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When you get on Facebook today, you'll likely see two things:

1. An unflattering photo of a politician you dislike, captioned with a vulgarity.

2. A pleasing likeness of a politician you support, with an inspirational caption.

You'll probably "like/love" both memes, and may leave a comment expressing disdain in the first instance, and accolades for the second.

How can I make that prediction without knowing the identity of the politician or the content of the caption? Easy. It doesn't matter.

Facebook is an echo chamber. People surround themselves with like-minded "friends." So, when posting an anti-Trump meme gets you 10 "likes", and a few "attaboy" comments, it doesn't mean "everybody" agrees with you. It only means you've shouted "Hallelujah" to your choir. The "Amen" you hear isn't universal acclaim, it's a conditioned response.

The same is true of the alternate Facebook universe where nasty Hillary and/or Obama cartoons get the same treatment and responses.

This analogy doesn't apply to public Facebook pages, like local TV stations. Those aren't canyons. They're sewers, where provocateur administrators post provocative articles (often with no local relevance), hoping for provocative responses. There, bots, fake profiles, and trolls with anime avatars combine to make a malodorous soup.

This letter's merely an observation. I'll share it on Facebook to see if I'm right.

Eugene Mattecheck Jr.

Moline

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