The Social Media Trap

At this point you cannot get away from social media. While it seems like another communication tool to keep us all connected, it is a multi-billion dollar advertising juggernaut. While you are championing a cause, or looking at YT for the latest boycott video, someone else is making money. Think about this very carefully! There is a worldwide trend to capitalize from our daily tragic events from police brutality to the election of Trump. It seems everybody wants you to sign up, log-in, be a member, etc. At the end of the day it seems the end game is to fuel the new digital Nielsen family in order to profit or at least build an audience for “personal” gain.

What initially alerted me was the stream of ads that popped up while viewing a tragic event on YT. Efforts to be informed are being channeled right into the profits of Facebook , Google, Twitter, etc. whom don’t employ many people of color. Is it possible that content is being created to exploit the number of views in order to sell more advertising? If you are a Twitter shareholder are you mad at Trump’s promotion of Twitter? Of course not.

At first one would think it’s ironic that a liberal tech company could benefit from Trump’s politics. But if they are so “liberal” my efforts to locate the Google Gymnasium in Oakland for kids came up empty. My efforts to locate the Facebook Computer Center in poor areas of San Francisco came up empty. My efforts to find the Microsoft Health Care Facility for Single Mothers came up again…empty. And Bill Gates will proudly step over places like Oakland and feed African children because these types of programs maintain dependency without restoring long term “dignity” to people of color in his own country. That my friends is not some simple oversight. Even Mark Zuckerberg who claims to give all his money away, probably won’t change people’s lives or income status in the shape that provides sustainable long term dignity which is verifiable and measurable.

All this to say that the new technology revenue stream may be exploiting the people through the strategic design to build social media ad revenue. In a perfect world, maybe a non-for-profit media archive that could be a YT/FB alternative but owned by legit people of color. There is no question that social media has sparked attention to matters that would not get exposure by the traditional news outlets. My point is perhaps now it is time to take the audience away from YT, FB, Twitter, etc. and redirect these dollars toward legitimate businesses owned and operated by people of color!

As for the boycott, I think it’s excellent with the following comments:

1. A “countdown” is a launch of something big, not a maybe or a threat.

2. A genuine boycott lasts for at least 6 months as it takes to see actual sales trends. A few weeks is pointless. It should START on MLK day. The law is non-negotiable and lobbyists of some sort must be created.

Thank you!

Peabody Sherman

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