On this page, a MAP will soon appear:
It will incorporate the following topics of interest by aggregating the ongoing Social Media Campaigns of all Members of Congress, Governors, Treasurers, and Local Politicians, Non Voting Members (US Territories) as well as covering the Social Media accounts of President Trump and his Democrat Party Challengers. Wherever public data can be easily accessed and included in the map, we will facilitate the touchpoint for the user here. MOC On-Demand is not a US Government website, but it is a website by an American who wants to inform the public about the US Government. When Constituents have something to say, they will be able to use MOC On-Demand as a portal for that communication.
A History of Members of Congress (1855-2021):
MOC On-Demand will cover the 116th United States Congress. Historical Congresses are one topic which needs to be grasped eventually, but the focus will always be the Current Congress. There will be additional updates to this website before the 117th Congress begins. America will have a voice again through MOC On-Demand.
Initially, visitors will be able to participate beginning in a debate with nested comments. The purpose should be to align the arguments which frame discussions at large. Controversy will make itself obvious – and we will highlight many issues as well as allow users to do the same on our platform. Arguments used by visitors to any website, and expressed in the comments can often incorporate any information about any issue. Some of the comments are often well-established and well-researched. There are voices (if you listen) to back up the arguments being made, and there is data which can be referred to, to describe the issue in greater detail. Some of the issues are of greater cirucumstance than others. Not everyone has the same ideas – it is rarely that we encounter someone who is like-minded. Although many supporters exist (friends, colleagues, partisan allies) for any politician, it is on social media that we see virtue signals, insults, comedy and plenty of tears being shed.
Some have a tendency to take things personally. In any case, when there are major issues which bear repeating and interpretation, the prevailing thinking is the conversation deserves more context, and more fair representation. We have to agree that there are ignored perspectives, and there is the use of propoganda which tends to minimize the visibility of minority opinions about certain issues. When major issues (or Big Potato Issues) are brought to the forefront on MOC On-Demand the visibility will lead to more in-depth coverage. Analysis from both sides of a major issue (if there are sides or stances being taken) is important. The lack of a conversation leads to more damning consequences. It is better to discuss something without settling it than to settle it before discussing. In other words, while we still have the chance – and bearing in mind that many of the matters/topics covered here will never amount to Big Potatoes, the outcome will be that over time, when conversation on a particular topic continues and evolves/strengthens, it will be observed that [Small Potatoes] turn into [Big Potatoes].
Members of Congress will voice opinions through their own platforms and we will gather those expressions here. Many of the important debates have resulted in [Small Potato] vs. [Big Potato] perspectives which tend to appeal to a partisan audience more than anything. For this reason, many voters have lost interest in politics altogether. We should revisit any issues which have either been won or lost on the particulars of weak or strong arguments. When speaking about the goals of The Potato Network it is important to consider that there are divisive arguments to be highlighted and understood, on all sides of all issues. Facts matter. Many have forgotten this truth.
Through The Potato Network (ESP Tribe) and MOC On-Demand, we hope to play a part in reinvigorating the conversation and allow those who want to express themselves to do so, in an organized and highly visible debate format. When others use platforms such as Facebook Town Hall to basically protest the choices of their own Representatives (what posts they share, what stances they take on an issue), there can often be mixed results seen. When there is an echo chamber present, it is easy to lose the part of the audience which agrees with what the Representative is saying. This is a type of political apathy which can result in new or opposing ideas coming to the forefront. Unfortunately, when this happens, there is a troll effect whereby those who are still paying attention to the Facebook Town Hall platform can take it upon themselves to denigrate and add an ad hominem aspect to the discussion. Insults!
In general, on Facebook Town Hall, it does the constituent-badged account is volunteering to be personally besmirched as a result of the expression of their views on the platform. Look to the Facebook Town Hall of Washington State Senator Patty Murray for example. In general, as a commenting US Constituent it does no good to feel invalidated for your political opinion. Oftentimes there can even be a threat construed in the process of the reaction that occurs when one person disagrees with the basis for supporting the other side of an argument. When motives are mostly unknown for the views that are being expressed (more in some cases than others) it can sometimes come to the most base of tactics in real-time, when controversial stories hit the news stream. And then, just like that, new news replaces the #real and #fakenews that came just one news cycle ago, and the controversy is temporarily put on hold or silenced. One or the other!
The social media companies have a role in selectively muting/censoring posts it does not want to come back up in future news cycles (if at all possible). So using the billions of dollars of R&D they manage to enable exactly that – often for the highest bidder, and just as often for free. So Qui Bono? Whenever someone chooses to contribute to a conversation using the Facebook Town Hall platform, they can be sure that at a minimum they are likely to receive feedback for their views – and on a more sane day they will get a a chance to clarify/expand the meaning behind their comments. All it takes to participate in Facebook Town Hall is a Facebook Account and a letter to be mailed to your home address, so that you can enter a verification code into the platform and get a constituent badge. For this reason, I see that the majority of active commenters on the Facebook Town Hall pages of [Senator Murray] and [Senator Cantwell] do not have a badge. As a rule, it seems that their staunchest opinion-defenders (those who comment every hour of every day in defense of the Democrat/Communist views held by these politicians) do not have a Constituent Badge themselves.
Another effect, however, is that many of the Representatives have also amassed a large following of both badged and unbadged followers who are of course emboldened by anything which falls short of complete agreement with what is being said/posted by each Representative. So it depends on who you are, and what you have to say, but on Facebook Town Hall, there is a very toxic (low health) conversation being had much of the time. When considering what other mechanisms can be enabled to modify and improve the Constituent-Representative conversation (and ultimately even close the Democratic Gap) it is important to aim high. What is the most constructive way to grant someone a voice?
When people are saying things is it still important that we listen? Entire groups of interested individuals are losing interest in politics through the failure of imagination of those who have designed the existing Facebook Town Hall type platforms. And that is sad.
This all presents ESP Tribe and MOC On-Demand with a business opportunity and the chance to finally make [The Potato Network] a reality for all. By acknowledging that in some cases (not all) there are people saying totally useless things on every platform imaginable. The algorithms control the exposure of just about every post on the internet, as well as the comments and links that are shared on Facebook. And Facebook Town Hall is where Representatives and Senators can post and then leave their followers with limited means to create healthy actual conversation. This can often result in the algorithms being used to defeat or besmirch the commenter beyond repair. Under certain circumstances, it has been possible to observe patterns which have remained constant over time, and are quite to the disadvantage of the average dissenting user on the platform.
When anyone can use Facebook to block the commenter, and then proceed to add comments which everyone but the commenter can see, this creates an obvious asymmetric advantage for internet trolls. Over time, 10 or 20 such accounts have personally used this tactic against me. How do I know it? I just do. I see that sometimes their comments have been [Chris Hanrahan hates America (a false statement)] and sometimes their comments have been even more of a personal attack towards me than that.
The nature of getting into a conversation about politics on Facebook Town Hall is that you can 100% expect to be met with angry, unreasonable and vitriolic discourse. While some on the platform are certainly trying to be constructive with their comments, others clearly are not. The vision for MOC On-Demand is that Constituents will able to use what is useful for them to further expose and refine the way they present their views about the issues and the Representatives (plus candidates) as well as to have a platform to form connections with like-minded politically engaged individuals. Fed up with Facebook Town Hall?
Stay tuned for updates on THE MAP 535 which will incorporate posts and information on the 535 Members of the 116th US Congress. Today there is certainly no shortage of echo chambers on the internet. MOC On-Demand does not intend to simply be another one of those. But we must first learn to discern a good vs. bad argument/comment/post in this way. Over time, MOC On-Demand will become a finely tuned machine, not only as a source for news updates, but also an aggregation tool as a record of how Members of Congress are representing our Country. Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, along with all aspects of the official record will indeed belong on MOC On-Demand in its true and final form.
Click the image below to be taken to Facebook Town Hall – try it out for yourself
Thank you for being a part of the MOC On-Demand and ESPTribe experiment. Please follow @congressanon on Twitter and Instagram to support the project with your own content and tweets. I follow back interesting accounts and will be announcing some of the other plans for this site there.