Want a peek into the deranged minds of the American people?
Look no further than the striking contrast between the most shared links on Facebook vs. Twitter.
According to content aggregation site BuzzSumo, over the past week the most shared story on Facebook about the tragedy going on in Ferguson is this piece from the Conservative Tribune, which has 93540 Facebook Shares (as of 2:46 EST, 8/14/2014).
The article highlights a video from a “young black man containing a message for the black community and rioters, challenging them to stop blaming police and white people and start taking responsibility for their own actions.”
While liberal media is continuing to stir the pot, there are plenty of common sense folk in the area who are voicing their opinion about the shooting and rioting thanks to the power of the Internet.
Awesome. This young man is absolutely right. Regardless of color, every person in the country needs to learn to take responsibility for themselves and the actions they take.
It’s a tragedy that a young man, regardless of his skin color, has had his life rubbed out. This should be the focus here, that a family has lost a child due to poor decision making.
A tragedy of this magnitude should serve as a cautionary tale about the consequences that come with the choices and decisions that are made on a daily basis, not the color of a person’s skin.
None of this should be surprising coming from a website whose tagline is “In Defense of Western Civilization.” Why blame the militarization of police or ingrained racism when you have the “liberal media” to kick around? However the most sickening part is that they completely ignore the police brutality and mishandling of the situation by blaming the killing of Michael Brown on “poor decision making.” It’s such a ridiculous (ahem) cop out, yet, it’s all too common amongst these right-wing sites to never speak a word of ill will towards the police, especially when a minority is in the cross hairs.
Contra the race-baiting, police apologetic being passed around on Facebook, Twitter’s most Retweeted link is “I am Mike Brown Live from Ferguson, MO”, a Livestream from KARG Argus radio showing videos of the protests. I assure you, you won’t find any police appeasement there.
Looking further into the most shared stories, we find an interesting mix of news and putrescent “think pieces” on the Facebook side of things.
Top 5 most shared on Facebook:
- http://conservativetribune.com/black-american-message-rioters/– 93,540
- http://www.businessinsider.com/police-militarization-ferguson-2014 – 82,542
- http://mic.com/articles/95930/anonymous-just-released-this-powerful-video-statement-on-the-michael-brown-shooting 67,589
- http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/08/11/police-officers-arent-the-ones-destroying-the-black-community/ 60,519
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-ferguson-washington-post-reporter-wesley-lowery-gives-account-of-his-arrest/2014/08/13/0fe25c0e-2359-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html 57,951
Following up the “Black America has a Message for the Race Rioters” we have noted idiot Matt Walsh clocks in at #4 with his latest tragedy-baiting screed. An article about the dangers of police militarization and a Washington Post reporter’s account of being arrested also make the list.
On Twitter, we find actual news reports and reputable sources: Washington Post x2, Business Insider, and the New York Times.
Top 5 Shared on Twitter:
- http://new.livestream.com/accounts/9035483/events/3271930 – 55,606
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-ferguson-washington-post-reporter-wesley-lowery-gives-account-of-his-arrest/2014/08/13/0fe25c0e-2359-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html – 16,110
- http://www.businessinsider.com/police-militarization-ferguson-2014-8 – 14,795
- http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/us/ferguson-police-cite-safety-risk-in-decision-not-to-name-officer-in-shooting.html – 12,237
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/national/post-reporter-detained-in-ferguson/2014/08/13/b0fc5720-2354-11e4-8b10-7db129976abb_video.html – 9,454
So what does this all mean?
That there’s a lot of people on Facebook, and there are a lot of users who are living in fearful white-only bubbles.
Facebook currently has over 150 million users in the United States compared to Twitter’s 37 million. But even with the massive amounts of users, there’s little danger in sharing a controversial article on Facebook.
The (almost certain) homogeneity in the networks of those who shared the “blame the black people, not the police” pieces preclude anyone from outside their friends from ever seeing it. Twitter’s open structure, on the other hand, allows for outsiders to comment, shame, and call-out anyone (for better and for worse).
Basically, on Facebook racists and those who would rather cast aspersions on the black community instead of the police are free to do so without repercussion.
And the numbers don’t lie.