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

Is our country safer loaded with guns?

I find it telling that Mr. Malinski’s May 24 letter (“Stricter gun… Continue reading

Time to act is now to save our planet

“Time is now to embrace Green New Deal” (June 7, Kent Reporter)… Continue reading

A costly effort

Green New Deal, right. Nothing “green” about it – a massive wind… Continue reading

Time is now to embrace Green New Deal

Climate change is happening here and now – recently with record fires… Continue reading

Leadership and homelessness

The KOMO special “Seattle is Dying” validates the homeless crisis. … ”Whether… Continue reading

Trump watch: investigate, don’t impeach him

I believe in investigating Trump. Congress must do this, but I don’t… Continue reading

Senator’s sorry remarks reflect divided Olympia

Sen. Maureen Walsh’s comment about nurses spending their day playing cards after… Continue reading

Really above the law?

Bob Roegner’s article (“Are sheriffs above the law?” Kent Reporter, April 12)… Continue reading

A thank you to Reichert, Schrier for supporting causes

Great to see former Congressman Reichert honored for his hard and often… Continue reading

Let’s look at a balanced, fair tax code

Washington tax laws are unfair and unproportioned. The 1 percent pay 3… Continue reading

Kent must do more to protect pedestrians

A mother who was walking with her two young children in a… Continue reading

Our system works better

A few quick comments about “What really defines socialist country,” a letter… Continue reading