With digital outreach so important we might see undue influence taking place.
To say the announcement of Kamala Harris being named as Joe Biden’s running mate/surrogate candidate sent tremors of excitement throughout the media landscape is underselling the ebullience. The Washington Post was leading numerous others in revealing the media approach to the announcement, as it was established just hours before the official release that the press was readying for expected attacks from the conservative media. ‘’Sexism’’ and ‘’Racism’’ were already going to be employed defenses to any challenge to Harris.
On Biden's VP, news organizations must prepare for a deluge of racism and sexism and constantly ask: “How are stories framed? What language is used? Are we reinforcing unconscious stereotypes?” by @Sulliview https://t.co/wYvSLZkvWg
— Laura Helmuth (@laurahelmuth) August 11, 2020
So with the press side of things already established we can look elsewhere to see where else Kamala may be receiving a favorable boost. Why not Twitter where, as many conservatives can already attest, there is a distinct bias against conservative accounts. This is more than just alluded-to circumstantial evidence. One of Twitter’s security executives has touted how he is both in charge of security issues on the site, as well as being an avowed opponent of the President. Well we can say there is more insider advantages to watch for in the coming months on the social platform.
Nickolas Pacilio is a longtime associate of Kamala Harris. After working for years in a deputy role Nick rose to become Kamala’s Press Secretary for a year. Safe to assume where his allegiance may rest in the coming election, but it is wise to now ask what influence he may have. Pacilio now works as Twitter’s Senior Communications Manager, a role that gives him a unique sway on the site.
It could easily be dismissed as straining to make a connection — just because he used to work with her does not prove that he would take any action on her behalf, or at least to the detriment of the opponents. Except for that pesky little issue of precedent. It was just a week back when we saw the Trump campaign have its Twitter account suspended over interpretational standards. The individual making that announcement – Picilio himself.
— Nick Pacilio (@NickPacilio) August 5, 2020
Pacilio is a clear fan of CNN’s Oliver Darcy, a journalist who has called for the deplatforming of other media voices he disagrees with, such as Steven Crowder and Info Wars. Darcy is also a fan of Pacilio, willing to defend the reputation of Kamala’s former mouthpiece. Bear this in mind as we revisit the time during the debates when Harris actively called out for Twitter to actually ban the President from its platform. At the time Kamala said of her proposal:
”I would urge you to join me because here we have Donald Trump, who has 65 million Twitter followers and is using that platform as the president of the United States to openly intimidate witnesses, to threaten witnesses, to obstruct justice. This is a matter of corporate responsibility.”
This was a standing Senator and former Attorney General, calling out for the silencing of the President. Even Elizabeth Warren demurred from agreeing with Kamala on this effort. Now she is a Vice Presidential candidate with a close associate in the position of running comms on that service. To go with this, Harris hails from the area nearby Silicon Valley, and she is regarded as a favorable name to many in the tech industries.
Even the explaining experts over at Vox acknowledged this during their confetti-throwing, following her announced choice to run beside Biden.
Biden’s selection of Harris — who has glad-handed with San Francisco elites for decades — as his choice for vice president is likely to usher in Silicon Valley excitement and money galore in a way that other running mates would not. For a top-of-the-ticket that has struggled until recently to excite the wealthiest and most powerful tech moguls, Harris will bring superfans from the billionaire class that will supercharge Democrats’ coffers, even though it makes Biden more dependent on these big donors.
Kamala Harris has lengthy relationships with Silicon executives, like Sheryl Sandberg of FaceBook, and her presence will likely be treated with deference on the digital platforms. This can only be considered good news for the Biden camp. Let’s face it, Biden – the man known for being confounded by smart phones and wandering off of streaming cameras — needs that tech savvy on his side.