The Facebook problem

How did this social-media behemoth evolve from a college project to an international phenomenon with the insidious potential to sway democratic elections both in America and the UK?

The simple answer lies in users’ desire to be noticed, to feel special, to be “published.” Not even the FBI imagined that people would willfully expose themselves so thoroughly and unabashedly. Social media seemed, on its face, a benign way of sharing family photos and announcing special events. But we now realize that “putting yourself out there” invites strangers in.

Information mining, we now know, resulted in an election where 3 million votes were not enough of a majority in a democratic election where every votes is supposed to count. If subversive elements can influence voting in a few states, the popular vote is overruled and democracy fails. Facebook users were exposed to all kinds of political myths and madness. Malcontents rarely care about counter evidence.

In a perfect society, citizens arm themselves with verifiable facts relating to social and political issues, and world affairs via a free and fact-based press, So, too, do we discern the character of a person by their actions, not just their self-serving words. Does the person lie or cheat? Does he or she flatter themselves and refuse to apologize for abuses? There are many barometers by which we can assess the nature of a person, especially a person that seeks to lead our country – matters involving experience, judgment, and temperament. The thing about corruption is that, by definition, it eats away at the facade and inevitably becomes apparent.

Americans are now in a place where they are motivated to restore faith in our democratic institutions because that faith has been shaken by one chaotic man. Our next choice must be made by voters who are clear eyed, determined, and informed. Maybe it’s time we took responsibility for protecting against needless intrusion into our privacy and ensure that our votes are decisions that represent the best interests of our government and all of us.

– Sandra Gill

More in Letters to the Editor

Let’s clarify the federal budget process

Regarding Mr. Valentine’s letter (“Shame on us for bringing aboard Trump,” Feb.… Continue reading

Wanted: a better president

Kudos to Harold Valentine for his well written letter in the Feb.… Continue reading

Inslee: tend to ‘our Washington’

Washington is last in earthquake preparedness. It is near the top in… Continue reading

‘National wealth tax’ doesn’t add up to a solution

In response to last week’s letter calling for a “national wealth tax:”… Continue reading

Gov. Inslee, you’re not the right fit for president

Gov. Jay Inslee, cool your jets. You are not presidential material. Let’s… Continue reading

Seriously, your view is skewed

Regarding: “Presenting a view from the right” (Reporter, letters to the editor,… Continue reading

Casting a dim shadow over Trump

Regarding the Nov. 30 “Brighter Side of Trump” letter: the policies of… Continue reading

Presenting a view from the right

You should hear from a Trump supporter now and then just to:… Continue reading

Time is now to support fight against Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is the only leading cause of death that cannot be… Continue reading

Online school keeps us sailing

We enrolled our son, Alex, in Washington Virtual Academy in Kindergarten (WAVA)… Continue reading

Why not investigate Joe Fain rape accusation?

The last two Auburn Reporters reported about the investigation into the rape… Continue reading

Homelessness requires care, accountability

Responding to Michael Colasurdo’s comments in a letter to the editor, “Stop… Continue reading