Neilizms, is the political voice of artist/actor and writer Neil Feigeles. After spending most of life quietly on the side watching the Powers That Be throw us practically in a ditch, as racism and greed have taken over the political world we live in. As I watch the rest of the world seemingly catching up to ours, I find it hard to believe ours is going backwards...
Sunday, June 18, 2017
FACEBOOK TROLLS ARE GONNA BE THE DEATH OF ME. IF NOT ME, MAYBE JUST OUR DEMOCRACY ITSELF!
Looks like I might have to start a strike against Facebook too. Seems the trolls are like tribbles and I’m seriously needing to beam up and get away from all of them
IT’S GETTING TO THE POINT OF NO RETURN! Not a day goes by that I am not confronted by a never-ending troll-fest of foreign origin. So I guess this is part two of Putin’s plan to destroy America. Part one was to disrupt the election. Well that worked out well for them. Part two is pitting Americans against one another by sharing polls, fake news and conspiracies. What boggles my mind is how many people share the lies without realizing who is sharing it in the first place or what the shared item really is pitching. Lets not also forget that those who comment on the shares themselves, may have fallen into their traps. Boy do I sound like conspiracy nut or what? Unfortunately what was once an annoyance, an accidental discovery, a once in while jolt to my anger button, has become a bombardment of epic proportions. At first I simply blocked, or commented, or ignored, but then I noticed a pattern forming. It wasn’t bad enough that the propaganda that was being shared were obviously from people I didn’t agree with, but it appeared all of them were from other nations. I was accused by someone of doing what the cops do, profiling the trolls because of where they came from or what their names were. So I’m being accused of what King Joffrey is trying to pull with his travel band, now I better take a look in the mirror, cause maybe I am being anti-Russian as opposed to anti Vladimir Putin. Well if it looks like a troll, acts like a troll, shares posts that only a troll would, they’re trolls in my book. If they aren’t I apologize in advance, but better safe than sorry. So my mission of late is to out and remove all the trolls that I find. In fact I take screen caps, and after blocking and reporting the probable trolls, I share a post in whatever group the troll originally posted the spam in. I explain why I did my blocking and I suggest that the administrators of the group on Facebook investigate my allegation. Guess I am now the Troll police. But the funny thing is is, I don’t want to be. I am wasting too much time doing the job that should have been done in the first place by others. I’m seriously thinking of dropping Facebook for good, because of all the time I’ve wasted having to block and report and post my own Troll Police report. That is unless they clean up their act sometime soon.
Even if Donald Trump had nothing to do with collusion with the Soviet empire, Vladimir’s countrymen who constantly show up on Facebook and other social media sites, sharing conspiracies, ratcheting up rhetoric, simply pushing people’s buttons, are seriously driving me crazy. If anything has done more than trolls on social networks to destroy our way of life here in The United States of America, I’m not sure what that could be. Now that the Russians have gotten their wish and the citizens have given our country over to a wannabe dictator, why do the trolls continue their onslaught? The problem with trolls online is a similar problem to having to deal with junk mail. If you respond or try to remove yourself from their mailing list, that actually makes the matters worse. Instead of never seeing another e-mail from them, we instead are now deluged with even more junk mail. What I currently do whenever I receive an e-mail I think is spam or junk is I see what the entire e-mail address of the sender is, not just the name showcased. I created a ‘wrong’ number contact in my phone list, and I save the spammers into it. Its funny when I receive those e-mails now on my phone, cause immediately I know to trash them. Sadly, that contact list on my phone isn’t connected to my land line e-mail service. Long story short, I have AT&T for phone and Verizon for e-mail, or should I write AOL since Verizon purchased AOL to do their e-mail service. So sadly the e-mails I delete on my phone aren’t deleted on my land line and the addresses that I’ve changed on my phone aren’t. Which means, I get to delete every blessed e-mail twice. Plus the transformed e-mail addresses, aren’t different on Verizon. Mental note, find out how to sync my phone contact list with my land line e-mail address account. I recently had a terrible experience with my e-mail. As I mentioned, AOL is now in charge of the Verizon e-mails. For whatever reason, the AOL spam blocker caused some e-mails to either immediately be put in the spam folder or e-mails were bumped back to whomever sent them. After several long phone conversations with tech help from AOL, I decided to disable my spam blocker. Removing the problems I was now dealing with, of course creating other issues for myself. Simply since there is no spam filter, I get to trash every freaking nightmare e-mailmyself, and I am not a happy e-mailer.
Now there are three types of trolls, the first and most obvious trolls are either Republicans who share right wing homophobic anti-woman, pro gun, pro Confederate flag anti Hillary and Obama hating rhetoric, or visuals that are pretty much in your face disgusting. The second type of trolls are far left Bernie Sanders followers who spread the never ending whine fest why HIllary should just go away and why Bernie is our savior. But the third and most prevalent are Trolls from foreign lands who share items that at first glance might make you possibly agree with the sentiment but eventually usually make you want to punch your wall. My least favorite trolls are those with polls on their share. Questions on candidates, on abortion, on democracy, that always make you shake your head and ponder whose the idiot who shared this garbage. I get why Americans might be interested in some of these polls or somebody’s conspiracies, or anything to do with our country. But what are people from Macedonia and other Russian satellite nations doing on my Facebook feed and why are they sharing what they are sharing?
How do these trolls even get access to my feed? How do they get on my friends feed? On anyone’s feed in the United States of America? I get thats the beauty of social networking, meeting and dealing with people from all over the world. But why is Facebook allowing these monsters who are trying to manipulate the citizens of the United States access at all? What kind of vetting process are the social networks doing anyway, if any? Seriously when and how was this allowed to happen? Recently Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that there is problem, but I'm not sure if that’s all he’s done to alleviate the issues or has he actually done more than just talk. Lets hope something. I mean don’t these Russians or where ever they come from, have their own country to worry about? Oh that’s right, they can’t troll their own democracy, since Russia for example probably doesn’t allow it. But why are they trolling our citizens? Perhaps because they’re working for the Russian leader themselves? So shouldn’t that suggest to Facebook that maybe they should automatically block people from there to our feeds? Sorry, if I offend other Russians who aren’t trolls, but if you agree with the problem, you have to acknowledge that this is a huge issue with political ramifications that still haven’t become apparent. We all know by now that Russia tried to play with our election. They according to most of our top espionage experts, the Russian back hackers had tried to manipulate the minds of the American people into believing the lies that they were flooding our online world. That is unless you actually believe Donald Trump’s word salad that even the accusations of Russian hacking is simply Hillary Clinton spreading fake news. Well I believed Hillary when she said that Donald was a puppet to Putin, and I believed and still believe that the Russians hacked our election and flooded our online world. Sadly I see evidence of it every day. They spread a nonstop stream of made up conspiracies about Hillary Clinton to help millions of people believe that she was crooked. Apparently that stream has transformed our social network feeds into a river of Russian anti-American propaganda and conspiracies. So when will it stop? When will the powers-that-be over, and I’m talking to you Zuckerberg, when will you guys take some blame for people helping Donald Trump win the election. I get that some people will always get through the cracks, but like Donald Trump who wants to deny access to Muslims in the United States because they are dangerous supposedly to our way of life, why doesn’t Facebook block people from foreign nations from flooding American citizens on their feeds?
A few weeks back I decided to start a viewership strike against CNN, mostly because I’m sick of the liars that they constantly have on their airwaves. But what got me to make the decision on the strike was their censorship to voices who don’t agree with Donald Trump. Well Facebook you may be my next company on the list. I spend more time on their site blocking and reporting people from foreign nations than I do enjoying the posts that my friends, loved ones, family, and fellow Americans actually share with me. As I like to say to anybody that I’m dealing with when it comes to entertainment, this is supposed to be fun, not work. To whomever is listening at Facebook, nobody should have to be confronted by a pack of trolls on a daily basis on their feeds. I was under the impression that we say yes to the people we get to see, isn’t that their pitch? What makes the problem worse with Facebook is, you can’t find a human being to complain to about things like this. Here’s the perfect example of why that’s a terrible policy. A few years back somebody contacted me on Facebook wanting to be my Facebook friend. I checked out her feed as I normally do when asked, and she looked okay. In fact on her feed it showcased that she actually worked for Facebook and had pictures online to prove she worked with Zuckerberg himself. So I said cool and yes to her offer of friendship. Well within a few minutes she messengered me to give me the great news that I had won some kind of lottery given to their best and most active members. I was surprised to say the least, and no, I didn’t believe it for a second, but I went on with the game to see how far it would go. And of course that little voice in my head telling me that this isn’t a scam and I’m gonna be rich kept talking to me in my head. I mean come on, if this was real, whoo whoo I’d be rich! Well, it wasn’t, you are correct, it was a scam. The highlight was when she forwarded a picture of a previous winner holding one of those oversized checks. One small problem with the visual was the obvious photoshop section on the check where the Facebook logo sat swimming inside a white knockout over the real check background color. So as soon as I saw the photo and the badly retouched section smacked me in my face, I googled searched the winners name that was written on the check. Sure enough the man had won a lottery, but it wasn’t a Facebook lottery, it was a state lotto. Hysterically not only did the google search find the truth out for me, it also showcased the same photo online for all the world to find. So after I discovered the truth, I contacted my scammer and reported her and blocked her from my feed. But what got me more upset than the original lottery scam was when I tried to contact anyone at Facebook, I walked into a brick wall. It turns out you can’t speak to anyone. All you can do is vent online enough times that you start losing friends and surely gain lots more enemies. Seriously this issue of not being able to touch base with a human is ridiculous. I get that its a free site, but I also get that they are making billions of dollars on us, their patrons. I think its time for a little payback.
In closing, I’m not sure when the take over of our Facebook feed began. Perhaps it’s always been there without us realizing it. Perhaps its conspiracy talk, but constantly we hear how Facebook tweaks our feed, with ads like we are all subjects in some sort of nationwide or world wide science experiment. Some in the media have discussed the troll problem and thankfully at least some have called the problem one of the major reasons Hillary Clinton lost the election. Recently it was revealed that Bernie Sanders followers, or more accurately the ones who became his most strident supporters, during the campaign were flooded with anti Hillary posts from trolls. Seems the constant bombardment of lies worked to forge a level of mistrust in enough independents and democrats to turn a probable Hillary Clinton landslide into an historic defeat. Sadly like other things that was created to help people, Facebook may in the end be the instrument that dooms our species. Wow, so I’m comparing Facebook to a Terminator. Now, I am a conspiracy nut. But if as some say, the shares that the trolls have covered my Facebook feed are an instrument by a foreign adversary, isn’t it my patriotic duty to find and report all trolls I am confronted by. And if I realize that what I’m seeing is warping my way of looking at things, isn’t it again my patriotic duty to say goodbye to Facebook altogether. My only trepidation is by leaving the site, I am leaving all of my Facebook friends in the lurch. So in the end, maybe that’s my calling. Perhaps this is why I actually joined Facebook in the first place. I had thought it was to launch my political blog, but maybe it was simply to rid our world of Russian trolls. Maybe that’s what I was born to do. So trollers beware, the sheriff’s in town. The Troll Police officer has arrived, and its hign noon in Macedonia.