The above meme ironic, but very important. Socials are more focused on having the image of being right than actually being right. They aren’t arguing to help find the correct solution, but to make themselves look better. When they realize that it’s not going to happen because the position they happened to pick (based on heuristics or bias) is stupid, they just shut up and disappear.
The ability to disappear is also important if they did something political that turned out to be wrong. Besides explicit resistance fighters, the people under the rule of Hitler collaborated. Some more than others, but each and every one of them who didn’t fight back contributed to the war machine of the Nazis. After the war, it was just forgotten for the little guys, who soon after appeared as ordinary “good people” and tried best to fit in.
Social media make both of them impossible. If you supported evil politicians, if you believed in conspiracy theories, if you supported hateful and violent groups, it will be forever remembered because of the social media. Fifty years ago only leaders and top thinkers left behind books that allow us to know what they thought. Even five years ago only outspoken content creators left statements that will be there to mock later. Now the thoughts of everyone are recorded and put on display. Everyone will know that in 2016 you supported Hillary or BLM or believed in the Russia-Trump conspiracy. Imagine how embarrassing that will be when your grandkid finds it 50 years from now.
Which is exactly why people are getting uncompromising and violent. The only way to prevent being embarrassed by your past dumbness is to win and rewrite history. So instead of disappearing, when a social suspects that he was wrong, he doubles down and tries to silence the other side. With corporate censorship, protesting and finally violence. “They” must not win, because if they do, I’ll forever be shamed by my past comments.
Before you’d expect me to suggest some kind of censorship to social media or automatic deletion, I welcome this as a huge step against sociality. Today it’s a big problem, lot of blood will flow on the streets. But the next generation will be much less social because of it. They will grow up in a World where being wrong will be much less embarrassing. Someone who knows that his parents made hundreds of dumb comments back then, supporting people who are now in jail or remembered as mass murderers will find it obvious that he is wrong sometimes. Because we often are. We are seekers of truth, not owners of it.
Political PS: probably not as wrong as this reporter: