Brainwashing capabilities of social media

Roufaida Tabet – May 24, 2021

Social media is one of the most readily accessible and powerful tools in this modern day and age. Many of us use our socials to stay in touch with our friends and family, or to keep up with the latest news in whatever we are interested in.

      Social media is run by algorithms. It keeps tags on your activity and interactions to feed you the same type of content, over and over again. This is what we call a “filter bubble” because it filters everything that your activity does not align with and gives you everything that does.

      What does that have to do with brainwashing? Well, brainwashing stems from the act of exposing one to the same ideology over and over again, and if no one imposes them, they start to feed into it and believe that it is the most truthful idea. And though saying that social media can brainwash people can sound extreme, it is no secret that it is used to reinforce several brainwashing acts.

      How can you know if you are brainwashed? Delusion, despite all the people telling you that you are wrong with supported and truthful evidence, is a huge red flag. If you find yourself getting very defensive over a topic that, when many others are telling you what you believe is wrong, and provide you with several solid pieces of evidence, that you even get disrespectful to them, know that you have fallen victim to brainwash.

      The question is, how does one deal with the brainwashed? You sort of have to know exactly where they are coming from in order to dismantle their false ideology. Another thing is to befriend someone who used to be brainwashed in the same ideology and with their help, guide those who are still brainwashed. You can also start the conversation and keep it going with those in your community to spread the truthfulness about the ideology or matter so that others who are neutral towards it can take a stance. The use of hashtags is very helpful and important in this, as you can reach a farther audience. Your interaction with these tags is also crucial, because the more you interact with them, the more the algorithms push this content to others in your community, and therefore more people will talk about it. The more people that talk about it, the more pressure those in the false ideology feel.

      To “cure” brainwashing and dismantle the false ideology does not happen overnight. So you must keep the conversation going, even if it takes over 70 years to completely dismantle the false ideology. It is our responsibility as social media users and human beings to fight against falsehood.


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