So that California farm with the E. coli laced romaine lettuce has now recalled its red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and cauliflower. Boy, am I glad that farm isn’t raising Cheetos.
Somehow, it seems insufficient to be told that contaminated products might possibly have been sent to your state of residence and might possibly have made it to your neighborhood Piggly Wiggly. Truth be told, it may be much ado about not much, if you ask me, since the chances that you’d even get some of the produce from that farm is only slightly better than your prospects of winning the lottery.
On the other hand, the probability that you were exposed to posts and ads created by Russia’s Internet Research Agency around the time of the 2016 election is pretty good. According to a study published by Oxford University and Graphika, more than 30,000,000 users engaged with those posts with shares, likes and comments. So even if you didn’t engage with any of it, there’s a pretty good chance someone you know did and it ended up in your newsfeed.
I, for one, would like to know which of my Facebook friends were, shall we say, so engaged. And, Heaven forbid, did I myself get duped? Clearly, Mark Zuckerberg needs some assistance with this issue, and there may be a way he could help us all.
So, Mark, if you’re listening—and we know you are—how about a new app? That is what they’re called, right? It would take our list of Facebook friends and compare them to those 30,000,000 users to give us a report on our particular Facebook exposure to the Russkie propaganda.
It could provide something like this:
Congratulations, Craig. You did not share, like or comment on any Russian-generated misinformation posts or ads. Unfortunately, that cannot be said about some of your Facebook friends.
Your cousin George on your mother’s side shared 17 memes created in the heart of Moscow, usually suggesting that Hillary Clinton is the mother of the Anti-Christ, who was fathered by George Soros. On the other side of the spectrum, your grade school friend Maddy, from whom you had not heard since 1968 and who now lives on an organic chicken farm in California, shared 11 Russian-generated memes in support of Bernie Sanders and later Jill Stein.
The attached spreadsheet provides detail on George, Maddy and all the rest of your Facebook friends who were duped into spreading Russian propaganda. Our lawyers have confirmed that providing this information to you does not violate the privacy of these individuals because, well, they posted it all on Facebook, which means this information belongs to us now. Besides, many of the individuals listed have spit into a vial and sent it to ancestry.com for testing, so we can safely assume they have no privacy concerns anyway.
By the way, Craig. Have you seen our new “side eye” emoji? We modeled it on the look Michelle Obama gave Donald Trump at the Bush funeral. We thought you might like to use it whenever you feel the need to remind your duped Facebook friends about their “sharing” history.
We hope this has been useful. And, by the way, you really need to decide on which wall calendar you want if you plan to get it before New Year’s.
Seriously, wouldn’t something like this be helpful? After all, the Russians didn’t really do it to us, now did they? They just gave us the raw tools—hateful memes and such—to start the process. We did the rest.