The Problem With Social Media Isn’t Minneapolis Paying For George Floyd PR

The Problem With Social Media Isn’t Minneapolis Paying For George Floyd PR

Last week, news broke that the Minneapolis City Council approved the city’s plan to pay six “social media influencers” $2,000 each to promote government-crafted messages during the upcoming trial of the police officers charged in the death of George Floyd.

For Americans outraged by this communist-singed approach to “news,” here’s a chyron for you: The dishonest corporate press has been disseminating government-concocted leftist lies for the last three decades—and for free. Today’s social media monopolies are not merely influencing society but silencing dissent and thereby pushing our country to her breaking point.

Next month, trial begins for Derek Chauvin, the Caucasian former Minneapolis police officer caught on tape kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for nearly ten minutes. Chauvin, who was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, will be the first of four officers facing criminal charges stemming from the death of Floyd, an African American. Late this summer, the other three officers involved in the encounter will go on trial on aiding and abetting charges.

After video of Floyd’s death went viral in May, looting and violence spread throughout the country, overtaking the few peaceful protests. “Dozens of people were killed or injured in the violent unrest, and thousands of businesses and propertiesmany minority-owned, were looted, torched, or otherwise vandalized,” notes National Review. Estimates put the monetary damage from the rioting at $1 to $2 billion.

Against that backdrop, the Minneapolis City Council’s decision to pay local “influencers” to share the city’s social media posts seems designed to preempt further violence. Government officials in the Twin Cities claim they seek to “get the word out about what’s happening with the trials and what the options are for the community to engage, and particularly communities who are not utilizing, maybe, the city’s website or the other traditional media sources.”

Paying respected community groups to merely share information with the public, such as how to view a livestream of the trial, appears innocuous enough. But once the hands have been greased, it will be hard work to maintain the grip necessary to avoid the precipice that promises a swift descent to propaganda.

Yes, Minneapolis’ plan boasts transparency, appears limited to amplifying logistical details the municipality previously announced, and seeks to serve a legitimate purpose—outreach to neglected communities. Yet a slide to pure government-paid speech, shrouded in secrecy and potentially false information, seems inevitable. But, much as prostitution in this age of promiscuity brings a collective shrug, so what?

The corporate press has long ago descended that slippery slope, landing firmly in the swamp. Minneapolis is merely paying folks for a fraction of the services the Democratic media has been providing for free for years.

From former President Obama wingman Ben Rhodes selling the Iran steal to the American public by way of 20-something reporters who “literally know nothing,” to The New York Times and Washington Post concocting the Russia collusion hoax with government-based resisters, the biggest social media influencers—the press—already push propaganda. Now our country is witnessing the social media and tech monopolies working to ensure that propaganda cannot be countered by silencing conservative voices.

What the Minneapolis City Council approved pales in comparison to that reality.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.
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