n the midst of a crisis, such as the attempted coup at the United States Capitol, we naturally long for answers. If you are anything like me, you likely doomscrolled most of the day and night, hoping to grasp what just took place and what it means for our future as a nation.
On Friday evening, Twitter officially suspended the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, from its platform for violating its stated community policies related to inciting violence and spreading false information. This suspension comes after the heinous attack on the United States Capitol on Wednesday, inspired by the president and his key supporters, following a rally on the National Mall.
2020 was a year that not only challenged the fortitude of our families but also the fabric of our nation. Last year we saw many complex ethical issues arise from our use of technology in society and as individuals.
Throughout my childhood many saw me as a very confident young man. I was typically up front and vocal about things, confidently asserting my knowledge, skill, and abilities even if I did so with a subdued confidence. I grew up thinking I needed to prove myself in order to be loved, and that desire was often projected through my achievements.
I am often struck at how prophetic many older books on technology are in light of our modern debates over technology and the role of social media in our lives. It is far too easy to believe that many of the problems we face today are completely new and have no historical background or insight.
In recent months, a new social media platform gained growing popularity in light of controversies over content moderation and fact-checking on traditional social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Parler was launched in August of 2018 by John Matze, Jared Thomson, and Rebekah Mercer.
Social media can sometimes bring out the best in humanity. But more often than not, it shows the glaring friction and breakdown of civil discourse in our communities. Social media has become the main place for each of us to get the news, share our thoughts (and our hot takes), signal our political allegiances, and connect with others in the midst of ongoing social distancing and gathering restrictions.