Diary

The "Character" of #OccupyWallStreet

Anyone with a smart phone can snap a picture of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests and turn it into a game of “spot the hypocrisy.”  Here you have people protesting the evils of capitalism and corporations and yet they sport smart phones, wear designer clothing, and take coffee breaks at the local McDonalds or Starbucks.  Their phones, clothing, and coffee all come from large corporations trying to make a profit.  Even the title of their movement, “#OccupyWallStreet,” shows the hypocrisy or cluelessness of this movement.

What does the pound sign (#) mean in “#OccupyWallStreet?”  Is it that thousands of people happen to have purchased a glitchy smart phone with a bad keyboard?  Is it the symptom of bad public education?  No, this is a Twitter tag.  Anyone who uses Twitter can insert that tag into their post so it can be easily found and grouped with other posts on a similar topic.  And for those who don’t know, Twitter is a website that allows people to post and receive messages from their phone.  Twitter has become the lifeblood of many modern protests such as ones held in Iran, Egypt, and now this crusade against capitalism.

And this is where the irony comes in.  Twitter is not some sort of charitable institution or government agency.  It is a FOR PROFIT business (and a very successful one) that makes money by selling its message database to search engines and making other deals to give companies “top billing” in searches.  I find it funny that the Occupy protesters are using the technology from the very type of company they want to eliminate.  Going further, they send tweets on smart phones made by, you guessed it, large corporations like Apple, Motorola, and Samsung.  But that’s where the protester’s reliance on “greedy corporations” ends right?  Nope, those phones need to run on the infrastructure created by AT&T and Verizon, again large corporations.  And let’s not forget that Twitter’s existence was made possible because of the Internet.  And while the Internet has its roots in government, it was corporations that turned it into a tool that connect billions of people worldwide.

But I’m pretty sure the irony of this is lost amongst the “Down with capitalism” and whatever other mush these people can fit in 140 words or less.