As I’m have mentioned, I grew up in David Duke’s Louisiana, so that probably colors (ahem) my political views. It is sad that I have seen American politics dominated by racist overtures to voters, recently by Republicans but before that by Democrats.
The recent use of social media platforms for this purpose hasn’t been deeply discussed, at least in public. It isn’t so much a problem that social media has given a neutral meeting place to neo-Klansmen as that it has given monied political groups an effective and stealth way of contacting and organizing these groups. Rather than run broadcast ads that are viewed by everyone and can be judged for fairness and accuracy and are open for discussion, targeted ads in platforms like facebook allow massive amounts of information to flow from political actors to voters, without any scrutiny. This is completely new and (I believe) unhealthy for an open democracy. More from the Boston Review of Books: