Another week and another example of President Trump getting the press to talk about exactly what he wants them to talk about, and that’s the fact that social media and tech companies are stifling free speech.
Of course, the media was quick to defend companies like Google and Facebook, not even realizing that if anyone other than Trump accused Google or Facebook for being evil, most people would agree. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just spent days in front of congress apologizing for how his company abused user’s data and privacy, followed up by several stories of Facebook trying to pressure banks to give up financial information on users.
Around that same time, a leaked internal Google video showed how they want to create an algorithm so hungry for personal data, that if it didn’t have a specific type of data on someone, it would show that person advertising for electronic products that would allow the algorithm to then get the data via that suggested product. For example, if Google didn’t know your marital status, it would push you towards sites and products to try to determine that info.
As creepy as all this is, it should now start to become clear why Trump wanted to put the media in the position of defending these obviously creepy and often times evil companies.
But here is the real reason, Trump is going after independent and undecided voters. Those are going to be the easiest to add to the base of support. Many of these people are not too involved in politics on a day to day basis, but I would easily bet that most of them have a negative view of Google and Facebook. Many of these people have witnessed what we all have witnessed. Talking about a product then suddenly seeing ads for it, or their Google Android phone tracking their every move even after turning off the tracking option.
The key point is that most people have a negative view of the invasive privacy practices of these companies, despite using them almost everyday as we all do. So for them, hearing the press defend these companies simply doesn’t ring true. So this ends up becoming a winning issue for Trump because most people are already suspicious of these giant tech companies and it’s not a partisan issue until the media makes it one.
It’s very similar to the NFL controversy where players chose to kneel during the National Anthem. The media immediately took the position of defending the players, but most people have no sympathy for millionaire football players who only work a few hours a year. Once again, it was a winning issue for Trump and it was proven with polling as well as attendance and viewership of NFL games on TV, both of which were down.
Attacking these tech companies is the exact same scenario. If you asked random people if they think most tech companies like Google and Facebook are up to no good, most people would agree with that statement. Of course, once you say that Trump is the one questioning those tech companies, then everyone takes a side including the media. But for independent and undecided voters, it’s a winning issue by far for Trump.
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