You absolutely nailed it. This notion that somehow the CA “scandal” shaped the election is total garbage. This thing was a 50/50 split all the way to election day but the zeitgeist has a bulk of American’s believing that the “manipulation” must have swung the vote by multiple percentage points (or more), these are after all the same people that “couldn’t believe” Trump won the morning after the election. They had never met a Trump supporter, they were so wrapped up in their bubbles they simply couldn’t comprehend a Trump voter. Most of them had never met one because they were hiding in the plain site, afraid to speak, lest they be cast as a bigot or worse.
This election was won at the margins, and it that case, we can posit that the tools deployed on social media did have some kind of impact, but its a cop out to suggest that they “handed Trump the election”. That sort of speculation is nothing more than ignorant, upset and naive people trying to find a bogey man. The ultimate goal is of course to “make sure it never happens again”, and for most of those people that means never electing something the social media echo chamber doesn’t support, read, Republicans.
These folks are going to be just as shocked when they realize that a majority of the Democratic party isn’t in their Facebook feeds and will not support a Warrens/Sanders type of socialist. Not to mention there is a large swath of those in the middle that will actively vote against them as well.
I haven’t voted in a Presidential election is three terms because there hasn’t been a candidate that I could stand to support, but I can assure you of one thing. If the Democrats nominate one of those two candidates, I will vote AGAINST them.