It seems the latest distraction thrown at the American public, from the president, is attacking the top Internet companies (Google, Twitter and Facebook) in just another step in the strategy of “feed the press or it eats you.” After all, though, it’s only natural that the constant cries of lugenpresse would eventually extend to the internet giants.
Elizabeth Picciuto from Arc Digital argues the benefit for the president of consistently working to delegitimize any source of news that paints him in a bad light.
Trump also has an interest in slamming Google, Facebook, and Twitter. He has had remarkable success convincing his supporters that negative news about Trump is not evidence of the fact that he has warranted such terrible coverage. Rather, negative stories are evidence that shadowy forces are arrayed against him, preventing him from maximizing the amazing competence he assures us he has. This belief has gained such traction on the right that government intervention is newly attractive. Even if no intervention materializes, Trump may end up cowing Google into bending its rules to appease a right-leaning mob, as Twitter has done .
In an interesting (or frightening) twist, though, this particular cry of foul play has brought out a call among conservatives for more government regulation of media. In essence, the point those who are claiming victimization are making is that affirmative action is needed to combat systemic structural bias on the internet. Picciuto writes that this seems to be a major point of hypocrisy for some who have been decrying or even trying to dismantle affirmative action in education and corporate hiring practices.
What the Trumpian right seems to be demanding is a full-bore state-managed affirmative action program for conservatives—all the while ridiculing and denying that the same should exist for marginalized groups.
Whether this is just the distraction du jour or a the start of a real push for some regulation of information to combat a perceived disadvantage on the internet remains to be seen.