THE POLITICAL ROLE OF THE FACEBOOK

1. The “knowledge” we all receive from the Internet is relatively limited,
despite a common myth pertaining to an “explosion” of information. The
disseminated information is technically limited – and therefore biased –
because the data we receive as individuals are automatically tailor-made
according to our given personal preferences as users. Most “facts” which we
receive are reproduced ad infinitum based on our self-made “profile”. The
Internet has the ability to “read” such “profile” and channel information
to us depending on that particular “profile”. This can seriously stifle our
wider critical thinking in the field of politics.

2. How is our “profile” determined and how is it used by the Internet? We
need to understand that each and every “move” we make in our Facebook feeds
the Internet with all our deeply personal data. These data are analyzed,
organized and exploited by automatic systems in a manner which determines
the type and variety of information made available to us.

3. Further, whatever “move” we make as Facebook or Internet users is
automatically and continually being recorded. We are being systematically
observed, and this may have future repercussions as regards the issue of
civil liberties.

4. But all this does not constitute whatever form of conspiracy against
civil society. These are the in-built functions and technical
potentialities of the E-revolution. We should be aware of this and think
and behave in accordance with such reality.

5. While our political understanding of what is happening around us should
not be restricted to the Internet, we need to respect this terrain of
social communication. And we should respect it because it constitutes, for
the very first time in human history, a revolutionary form of direct
democracy in the voicing of the sentiments and needs of civil society.

6. More than that: the Internet is a cultural-ideological “space” wherein
civil society defines its own identity. It is a potential tool for
national/cultural construction and autonomous self-organization. Again, we
should always use the Facebook keeping all this in mind – as such, the use
of insulting language, the expression of bloody-minded rage and whatever
choice of vulgarities should be strictly avoided. These are, by definition,
demeaning for us as a people and as a nation. And we must never forget that
everything we put in our Facebook or the Internet is basically recorded in
perpetuity (i.e. “forever”). We should therefore hold back in what we put
in: a certain self-censorship would help in defining our public identity as
persons and as a nation.

7. Most importantly, the thoughts and feelings of Facebook users should
never be determined by the number of “LIKES” they receive from others.
Thoughts and feelings should be determined by the logical, independent and
critical thinking of each individual user. They should be determined by the
historical memory that each user must carry. And, finally, they should be
determined by people’s real-life, critically assessed experiences (and
especially so when such experiences happen to be collective).

8. The Facebook is a terrain wherein an exchange of ideas and emotions
takes place. Both ideas and emotions are necessary historical forces that
help shape the identity of a people and its national consciousness. But we
should take care that our emotions are above all informed by the
ideas and the knowledge of history which we should be continually enriching
and sharing with others. Emotional reactions galvanized by “LIKES” in our
Facebook can only distort our critical thinking and our understanding of
the current political situation.

9. We should be careful how we present either our thoughts or our emotions.
The use of sloganeering or of emotion-stirring headlines and pictures does
not yield a structured understanding of the world around us – it does quite
the opposite: segmented facts and sensationalism further distort and
obfuscate our critical thinking.

10. To summarize: whoever uses the Facebook as an instrument to further the
patriotic struggle against Germanic State Nationalism in Greece and in
Europe need always remember the words of Dr. Henry Kissinger: “History
shows no mercy towards those countries which ignore…their identity so as to
follow an apparently more comfortable road” (in his “WORLD ORDER”, 2014).
It is precisely such self-respecting national identity which should be
reflected and developed through the Facebook.

May 22, 2015 (“Nikos Vlachos”) Panagiotis Tourikis

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