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Thread: Expressing Personal Political Opinions on Social Media

  1. #1
    Member INTP_Polly's Avatar
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    Expressing Personal Political Opinions on Social Media

    I have lots of "friends" who vent their political opinions on FB. I find that kind of luxury because this is the kind of stuff that can come back and haunt you later on in life. I wish this wasn't the case, but it is.

    I often wish I felt so free to do this but without the protection of anonymity I'm not willing to let my personal political cat out of the bag. So I'm wondering...

    Do you discuss politics on social media using your real name? If you do, what kind of profession are you in and do you worry that kind of thing will come back to haunt you?

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    I don't use any kind of social media, let alone mention anything remotely connected with politics. One cannot be careful enough. These days every opinion is reprehensible to somebody. I'd rather save my enemy-making capabilities for subjects I really care about.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Ooooh this reminds me of that famous meeting between Emma Goldman and Lenin. "Nobody here goes to jail for their opinions..." (Apparently he gave her the creeps. Some women, sheesh.)

    Eh, worrying about whether the secret services find out about your opinions is only an issue if you haven't done anything about them yet. If you have, you can stop worrying, because it's too late. You've been on camera, you're on a file. When I realized that, I just started using my real name. It's printed on books related to Trotsky and socialism (translations). As far as I'm concerned, they already "found" me. I'm just not going to be considered a threat unless something really crazy happens, like the last dictatorship. And even that dictatorship was unlike other dictatorships in the country's history.

    It doesn't hurt my chances of getting hired by anyone I'm interested in working for, either. Nobody seems to care about that, either due to sloppiness or indifference.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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    Member El D.'s Avatar
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    Yes, I do. I will argue with someone when I know I have a valid point that is not being presented, and I don't care about anonymity. Yes, maybe it makes people angry, but I find that it doesn't really matter if people get angry at me for my views. It makes it easier for me to know where I stand with them as in the real me, and not their projected image of me. I know for a fact that I have already had at least one person delete me because of comments I have made on a public forum, but heres my thing. If you post a political opinion on a public forum where everyone knows who you are, you are opening yourself up for a debate. I do always try to make it clear that Im not trying to make people look stupid though. I just like to debate.

    I work for a commodities trading company, basically trading energy stocks, so no, this stuff doesn't really put me at risk for losing my job as long its not affecting my performance. No, I never worry that it will come back to haunt me. In fact, I sometimes consider going into local politics.

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    I don't discuss politics or religion, period (full stop). It's impolite, not to mention, dangerous. Furthermore, in our extended family, which includes descendants of both yankees and rebels, we certainly don't discuss these things at reunions. We do love each other, despite our unstated differences. I will say, however, that I'm at the point where I disdain all politicians of any stripe. If they're not corrupt when they get in, they're corrupt soon after. And, I don't care about their excuses about how the system is. Politicians' greatest fear is losing office. A moral and good politician (a hypothetical construct, unknown IRL), after being elected, should do the right thing regardless of the next election.

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    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    It can be kind of a joke on social media the way article comments are in online news, just useless rhetoric. In that case I say nothing or throw in just a few comments.

    I'm at the point where I disdain all politicians of any stripe.
    I never understood this.

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    You don't understand cynicism about politics?

  8. #8
    Member El D.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thevenin View Post
    Politicians' greatest fear is losing office. A moral and good politician (a hypothetical construct, unknown IRL), after being elected, should do the right thing regardless of the next election.
    I agree, except I think good politicians have existed and do exist IRL, although admittedly I'm not exactly who I would make an example of. Politicians are necessary, and as has been said "The people get the government they deserve." The amount of corrupt politicians in a government is often oppositely correlated with the peoples' degree of involvement in politics.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thevenin View Post
    I don't discuss politics or religion, period (full stop). It's impolite, not to mention, dangerous. Furthermore, in our extended family, which includes descendants of both yankees and rebels, we certainly don't discuss these things at reunions.
    That's kind of funny, because in my family there's no such thing as an extended reunion without political debates. They include raised voices and hyper antics, people standing up from their seats and waving their arms at each other, often because of something related to Peronism. However, nobody gets into my family that isn't already left of center - nobody - and that probably establishes a limit to how deep the clashes can go. One of my cousin's ex boyfriends, who was most definitely not left of center (and neither was his family) used to silently sit in the middle of these reunions with a pained expression on his face. He'd later say that my family made him deaf, lol. That one didn't turn out to be a keeper (go figure).

    As for religion, people here don't discuss religion simply because they don't care. Not anybody I've ever known, anyway. Football is discussed passionately but it never incites any animosity that isn't clearly expressed in humor.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

  10. #10
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Facebook is a personal communication tool for me, not a professional networking tool, so generally speaking if someone knowing what I think about in my spare time would cause me any kind of problems, they're not going to be seeing my Facebook updates anyway.

    (Coworkers might get added if they're people I'm otherwise interested in social relationships with--bosses generally don't, students definitely don't, etc.)

    I regularly use it to share links to online articles I'm reading, comments thereupon, as well as occasional mere blurts of sentiment on any number of topics, pretty much representing things I find interesting and would be discussing with my friends and family if we were all in the same room. Therefore you could get a pretty good working sense of what my general worldview is like from following my Facebook updates. I don't care at all. I probably post something like this about once per day, which is far more often than I post anything about my personal life as such. (Why the fuck anyone uses it to post regular updates about their personal life is a bit beyond me, but then I suppose that's what most people like to talk to each other about in person, too.) It's as close as one can probably get to an electronic, textual equivalent of hanging out with me (along with every other message board/etc I'm on, of course), and I think anyone who would hang out with me would know that they shouldn't plan on staying friends with me if it bothers them to hear about my opinions.

    I worry about sharing my political opinions on Facebook slightly less than I worry about telling jokes, given the risk that aspects of my sense of humor might be seen as offensive or rude by some people. (More an issue with family members than friends, as you'd expect.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

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