonoma, and now Los Angeles. I was successful in taking down about 800 accounts before my accounts’ demise.

2020 can still be a defining year for me, despite moving to LA only to be met with Covid and more propaganda to distract me from my reality.

I am cancelling Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter amongst other tech-giants like Seamless and Grubhub, but for the intentions of this post I am going to focus on Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter.

I. Cancel Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg Miming a Normal Human

Facebook has proved itself to be the King social media unifier. It is the place you go to find your hometown sweethearts quickly and easily.

It is also the place of denial. Continually, the creator Mark Zuckerberg and his legal team have defended -through messy use of legal jargon- hosting political/health misinformation and misusing and selling personal data, all of which have had real, negative impacts on the state of our country.

II. Cancel Amazon

Jeff Bezos Keeping One Eye on the Prize, and the Other on Underserved Workers

Amazon’s owner Jeff Bezos has shown his commitment toward wealth growth, and it hasn’t slowed down during a global pandemic. I don’t care to discuss the particulars of his wealth accumulation, because by human nature, large numbers past a few hundred thousand begin to lose perspective and cause the conversation to once again shift away from reality.

The reality is that Jeff Bezos has become the wealthiest man in the world by using the same terrible tactics most wealthy American capitalists have; horrible work-place environments, unrealistic expectations, low wages, minimal give-back programs (just enough to be a worthy-enough tax write-off, because like our President, Jeff doesn’t like to pay taxes), and greed.

III. Cancel Twitter

Jack Dorsey Grows a Beard to Appear More Likeable

I put Twitter last because I do have to give them *some* props. After messaging with Twitter for months that they need to do something about the QAnon bot system and the systems’ ties to the presidency, they say they finally are. This comes after another shooting by an extremist influenced by the same system that exists on 4Chan, 8Kun. This comes after they suspended me for my use of automation to detect propaganda accounts.

Again, I am an uneducated, 24 year old with not many friends from rural, poor Missouri, and even I was able to see that something needed to be done before it turned into 1942.

Twitter only engages in affirmative behavior when it’s convenient for them, but I do appreciate their openness to be more affirmative.

Cancel Our Oppressors. Cancel the ones who control our conversations and the reflection of reality before anyone else.

In addition to the fundamental issues facing disinformation and its’ impact of reality, it also comes in a time of BLM protests. The police force face a similar story to Facebook and Twitter. They’ve been shown to be reckless and manipulative, pushing out disinformation, and are fine with a reflection of reality that is untrue and harmful.

This story of men in power controlling how history is written, how reality is shown is what I am cancelling in 2020.

I am writing my own story around a reality that exists in a way that is helpful.





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