Asaf Shimoni

The media and the world’s first major detwitter

How detwitterment has significant political implications.

US President Donald Trump’s twitter account is responsible for his election in 2016 and has allowed him to gain a major political base with 88 million followers.

Many of his supporters’ prime source of information are Trump tweets and media outlets whose information is often made-up or speculative at best. This Orwellian situation, in which the most powerful country in the world is governed by fantasy tweets, is the logical culmination of media control and censorship. Trump is a product of the ‘Me Generation’ – a Cold War media reaction to the era of protest in the 1960s and 1970s, when we were told that people who protested had ‘old’ ideas. After years of manipulation and indoctrination the Me Generation arose, millions of people who sound like squawking media soundbites.

Brainwashed into a state of apathy

We live in a world of nearly 8 billion people who all watch and read the same limited supply of news. Large swathes of forest are destroyed every day and millions of animals painfully killed. It is no coincidence that these topics are not daily headlines – at most something that will be dealt with in 2030 or 2050 – while we should be stopping the destruction and torture today. Shouldn’t the news ask why we don’t stop cutting down trees? Stop building cars? Stop hunting? Stop killing animals in a cruel manner for food out of sheer greed? Suggest the use of birth control in Africa? That we stop destroying the remainder of the natural world now? No, we watch commercials, sports and headlines. The media is controlled by money. We have been brainwashed into a state of apathy.

The culmination of subconscious rebellion against a manipulated reality, in conjunction with the rise of Trump to save the billionaires from Bernie Sanders, has given us rule by tweet. Now, for the first time ever, a significant twitter account has been temporarily suspended. Twitter has released the following statement: “As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy.”

Detweetment, a new political move of major significance. Obstructing his twitter account will reduce much of Trump’s influence in one swoop. But with our commercialized limited attention spans, how will we save the media from manipulation by power, greed and money?

About the Author
Asaf Shimoni is an author, journalist and translator who returned to Israel on October 1, 2023 after spending more rhan 40 years abroad, most of them in the Netherlands. He is currently milking cows on a kibbutz after living for five months in Haifa. He grew up near Boston, made aliyah while living on a kibbutz (from 1973 to 1976), and graduated from Syracuse University in 1978. He also lived some 5 years in Sicily. He believes that the media should be as critical and truthful as possible.
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