Read Editorial with D2G – Ep 529

Read Editorial with D2G – Ep 529

Welcome gibberish

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Meanings are given in BOLD

Remember “covfefe”? In 2017, Donald Trump, then US president and not yet exiled (having been expelled and barred from one’s native country, typically for political or punitive reasons) from social media, tweeted gibberish (words that have no meaning or that are impossible to understand) and people around the world went into a tizzy (a state of nervous excitement or agitation).

On Tuesday, the official Twitter handle for the US Strategic Command posted a message — “l;;gmlxzssaw” — prompting its very own covfefe moment. After all, when the organisation responsible for looking after the world’s largest nuclear arsenal (a collection of weapons and military equipment) appears to tweet in code, conspiracy (a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful) theorists (a person concerned with the theoretical aspects of a subject; a theoretician) and satirists (a writer or user of satire) find common ground.

Perhaps (used when making a polite request, offer, or suggestion) the accidental tweet was the nuclear launch code. Maybe it was a message from the Illuminati (people claiming to possess special enlightenment or knowledge of something), the favourite fantasy of conspiracy theorists who believe a secret group of elites (a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society) controls the world.

And why not just a simple hacker enjoying an early April Fool’s Day? As it turns out, Occam’s Razor holds good and if it looks like gibberish, it probably (almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell) is. A child from the family of the Strategic Command’s social media manager was left unattended (not noticed or dealt with) with the phone that had access to the account — “l;;gmlxzssaw” was the result of a toddler (a young child who is just beginning to walk) pressing random buttons.

Covfefe 2.0 has much in common with the original. It could well be an allegory (a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one) for the social-media-obsessed (preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually and to a troubling extent) world. There is too much power in words and it’s easy now to cause a panic, even over a bit of nonsense.

Often, the great and common alike are left unsupervised (not watched over in the interest of their or others’ security) with this power, free to lie for self-promotion and be cynically (in a distrustful way that expresses a belief that people are motivated purely by self-interest) bigoted (not liking or trusting somebody/something for no other reason than his/her/its race, religion or sex) in their pursuit (the action of trying to achieve or get something) of attention. There is no solution to this problem — free speech has a price. Given the hatefulness people on social media have become accustomed (usual; regular) to, a bit of gibberish is actually a relief.

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