It is no secret as to my feelings about social media. I see it as a medium to turn normal people into bullies; to provide a soapbox to liars.
I have to give the no kill movement credit for turning me against social media. The movement turns animal shelters into battlegrounds when the leaders of that movement encouraged volunteers to turn against the shelters that they volunteered for.
Volunteers are told that they were protected when speaking out against euthanasia as a first amendment right. They are told stories of how volunteers speaking out made the difference. They are told to take control of their shelter. The movement’s intent is to turn animal shelter volunteers into no kill activists.
Most stories of volunteers “getting out of control” begins with the euthanasia of one or more animals. Due to longer holding periods, it becomes more and more critical for animal shelters to provide enrichment programs to keep animals calm. Those programs (like walking the dogs) work on most animals, but some just don’t respond to being caged for long periods of time.
Volunteers bond with the animals while taking dogs for walks. The dogs bond with the volunteers. In rare cases, a dog will only accept the volunteer; while aggressive to others. When a dog becomes aggressive to animal shelter staff, a decision needs to be made concerning the dog. If the decision is to euthanize the dog, the volunteer will not understand and might lash out at the people making that decisions.
In lashing out, the volunteer will garner support from other volunteers and create petitions, create narratives on social media, go to the local media and may even organize protests. Their intent is to demonstrate to shelter management that volunteers should be feared.
The no kill movement has a motto that if you can put enough pressure on a shelter manager, they will leave. If you go through enough managers, eventually you will get one that you like. One who will place animals before people. One who will ignore aggressive warning signs in dogs to adopt them out to families. One who will do everything that he/she is told to do by the volunteers.
It appears that I am not alone. A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that 57 percent of Americans believe social media sites do more to divide the country and 55 percent said that the sites are more likely to spread lies and falsehoods. The poll said that 61 percent thought that social media did more to spread unfair attacks and rumors against public figures and corporations.