I don’t want to come off like someone with a vast assortment of tinfoil hats, but I caught something on Facebook today which disturbed me. I have two friends who independently shared the same article within a couple of hours or so of each other. It was this article, about being gay at Liberty University. Now, I’m not attempting to weigh in on the issue of gay marriage, as I certainly feel that more than enough is being said about that from both sides and my natural inclination is spray both sides down with a water hose as one does to stop dogs from fighting. What I’m attempting to do is demonstrate how Facebook and the media are trying to shape what you believe and how you feel with some creative editing.
Here’s the most concise version of what I’ve found: I read both posts with reference to the article. I thought that it was something which I would like to read when I had a minute, but it was quite long and I was busy, so I decided I would follow the links and read it at a later time. Later, in about two hours, I went back to Facebook to find the posts. Oddly, neither were in my news feed under either type of sorting. Also, neither was in that little list of things on the far right corner…no matter how far I scrolled. Finally, neither post was on either of their walls or timelines. The posts were simply not there, like they had never existed.
Now, here is where it gets interesting. I contacted both people and asked them why they had removed the post; assuming that there must have been some controversy of which they had each grown tired which prompted the deletion of the post. Nope. Neither one had acted to remove their post.
I had to do a Google search in order to find the article and read it. After reading the article, it was plain to see that it was written by a gay person who was seeking to empathize with, educate, and perhaps lessen the tension between the polarized extremes of the gay marriage debate. An article which seemed to say that many Christians (even the Southern Baptists at Liberty) show love and care for those with whom they may not agree and that many gays are closed-minded and judgmental when it comes to Christians. It seems to be an honest attempt at helping everyone to get-along.
Here’s the problem with that article…it exhibits a stance that might actually increase cooperation and dialogue. Cooperation and dialogue don’t sell papers or cause people to stay glued to the news channels. Accurate and compassionate understanding of the other side’s members and positions doesn’t whip people into a frenzy. Rather, these attitudes lead to harmony and an ability to move through and past the issues which divide us. Making progress with these issues doesn’t make for good television and it allows us to unplug from social media. Nothing makes one stay plugged into Facebook more than a good controversy over a posting.
So, with all of that in mind, here is my theory: Facebook purposely edited those postings out of the timeline. There was too much of an attempt to frame Christians in a positive light, so they killed them. There are too many factions that have too much invested in keeping the American people at each other’s throats. If a company like Facebook can go this far to control its content, then it isn’t a stretch for you to realize that the companies which control your media and entertainment are in the business of controlling how you think and feel about almost every subject.