Going viral during a pandemic is sickening.

Photo: Bryan Edward

By: Moe Angelo

It is no secret to anyone who has spent as little as minutes on the social distortion network Facebook lately, that it has completely degraded not only general social communication, but even advanced forms of communication like discord, debate, and sadly, even listening before talking or typing. In this age of global pandemic and quarantine, it appears that limited social interaction has only fed into this system of linguistic degradation. Some of the most important, defining nuances of communication are impossible to convey through text alone. Things like body language, tone, and inflection, all play just as important of a role in how speech is understood, as do words.

Last week, str34m had a Facebook post “go viral” for our first time,  and the succeeding onslaught of comments helped to highlight this de-evolution of communication. Str34m is rather new, being formed only in April of 2020, and our Facebook page had only 985 page likes at the time of posting. This was the first time any of us had personally had access to all of the info, data, insight, or outlook that comes along with such a post.

The present, exponentially-advancing age of Technology now allows for more raw, unfiltered insight into current events than ever before, thanks to the undying efforts of independent media and streamers. In the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the now globally-famous shooting of at least three people by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, exploded on the internet before it hit any media outlets. Multiple video angles of the events, information on the militia Kyle was with, and evidence of police cooperation with and support for the militia, all hit the internet in a fervor.

Around 3:30am eastern, our team made a post on the str34m Facebook Page that collected and presented available information about the Rittenhouse shooting into one post. By 5:00am, the post had 500 shares, and by 4pm, it had reached over 37,000 shares, had 15,000 comments, 5,000 reactions, and a reach of over 2.3 million people.

At first, our team tried to keep up with the crazy amount of comments, but it soon became clear that those efforts would prove futile. Every time we tried to start to go through the comments, we could make it through about ten of them before nearly becoming physically sick.

You could quickly start to tell by watching the floods of comments pour in, that there is one very apparent common misconception among those who seem to be against protesting, or supporting the actions of this underage killer. Many people truly believe that the hundreds of thousands of protestors, and tens of thousands of different marches, large and small, for different causes, are funded by one over-seeing organization. The only problem is that they can’t pick which boogeyman organization to lay blame on. It’s either the “Marxist-led” Black Lives Matter, inc., the billionaire George Soros-funded Antifa, Lizard people (seriously) that control our government, or a ring of satanic, adrenochrome-sucking, pedophile Democrats that they’ve coined “Demoncrats.” All of these are based on any number of far right-wing conspiracy theories, or the mashing up of multiple theories, that live in YouTube, BannedVideo, or 4chan rabbit holes that pop up around every corner of the Internet. These theories are mostly purported by what can only be called religious extremists, that believe they are acting in the name of God.

Pete, whose FB profile About section says he is from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and that the only Page that he likes is a blog called “My P***y,” writes in to share his expert opinion, saying…

Chris – whose Facebook headline quote says something like, “New account, probably won’t add you,” and otherwise has his info pretty locked down, shares little information other than pictures of Thor, and an assortment of other meme mashups of guys with beards and inspirational quotes about power – highlights this inaccurate theory by saying:

In one digital breath, Chris says he is ok with protesting, and then calls rioters and looters “so-called protestors,” and “animals.” Say what?!

Michael from Alaska, whose FB about section states he loves riding Harleys and fishing in Alaska, loves traveling (but hates to fly), and lists his favorite quote as “F*** it, let’s ride,” writes in to say…

The above examples are just a small window into the insanity of a present-day Facebook comment section, and if you are brave enough, or have the stomach, feel free to dive in and have a swim around the toxic water of our viral post. We encourage you to really look deep at what is being said, and how it is all being twisted. Not only is the mainstream media nothing but a tool of the company they are owned by, but independent media, and even major journalists are under attack by police, as well as counter protestors. Members of activist groups are being targeted and arrested by police at alarming rates.

The good news is that it’s not all doom, gloom and delusion out there. All of these injustices coming to light are spawning beautiful art and music related to the movement, and hashtags like #protestart and #blmart on social media networks are filled with inspiring and thought-provoking imagery, like some of the images below:

Photo by Highwater Media

The time is beyond past for independent media to take the nation and world by storm. The exponentially rapid advancement of technology has given every person with a smartphone and a data plan the power to report raw, unfiltered current events in real-time, as they see them. At str34m, we encourage you to step out into the streets and turn on your cameras, but we also deeply encourage you to take that next step of sharing it.

Please consider helping to create independent media for people, not profits, by joining the str34m t34m here at www.str34m.tv. Get involved by filling out our volunteer form, or by creating a profile to become a content creator, and submit articles, imagery or video through our WordPress-driven website. If you are able and willing, you can also support our non-profit efforts for access to open-source creative and broadcasting tools with a tax-deductible donation.

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