Robert D. Mather, Ph.D.

TheConservativeSocialPsychologist.com Blog
Big Tech's Role in the DNC's Informational Operation


A few weeks ago, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey testified before the Senate Commerce Committee that Twitter doesn’t influence elections since it is just one of many social media platforms. Here is why that simple answer was incomplete.

 

Let’s start with the fundamentals of attitudes and persuasion. An attitude is an evaluation of something. Do you like it or dislike it and by how much? Persuasion is the act of changing an attitude. So if you like pizza, you have a positive attitude towards pizza. If you really like it, you have a stronger, more extremely positive attitude than if you just kind of like it. Attitude certainty is how sure you are of the attitude you hold. Perhaps you really like pizza, but if I ask you how certain you are of it you might be really sure or not all that sure about it. Changing attitude certainty is a step towards persuasion.

 

The Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) suggests there are two routes of persuasion. There is a central route of persuasion, where we are influenced by strong, high quality arguments. This takes critical analysis and occurs when we are highly invested in a particular attitude or issue. The other is the peripheral route of persuasion, where we are influenced by superficial cues such as the attractiveness of the messenger. This route requires minimal thought or effort and we can accept arguments that fit with our existing attitude with little thought. Peripheral route persuasion is easier to achieve, but central route persuasion is longer lasting.

 

In our social media age, we are living in an incredible time where there is a worldwide marketplace of ideas at our finger tips. It’s not all that easy to persuade people, or everyone would have 88.9 million Twitter followers like President Trump, every social media post would go viral, and every product posted would be sold and we would all be millionaires after opening our first social media account. But the free marketplace of ideas still rewards good ideas and punishes bad ideas.

 

The problem occurs when someone puts their thumb on the scale of that free market. Big Tech generally refers to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram (owned by Facebook), and YouTube (owned by Google). Big Tech’s censorship (e.g., America’s Frontline Doctors, Plandemic, Shadowgate, New York Post, and Hunter Biden’s exploits) threatens the free market status of social media. Allegations this week of Big Tech entities colluding their censorship are troubling.


Andrew Breitbart called the Legacy Media (ABC, NBC, CBS, New York Times, etc.) the Democrat-Media Complex. Coupled with the Legacy Media’s treatment of the Mueller investigation, Kavanaugh hearing, and 2019-2020 impeachment, Big Tech’s politically biased censorship places them in the role of publisher and they are now solidly part of the Democrat-Media Complex. With the Legacy Media and Big Tech working together, it is easy for them to censor content and follow the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) daily talking points that are released to the media (Rosenwald, 2019). The overall context of this is a substantial informational operation from the DNC designed to influence the American people.

 

References

Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). Communication and persuasion: Central and peripheral routes to attitude change. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Rosenwald, B. (2019). Talk radio’s America: How an industry took over a political party that took over the United States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

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