Think you're getting a fair and balanced perspective on your social media accounts? Think again. When you like or follow something, algorithms respond, pushing you more of the stuff you like, creating an echo chamber of singular perspectives. Steven Crowder with LouderWithCrowder.com released a video that addresses this phenomenon --- and it's impact.
"Steven, you did an amazing video this weekend, and I wanted to have you on to explain. You know, we all stand against the media. And the media is corrupt. And the media is biased. But we're creating something even worse, and we don't even know we're doing it," Glenn said.
Crowder explained what's happening.
"Social media and advertisers are beholden to only telling you exactly what you want to hear, otherwise, they don't make it to your feed," he said.
It's happening on both the right and the left, creating its own ecosystem where you may go six months without hearing a single dissenting viewpoint. How does that create an informed citizenry?
Watch the full video from LouderWithCrowder.com below:
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: LouderWithCrowder.com. Steven Crowder is with us. Steven, you did an amazing video this weekend, and I wanted to have you on to explain -- you know, we all stand against the media. And the media is corrupt. And the media is biased. But we're creating something even worse, and we don't even know we're doing it. Will you explain?
STEVEN: Yeah, well, thanks. It's unfortunate. It's one of the ironies here, where I know we've talked about this, working for years. Going, all right, the mainstream is going away. There are no more gatekeepers. Now, you can have TheBlaze. I can have Louder With Crowder, the YouTube channel. Anyone can get a message out, and that's great.
What's changed -- and people don't realize it, in the age of social media, YouTube, Facebook, this sort of algorithm-based feed, they've just become the mainstream media gatekeepers.
Now, it's easy for people to say, "Well, it's really liberal because of Mark Zuckerberg." And it's true. He leans to the left. It's true, most people who run social media lean to the left. However, they are beholden to a profit motive. And in today's age with media, their profit -- they can only generate a profit if they tell you what you want to hear.
Think about this, whenever you like an article. Let's say you're pro-Trump. Let's say you're pro-Hillary. You like Hillary Clinton's Polls Are Doing Well, right? It will then say, "Hey, you may also like" and show you a pro-Hillary Clinton article. It doesn't say, "You may also really need to hear, or you may also really need to get your crap together on this issue." It's, "Oh, you like everything that's anti-Trump. We'll show you everything anti-Trump." And then the pro-Trump people only read everything that's anti-Hillary -- and so we get to a point, Glenn -- you've run into this, where if you merely cite a fact, even if you agree with the Republican Party, even if you agree with this person, for six months they have had a newsfeed where they have heard nothing but exactly what they want to hear. And I don't mean people lean this way. I mean, that social media and advertisers are beholden to only telling you exactly what you want to hear, otherwise, they don't make it to your feed.
You go six months in, and people on both sides of the spectrum now have not heard a single dissenting viewpoint. And this happens on the right and the left, and it's really accelerated to a point where if you just say, "No, you know what, gosh, this new swing state poll from Pennsylvania doesn't look good for Donald Trump," you're working for Hillary! You're a shill!
No, no. This is the poll. You're rigging the polls. Because that's all they've been reading. It's a scary thought.
GLENN: I will tell you this, I talked about this. Steven, it was so amazing that you posted this because this weekend, I was looking at my Facebook page, and it's remarkable. My Facebook page, if I post something at all, anti-Hillary, it's huge.
GLENN: I put anything, even pro-Trump on my Facebook page, and it gets about 200 likes, which is abysmal for someone who has three and a half million followers. I post -- I post something very, very positive about nothing, and it will -- you know, it will pop up 14,000 likes. And it will happen quickly.
GLENN: What I was looking at was, "Wow, I can tell you exactly what my audience wants." And what they don't want from me is anything on Trump. So do I continue to give it?
Well, I happen to believe that we have to be curious. We have to be honest. And we have to know the other side of the argument. We cannot just be feeding the same things that we want to hear, or we disable ourselves.
GLENN: But most people in the media are not like that. They only care about the clicks. They only care about the money.
STEVEN: You're exactly right. You know, we've talked about this. I've never been on the #NeverTrump. Because I always think people can be redeemed. My producer is voting for Trump, albeit begrudgingly -- Jared is. I know plenty of people who are making the lesser of two evils argument. I entirely get that. I think that's a valid position, whether people agree with it or not.
GLENN: I agree with you.
STEVEN: However, people simply lying on either side of the spectrum -- good example, Glenn, I was talking with Stu about this. I saw this trend that Glenn Beck endorses Hillary Clinton.
I was going, oh, wow, that sounds weird. And I go, "Wait. Hold on a second. This hasn't been taken from the Vice interview, is it? Where Glenn personally said he's voting for the Constitutional Party representative. And he said he wasn't -- and, oh, that's the click. But someone runs it with the headline that says Glenn Beck Officially Endorses Hillary Clinton, guess what, the people who maybe don't like you, the people who think you're super anti-Trump, they like it, like it, like it, like it, share it without even reading it.
And all of a sudden, because people are consuming only exactly what they want to hear, people believe you're officially working for the DNC. I know we don't want to laugh on it because it's probably a sore spot. But it shows you absurd it's gotten. I watched the actual video. And in it, you were saying, "I am not endorsing Hillary Clinton." It's mind-boggling.
GLENN: So here's what -- here's where it goes further, Steven, I'd love to hear your comment on this. If you like that -- if you share that, it also pulls things like it -- and that particular story was made particularly famous on the right by being pushed by a guy named Hal Turner.
Hal Turner is a Holocaust denier. Neo-Nazi. Really bad guy. And I went to his website. Because I wanted to find out who this guy was. And I looked at his website. And I saw several stories that he had churned out that are in my Facebook wall, where people are -- well, this, Glenn Beck needs to know, this is going on. And I'm like, "Wow." Because they posted this, it may have sucked into their ecosystem other stories from him. And they have no idea what is now steering their -- their, quote, unquote, newsroom, if you will.
STEVEN: Right. And speaking on that, it's actually kind of funny. But just let me go with it because it's going to start off sounding not really funny. But people send me horrible anti-Semitic stuff. I mean, you know, just like Ben Shapiro. Right? People send me pictures of me in gas chambers or stuff like that.
GLENN: Are you Jewish?
STEVEN: And it was being shared a lot, until these people found out I wasn't Jewish.
STEVEN: This anti-Semitic stuff I was getting for weeks. And people just shared it because nobody thought like, "Hey, maybe Crowder is not -- maybe he's not Jewish."
But, again, they're in their own ecosystem. So no one even thinks that, "Hey, you know what, I know we're all Holocaust-denying, anti-Semitic jackasses, but I don't even think Crowder is Jewish." So this went on for months. And no one actually -- this is what happened with Hollywood, right?
We've always complained about this. And now it's happening to everybody in the age of social media. Again, the parallel there is narcissism. Tom Hanks once came out and said, "World War II was spurred on by fear and racism and xenophobia." And I remember he said it on MSNBC. And the reason he said it is because he's been saying this behind closed door for so long. And nobody, because he's Tom Hanks, is going to say, "What? I beg your pardon." Well, that's what's happening now. Only it's a media feed.
Let me give you a really kind of short example. A mom logs on to Facebook. Signs up for the first time. Okay? She's pro-Trump. A daughter logs on to Facebook, signs up for the first time during this election season. She's pro-Hillary. One likes Trump, one likes Hillary.
Comes up, polls are rigged, the mom likes this. Comes up, the election is rigged. Mom likes this. The daughter sees Hillary Clinton is winning in the polls. She likes it. The daughter sees Trump Foundation. She likes it. The mom sees WikiLeaks. She likes it.
Now, here's the deal: They don't like anything from the other side of the social media spectrum. Six months in -- and I don't misuse the term "literally," it makes me insane when people misuse it -- six months in, you could have two people, mother and daughter, who have literally never seen one post -- never seen one news story that would even expose them to a different opinion. And that's by design because these social media quagmires need to make money. And they only make money by telling you what you want to hear.
That's the concern here: Whether right or left, people are beholden to telling a lie if it encourages more clicks. And everyone wants to do well. Everyone wants ratings to do well. That's fine. I understand it. Making a good title. That's been called a lead for decades. We understand that. But lying about something, that's crossing over into new territory, and you are seeing that across the political spectrum right now because of the upheaval. People don't know how to handle this media. And this is how they've figured out how to do it. It's awful.
STU: It's amazing. Because the perfect example I would give -- and I've given many very good ones is the online polls. Now, look, I obviously don't like Donald Trump, and, you know, people know that. So they're looking at me skeptically, if they're Trump fans. And I get that. But it's like, this is not a questionable thing. An online poll means nothing. Zero. And when you're talking about, "Oh, well, he won the Drudge Report poll, how can you deny that one?" These people make that argument with no check on that. This is not a controversial point. It's not a point where I'm like adding in my opinion. "Oh, well, I don't really believe those polls." It literally means nothing.
And so many people, particularly when media personalities come out and tout those types of things, send their own listeners into this abyss, where they -- the listeners look like morons for parroting what the personalities say. And I don't know how you do this. Because in a way -- and I'm sure liberals would point this out, it's essentially the free market run amuck. Like, yes, there's a profit motive here, but it does create a problem. And I wouldn't advocate as a conservative, for everyone to step in and them start controlling the information that you feed. How do you solve this, Steven?
STEVEN: Right. Well, it's kind of like, remember when we would be at CPAC, and all of a sudden, somebody busts in a few college pot party members, and Ron Paul won every single straw poll?
STEVEN: And we just kind of said, ah, I guess a few people showed up with weed belt buckles and T-shirts. Yeah, that makes sense.
And we moved on down the trail. Only now that's happening on -- and, by the way, I know not all Ron Paul supporters are potheads. I like Ron Paul. I like his son Rand. Just hold your hate tweets before you go off --
GLENN: Just like a Jew to say that.
STEVEN: Yeah. I know. I know. But, I mean, now it's on a national level, like you're talking -- and, again, same thing. You know, we're talking about that. You could host a poll on one of these sites: What do you do with the evil Jew Steven? And you could probably get 20,000 people to vote without even realizing that I'm not Jewish. So this is the nature of online polls: They're not scientific.
I think as it relates to Trump, I tweeted this out this morning, I said, "I think Trump has a far greater chance of winning than the media gives him credit for. And I think he has a far less chance of winning than his hard-core supporters are guaranteeing." I got tweets coming back saying, "You're going to be wrong when he wins in a landslide." And I said, "Well, hold on a second. How does it make my statement wrong? It doesn't make it wrong at all. I'm saying that both sides have completely shut it off, and they're completely glib to the realities of an opposing viewpoint." And it really is a bizarre time because the right didn't use to be this way. And I don't think it's a concerted effort. I think we've all just been tossed into this tumbler of social media, and it's been shaken up. And people are trying to figure out how media works nowadays.
So if people out there want to avoid it, what I do recommend -- and I always say this on my show. I know you, Glenn, you've done this too. I never encourage people to eliminate information. I say, "Listen, set Huffington Post, Salon, Daily Cut -- all the liberal sites, set them to your Favorites and check them every morning and set some conservative sites, check them every morning, in addition to social media, that way you're guaranteed to know what the other side is saying. You have to be proactive, otherwise, it will get the best of you before you even realize.
GLENN: Steven, as always, great talking to you, brother. LouderWithCrowder.com. LouderWithCrowder.com. Steven Crowder. He does an amazing job, and he did this video this weekend on this, and it spelled it out perfectly. I don't know why he was wearing a skin wig and looked like a 50-year-old pot-bellied man while he did it, but he's very, very funny and very, very smart.
Featured Image: Screenshot from LouderWithCrowder.com