To the Honorable Congressman X:
Please be aware that much of the anti-Trump sentiment you may be receiving these days is fake, auto-generated babble produced by a program called, “ResistBot.” When someone wants to send you their negative comment or position about President Trump, but are either too lazy to or incapable of sitting down and composing an actual letter (or person-to-person phone call) using their own brain, complete with a premise supported by relevant facts and a summary conclusion), all they need do is use ResisBot. This phone app begins with, “Hi, I’m ResistBot and I’m going to help you write your officials. First, what name would you like to use to sign your letters?”
The app’s next question is more chilling: “Welcome to the resistance Kate. Nice to meet you. Will you tell me your zip code so I can look up who represents you in Congress?”
The final result looks like a formally typed letter, but with a fairly short message from the young liberal:
“As a young freelance journalist with few opportunities to get healthcare through work, I urge you to keep the ACA intact.”
I’m sure you can see the horrendous problem this represents, Congressman X. Now, instead of receiving self-directed input from those constituents who have taken the time and energy to actually craft their inputs to you, with apps like ResisBot, you’re now being inundated by volumes of 20-second thought-bytes which have not been thought out at all.
This is why I am strongly encouraging you to resist ResistBot. It gives you the illusion of reality while strongly and grossly distorting input from your constituents.
The fact is that most people rarely bother to call or write their representatives and senators who oppose their political point of view. That has already created huge diversity of input, with liberal members of Congress thinking all their constituents are liberal and the same for conservatives. Any good statistician can easily solve the problem. They simply require all input sent to all members of Congress before they systematically adjust the numbers based on constituent demographics throughout the nation, including which members from which party are more or less likely to voice their opinions. Quite frankly, this is one of the major reasons why “all the polls” indicated Hillary was going to win. It’s caused by a mix of biases, including confirmation, ingroup, neglecting probability, observational selection, negativity, the current moment, and anchoring.
Quite frankly, Congressman X, your office, as are all offices of all government officials, are besieged by bias, and ResistBot has already begun making that much, much worse. It’s creator even says, “What staffers need are tallies,” and it’s entire aim is to screw up your tallies. Now you will be flooded by input from those constituents who think nothing of grossly distorting your picture of your constituents, so long as they get their way.
If all you’re doing is conducting a simple count of issues and a pro/con/dk tally, you have already succumbed to these biases.
At least for now, ResistBot works by sending electronic faxes, making those inputs appear legit, as if sent from older people who may still be using outmoded fax technology. The solution is obvious: Simply block the number(s) of ResistBot’s fax server farms. Very soon, however, they may migrate to sending e-mails, at which point you’ll have to screen your inputs by IP address, return e-mail, sent from e-mail, and a number of other means used by spammers.
What are you going to do, Congressman X, when it morphs yet again, to the point where this computer application can call your office directly, and upon detecting a human voice, simply say, “I’m in a bit of a rush, but I just wanted to let you know that I support keeping the ACA alive, thank you, and good-bye…” Are your staffers going to dutifully check the “ACA – pro” box on some tally sheet, thereby giving you the false impression that this was even a real person at all? Or worse, causing you (or many in Congress) to vote one way on an important issue when you should have voted another?
The fundamental problem is that the very act of creating tallies is itself already grossly biased, and while there are ways of partially mitigating some of these biases, many will remain, giving you a false picture of your constituents’ actual positions on various issues across the board. A periodic poll crafted by experts in statistical researchers and analysts would be far more informative, and it would also weed out the opinions of those who refuse to take the time to participate in our Republican government process.
Another good way is to have faith in your voters, that they voted for you because of your historic positions on the issues, and trust you to represent them on that basis alone. They trust you to be smart enough so as not to be swayed by the faxes generated by ResistBot and similar leftist apps, and to instead examine each issue on its own merits and make decisions that are best for our nation as a whole, commensurate with the U.S. Constitution and all lawful legislation following therefrom.