Like Clockwork After A Big Tragedy, People Rush In To Blame... Social Media

from the mo-al-pan-ic dept

Apparently the new reality is that following any sort of attack, people will quickly rush in to blame the internet and social media. We've seen it in various forms in the past, but it really took off with the Christchurch shootings last month. And, with the horrific and tragic suicide bombings in Sri Lanka last week, it didn't take long for the same sort of thing to happen. Within hours after it happening, someone had jumped into a Twitter thread on content moderation to let me know that my views on content moderation were clearly invalid, given that the "failure" of social media companies to stop extremists in Sri Lanka was clearly to blame for the attacks. And, hours later, it was announced that the Sri Lankan government's response to the bombings was to cut off Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp (all owned by Facebook). There was some confusion about this, with some people claiming they could still access Whatsapp, while others could not, and others saying that YouTube was also blocked.

Either way, the government decided that social media was clearly part of the problem here. Sri Lanka has blocked these platforms in the past as well, claiming they were "spreading hate speeches and amplifying them" and last year there was a report that basically said Facebook had completely ignored how extremists used the platform in Sri Lanka. According to a NY Times report from last year:

Time and again, communal hatreds overrun the newsfeed—the primary portal for news and information for many users—unchecked as local media are displaced by Facebook and governments find themselves with little leverage over the company. Some users, energized by hate speech and misinformation, plot real-world attacks.

A reconstruction of Sri Lanka’s descent into violence, based on interviews with officials, victims and ordinary users caught up in online anger, found that Facebook’s newsfeed played a central role in nearly every step from rumor to killing. Facebook officials, they say, ignored repeated warnings of the potential for violence, resisting pressure to hire moderators or establish emergency points of contact.

So perhaps there's little surprise that the blame finger is quickly pointing to Facebook for these latest attacks. Famed tech reporter Kara Swisher, who has long been critical of how these companies behave, jumped into the pages of the NY Times to say that cutting off these services was the right call:

So when the Sri Lankan government temporarily shut down access to American social media services like Facebook and Google’s YouTube after the bombings there on Easter morning, my first thought was “good.”

Good, because it could save lives. Good, because the companies that run these platforms seem incapable of controlling the powerful global tools they have built. Good, because the toxic digital waste of misinformation that floods these platforms has overwhelmed what was once so very good about them. And indeed, by Sunday morning so many false reports about the carnage were already circulating online that the Sri Lankan government worried more violence would follow.

She notes that it pains her to say this as a journalist who was always supportive of the idea of connecting the world and allowing everyone to communicate via the internet, but she believes enough is enough. As she notes:

It is a problem, even if the manifestations of how these platforms get warped vary across the world. They are different in ways that make no difference and the same in one crucial way that does. Namely, social media has blown the lids off controls that have kept society in check. These platforms give voice to everyone, but some of those voices are false or, worse, malevolent, and the companies continue to struggle with how to deal with them.

I like and respect Swisher -- but this is an overreaction. It's blaming the messenger app, rather than the root causes of the violence. There were tragedies and massacres in the era before social media as well. And awful people have used new methods of communication for awful purposes, but historically we didn't rush to blame the communications tool. The radio, you may recall, was credited with helping Hitler's rise to power in Nazi Germany, but we didn't decide to ban the radio. Television has been blamed for "dividing" the US over the Vietnam war.

There's no doubt that new communication tools can be messy, and they can be abused by people with ill-intent. There's no surprise that some people can be led astray by lies and propaganda -- but, again, that's not new to the internet. While the internet may have more overall scale, it's not as if "scale" was what was necessary to get a small group of people to set off suicide-bombs in Sri Lanka. And, frankly, the government has said that it had lots of warnings that an attack was imminent -- in part because of intelligence gathered on the internet. The bigger question is why didn't the Sri Lankan government stop the attacks if it was warned they were coming and knew who was involved? And the answer appears to have nothing to do with Facebook, but plenty to do with politics:

Why the security agencies failed to act aggressively on the information before the bombings is now an enormous question. It has been further complicated by a feud between the president and prime minister, which left the prime minister ignorant of the information the security agencies possessed — leading to bitter recriminations that have created a new government crisis.

The history of bitter infighting between Sri Lanka’s leaders appears to have contributed to a spectacular security breakdown that led to one of the world’s deadliest terrorist attacks.

In other words, if there wasn't this political infighting within Sri Lanka, we wouldn't even be discussing Facebook. The fact is that bad stuff happens an awful lot in the world. And when multiple people are involved in the "bad stuff" they'll have communicated somehow. And, right now, pretty much the easiest way to communicate is via various internet-based tools, so they'll get used. But if it wasn't Facebook/WhatsApp, it would have been some other method of communications. It's not clear what good blocking these sites does, other than pointing the blame away from the government for a period of time.

Yes, there are real problems in people abusing social media platforms and often spreading propaganda and other such disinformation. But if your initial reaction is to "shut down" social media, rather than trying to look at the root causes of why this information is being spread, you're missing the point.

Filed Under: attack, bans, social media, sri lanka
Companies: facebook, instagram, whatsapp, youtube


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 11:09am

    Old Media Death Throes?

    It might be a bit conspiratorial but I suspect the whole "blame social media first" push is from old media pissed off at losing despite their monopolization due to their lack of quality and sheer greed.

    Thus they ceaselessly blame social media for doing the exact same stuff they do. Given the other increasingly rabid hatred and attempt to fabricate a "techlash" and projection worthy "Google and Amazon are monopolies that need broken up" from all consuming media conglomerates .

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    • icon
      FlatZOut (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 12:15pm

      Re: Old Media Death Throes?

      I accidentally misread the title of this comment and thought it said “Thanos” instead of Throes. This happens way too often with me, whenever I read a string of text as a different set of words.

      ...alrighty then.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 2:39pm

      Re: Old Media Death Throes?

      It might be a bit conspiratorial but I suspect the whole "blame social media first" push is from old media pissed off at losing despite their monopolization due to their lack of quality and sheer greed.

      This is my expectation also. The monopoly on information has eroded and as result the gatekeepers use their declining pool of resources to target growth of alternatives.

      An early example of this was media coverage of reddit during the Boston Marathon bombing. This event showcased how a social media platform could crowdsource coverage more accurately, faster, and quickly catch then highlight incorrect information in the media for on-the-fly fact-checking. Engaging in these conversations we saw the community self-police targeting those taking to crowdsourced doxing and banning them throughout the day, where those inclined were forced to go elsewhere to engage in that form of activity.

      If you read the press afterward, it's all dirty, dirty smear merchants writing venom at the social media system producing superior content.

      Today the dirty, dirty smear merchants have staffed up and perfected their game to send Twitter-organized harassment mobs after their competition.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:18pm

        Re: Re: Feeding the Beast

        These are the media companies who spent years saying "Google us to find our Facebook and Twitter pages!"

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    • identicon
      Hephaestus, 24 Apr 2019 @ 4:04am

      Re: Old Media Death Throes?

      The simple thing that most governments do not see, breaking up these communication monopolies will lead to less investment in social media by angel investors and the like, much like what happened with music sites 10 years back. This will open the door for distributed social media (think email/text messaging mixed with subscriptions) , which they will have no control over.

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 11:47am

    leaves the video of police having to protect a random guy from a mob who they convinced themselves he was a terrorist

    Social media is a lovely scapegoat for this incident, just like the claims it was payback fro Christschurch.

    This happened because the adults refused to behave like adults, and their bullshit feud now has a bodycount. They want to blame everything else, because we never have to take responsibility for our actions, some evil outside force made you do it. (All the better if they have lots of money we can demand they give us).

    We live in a world where politicians were so afraid they embraced anti-vaxxers & gave them free passes to be stupid. Now people are up in arms about fines for the unvaccinated going out in public. People are dying & somehow no one has suggested removing the stupid rules allowing anti-vaxxers to place their own children in harms way and the rest of society as well. Facebook had to be publicly humiliated for allowing anti-vaxxers to target their bullshit at people who were pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant before they stopped taking the money.

    Sri Lanka cut off the internet to "stop the spread of misinformation'... and that sounds like a reasonable thing in a country where rumors on the street lead to people being attacked for nothing other than someone pointed at them and screamed witch, but perhaps its time to hold society responsible for its behavior & not try to get tech to solve it.

    Someone posts claiming a person is part of the terrorist group & something bad happens to that target... you arrest the asshole who made the false accusation but you also remind the public that just because you saw it on the internet doesn't make it any truer than gossip whispered by the jealous. That mob rule has no place in society & if people have concerns or information you inform the authorities you don't try to create a facebook posse.

    We blame all of the tools, but never the people operating them... its kinda sad.
    The tools just sit there until someone uses them, how can they be the cause of all these bad things when they create nothing themselves?

    People are capable of horrible things, pretending that if not for the tech they would have been good people is a cop out.

    We spend so much time demanding the tech make sure we are never lied to, never upset, never offended... perhaps we should make people responsible for themselves.
    If you don't like what is being said, share your view or stop listening. You aren't forced to hear all of the ideas, but pretending tech has to censor everything for you just makes it easier to pretend it can be done & someone should do it for you. If someone on FB is pissing you off... block them, don't start wars reporting both sides for all sorts of things to win.

    But then we're stupid, but its not our fault we are... tech made us do it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      italic perhaps its time to hold society responsible for its behavior & not try to get tech to solve it.

      Tech is the primary driver of society now, and that's why they're being blamed the way we blame street gangs for street violence.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 12:58pm

        Re: Re:

        perhaps its time to hold society responsible for its behavior & not try to get tech to solve it.

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      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:52pm

        Re: Re:

        A server doesn't tell you that chemtrails make frogs gay, some idiot has to put the information out there, and some other idiots have to believe it.
        We blame tech for making it possible, ignoring that the person who posted it & the idiots who lap it up as gospel.

        Street gangs aren't tech, the gang is a living thing that has to make the decisions tech is just their selection of tools/clothes. The tools/clothes don't make them rob little old ladies, they decide to rob little old ladies.

        We like to make excuses for bad upbringing and hey didn't know better... and those should go over like lead balloons.

        Unless someone held a gun to their head and forced them to do it, they knew it was wrong, they knew they were stealing, they knew society would take issue with them doing it, but they still did it.

        My kids are fat, its mcdonalds fault because they put toys in the happy meals!! No you suck at being a parent for the hard things.

        I'm addicted to shopping!! No you are shitty at managing money.

        We let people excuse the little things and magically now we blame everything but the person who did it...

        To go back to my I'm an immortal sociopath schtick, I can't wait until you hairless apes wipe yourselves out so I can see what nature tries to uplift next.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re:

        You watch Faux News - right?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:18pm

      Re:

      "People are dying & somehow no one has suggested removing the stupid rules allowing anti-vaxxers to place their own children in harms way and the rest of society as well"

      I am vaccinated(So is my child). Why should I be concerned? Doesn't it work?

      Believe in Darwin and the problem will resolve itself

      We can think of the children and how we could have immunized them and then let them be raised by their parents to most likely hold the same beliefs as their parents, especially if religion is involved in any way, but that just makes me wonder how many children died of malaria today. Apparently it is one about every thirty seconds.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:53pm

        Why should I be concerned?

        Well, having a working sense of empathy for others would be one reason. Even if your child is vaccinated, others are not, and letting plague protectionists go unchallenged makes the chances of those unvaccinated children staying unvaccinated all the more likely.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 11:55pm

          Re:

          We can think of the children and how we could have immunized them and then let them be raised by their parents to most likely hold the same beliefs as their parents, especially if religion is involved in any way, but that just makes me wonder how many children died of malaria today.

          Apparently it is one about every thirty seconds.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 7:22am

        Re: Re:

        "Why should I be concerned?"

        Ever read up on what happens during an epidemic?
        When a significant percentage of the population is either sick or dead, the results can be unexpected. One can live without their supersized happy meal but what happens when the grocery store shelves are no longer restocked? Gasoline shortage? Who is minding the utilities?

        No - it will not be easy street for those who are vaccinated.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 8:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I had no idea it was half the Country who aren't immunized. I thought it was just small groups here and there. It is standard in my Country to be immunized

          Maybe Mexico will build that wall after all

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 24 Apr 2019 @ 8:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I had no idea it was half the Country who aren't immunized"

            Half the country is an exaggeration, but due to the way herd immunity works, you won't need that many for the disease both become more epidemic and stronger (i.e. kids more likely to die or be blinded by measles rather than just feeling really sick for a while).

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 9:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Today I learned:

            • The phrase "a significant percentage" is defined as fifty percent.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 12:14pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "...grocery store shelves are no longer restocked? Gasoline shortage? Who is minding the utilities?..."
              Sounds like more than 50%
              Demand would be way down and yet we are still falling behind?
              How did so many stupid anti-vaxxers manage to fill so many key positions? Makes a good argument for discriminatory hiring practices.

              0% unemployment rate though so there is that

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 24 Apr 2019 @ 8:50am

        Re: Re:

        "I am vaccinated(So is my child). Why should I be concerned? Doesn't it work?"

        Several things here. First, not every person is able to be vaccinated for reasons beyond their control (too old/young for the vaccine to work, allergies to ingredients, compromised immune systems due to other illnesses). Secondly, no vaccine is 100% effective. Some people have had their shots but are still not fully vaccinated, especially for adults who haven't had the relevant booster shots since they were kids.

        Because of this, herd immunity is very important. This means that if a certain number of people are vaccinated (usually over 95%, I believe), the it ensures the diseases are far less likely to take hold in a population and thus protect those who cannot be vaccinated. The reason why anti-vaxxer stupidity is so dangerous is that they may willingly reduce that number below the threshold, and thus place even those who have had vaccines under unnecessary risk.

        Also, who cares what crappy belief systems the parents had? The kids don't deserve to die for their parents being idiots, and there's a lot of kids out there who reject their parents' stupidity when they reach adulthood.

        "that just makes me wonder how many children died of malaria today"

        We're working on that, if the anti-vaxxers don't get to them first.

        https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/23/health/malaria-africa-worlds-first-vaccine-intl/index.html

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 11:52am

    Radio jamming

    The radio, you may recall, was credited with helping Hitler's rise to power in Nazi Germany, but we didn't decide to ban the radio.

    Interestingly enough, the Nazis basically did: they jammed BBC and other non-Nazi stations. The Soviet Union did too, as North Korea still does (and it's illegal to own a radio that can tune out-of-country stations).

    This does not put Swisher in good company.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 11:52am

    Radio and television are highly regulated due to the intrusive nature of the media.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 11:58am

      Re:

      How is that any different than the internet?

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 12:03pm

      Re:

      Radio and TV are highly regulated because there is finite spectrum and the most reasonable way to apportion that spectrum is through government licensing.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 12:54pm

        Re: Re:

        They are regulated well beyond licensing, required to do a number of things to keep that license. The internet is not very well regulated in that anyone can broadcast over it.

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        • icon
          FlatZOut (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 12:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          “Anyone one can broadcast over it”

          And that’s what has brought people together. This allows the sharing of ideas and brings creativity and unites groups of people together to express themselves.

          And now governments are taking that away because of their lust for power and wealth. Everything we know and love is being regulated and politicized. Controversies spring from innocent things. Violence keeps plundering once peaceful lands. And we keep being shoved into the shadows of corrupt leaders who probably need to wake up and see the truth.

          And that is the conundrum of the 2010’s.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          They are regulated well beyond licensing, required to do a number of things to keep that license.

          Yes. That's what a license is. It's an agreement to use something in exchange for adhering to a particular set of conditions.

          The internet is not very well regulated in that anyone can broadcast over it.

          That's because there is no finite spectrum to regulate.

          Book publishers aren't subject to FCC broadcast regulations either. Neither are newspapers. (Did you know the New York Times put the word "fuck" on its front page the other day? It's true!) Neither are movies, unless they're running on broadcast TV.

          Even TV isn't subject to FCC regulations if it's not broadcast over the public airwaves. I don't know if you've heard of this Game of Thrones thing? But it's got stuff on it that you can't show on NBC. George Carlin stopped doing his Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television routine after his first HBO special, because, having said all seven words on television, he reasonably decided that it no longer applied.

          The content regulations placed on broadcast television and radio are inherent to the medium: if you're going to use the public airwaves, you're subject to a set of conditions placed on them by representatives of the public.

          If you're not using the public airwaves, then you're not subject to those conditions.

          What part of this aren't you getting?

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 10:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The internet is not very well regulated in that anyone can broadcast over it."

          Yes, because there's an infinite spectrum, so they don't need the same regulation as the finite spectrum available for radio & TV broadcast.

          The fun thing is - you seem to think you're making an argument here, but you're really just refuting the point you think you're making.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 9:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "anyone can broadcast over it"

          Oh Noes!!!
          Everyone panic!!!!

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    • icon
      FlatZOut (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 12:18pm

      Re:

      In recent days everything’s being regulated. Everything’s becoming a heated controversial nightmare and common sense gets kicked out the window really fast.
      With great regulation comes even greater stupidity. Clearly the stupidity of these regulations is stupider than stupidity itself.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re:

        In recent days everything’s being regulated.

        Have you been asleep?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 7:25am

        Re: Re:

        Let me guess - you are one of those de-regulation / privatize everything type people. Amirite?

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        • icon
          FlatZOut (profile), 24 Apr 2019 @ 7:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No. I’m a person who likes to spread creativity and ideas. And I express the idea that money shouldn’t fuel people’s decisions. Big companies lust for money and they’ll do anything to stay on top, even if it means subduing the government into screwing the people over. Stuff like that has got to stop.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      No, it's because useful radio spectrum is a scarce resource with many mutually-incompatible uses, and there needs to be some scheme to keep incompatible users from butting heads on a given frequency, especially considering radio signals don't care about lines on maps, either...

      Filed under: who pointed the woodpecker at Arecibo?

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 10:56pm

      Re:

      No, they're highly regulated because they are utilising public airwaves. Cable television and digital radio don't have the same regulation because they're not on public property.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 12:45pm

    Guys guys guys, before we do anything to restrict the revenue--er, I mean rights, sorry--of social media companies, it's vitally important that we solve the root causes of the human capacity for evil FIRST.

    It's not like that isn't something humanity has been working on since the dawn of our species. It's all so simple, really. After all, it would be ridiculous to insist that we solve a thousands-year-old problem before we even begin to think about regulating a modern industry. I mean, if that were the case, we'd have some sort of regulation of firearms on the books which we don't, right?

    And after all, WHATABOUT the fact that, you know, misinformation and propaganda existed before social media? That prior existence conclusively proves that simply having greater amounts of misinformation and propaganda in no way increases the damaged caused by those things! It works the same way as things like arsenic or radiation -- a little bit is harmless, which of course means that vastly larger quantities of it are just as harmless, naturally.

    Ok sure -- clearly social media will always be exploited by bad actors in order magnify the reach of the harm that they're able to cause, but... OMG LOOK OVER THEIR OKBYEBYE!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:18pm

      Re: yeah your never going to solve that problem So let’s start

      Yeah guys why don’t we ban John the AC just because we can and...really who cares? He would do the same he’s a hypocrite it’s not like it matters anymore

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:34pm

      Re:

      You sir are a moron.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:50pm

        Re: Re:call bluff

        And what would you do about it AC? Go to court and “demand” that you be let back on? Because of first amendment rights you don’t actually care about or support for anyone else?

        Kinda scary when other people say who cares as well huh?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 8:01pm

          Bluff called, Royal Flush, read'em and weep.

          And what would you do about it AC?

          I'm sorry? What would I do about what? Can you be more specific?

          I feel like you jumped into the middle of a different conversation here. But I'll bite.

          If you are referencing being kicked off of a platform for what you say on that platform, I personally would probably first figure out WHY I got kicked off because I likely violated their TOS. I would then either submit a request to have my account reinstated, promising not to violate their TOS that I agreed to in the first place. If denied, I would either move on or create a duplicate account under a different, or slightly altered name and make sure I don't violate their TOS again.

          However, if I was a rabid, racist, sexist, bigot, nutter who got banned for saying something stupid like "kill all the insert people I think are less than human here", I'd probably rant and rave and cry censorship. But I'm not, so I wouldn't.

          Go to court and “demand” that you be let back on?

          No, because platforms are free to set their terms of use within the bounds of the law. If they say "you can use our platform as long as you don't say rabid, racist, sexist, bigoted, nutter things" then they can do that. Same as how I can kick you out of my house because of your stupid delusions.

          Because of first amendment rights you don’t actually care about or support for anyone else?

          I support First Amendment rights for everyone, which includes owners of social media platforms being able to allow or disallow whatever speech they want.

          You keep missing the point that the only time something is a violation of the First Amendment is when the government steps in and tells you what you can or cannot say. What you want is exactly that. You want the government to step in and tell these platforms what speech they can or cannot allow. So congratulations, you're the one who doesn't actually care about the First Amendment. Not me.

          Kinda scary when other people say who cares as well huh?

          Yes, it's very scary that people like you believe the government should be allowed to trample on the First Amendment and tell businesses what kinds of speech they must or must not allow. That's usually the first step towards oppression of the people and why the First Amendment exists in the first place.

          But as far as scary that I might get kicked off a platform? Not at all. I'm very confident that as long as I'm not a grade A bigot, I won't be kicked off for posting my opinions. Because my opinions don't include degradation and de-humanizing entire people groups, harassment, etc... But if you want to engage in those, I hear Gab loves people like you.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:50pm

      How did this get flagged? This is clearly satire.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 8:36pm

      Re:

      I agree with what seems to be the sentiment behind your comment, criticizing Mike for his continued "Actually, all of this is just a dark reflection of humanity, dude" schtick whenever social media or big tech platforms are in the crosshairs, which is more and more frequent these days. I disagree with your implication that one of Mike's goals is that these companies continue to make lots of money. Mike believes in and is a strong advocate for the Marketplace Of Ideas, and very much wants this Marketplace, where simply countering bad speech with "More, better speech" supposedly wins in the end all the time, to succeed. And he seems to believe, for some absurd reason, that massive platforms that can be easily abused and have userbases that range from the millions to the billions, are somehow the perfect crucibles to enable the best ideas to rise to the top, and that any attempt to interrupt or halt these crucibles is an attack on the open Internet.

      The problem is that the Marketplace of Ideas is, as he's discussed previously (but, from what I've found, hasn't really talked about it since), prone to sabotage. As well, unlike a regular market where more often than not old things are made obsolete as new ones take their place, the Marketplace of Ideas is wide open to old worthless ideas that were tried before and failed horribly making a resurgence. Then people have to spend their time More, Better Speech-ing those failed ideas back into the dustbin of history again and again.

      Another issue with the Marketplace of Ideas is that, for it to truly succeed, everybody participating in it has to be arguing in good faith and not using any underhanded tactics to give their speech an advantage. As detailed in Mike's article that I linked to, people are willing to sabotage the Marketplace, unwilling to play by the rules. These saboteurs simply don't care. How are you supposed to More, Better Speech against people who hate your guts and will use any dirty tactic in the book to spread their ideas as far and wide as they can? If content moderation at scale is impossible, especially when people are willing to engage in underhanded tactics that use quantity to drown out that More, Better Speech, then doesn't that mean that counterspeech at scale is also impossible?

      Masnick's naive faith in a Marketplace of Ideas that's functionally impossible given the scale of social media, and his criticism of social media companies that always comes loaded with the ludicrous insistence that they're just "doing a bad job" and they should be given more chances to do better, especially when their patterns of behavior make it seem more like they know exactly what they're doing and are all about consolidating money, data, and power, pisses me off to no end. The brand of techno-utopianism that he espouses is insane. It'd behoove him to adopt a more realistic stance against these corporations who've proven time and again that they only give a shit about money and power. The Hard Times' satire pieces about Facebook are unironically more engaging, honest, and thought-provoking than reading "Sure, Facebook did real bad, but WHATABOUT CONNECTING THE WORLD, THO!?!" from Mike for the umpteenth time.

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      • icon
        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 26 Apr 2019 @ 2:47am

        Re: Re:

        I get what you're saying about saboteurs, etc. I agree that more, better speech isn't the answer when there's not enough of it and people are getting hurt or even killed as a result of saboteur activity. However, the saboteurs, rather than the platforms, are the ones who need regulating. This is what we do in the UK; by criminalising nasty speech we rob it of any idea of respectability or equality in the marketplace of ideas.

        So basically, to counter saboteurs we have a choice; regulate the platform or regulate the people who use it.

        Censorship? Yep. Bad? Yes, because hate speech laws are widely abused to enforce the narrative of the ruling party. So what do we do? If we're going to go down the "More, better speech" path someone's going to have to commit to provide it and honestly, I doubt that's going to happen. Result: censorship of platforms because it's easier to regulate platforms than the people who use them, isn't it?

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 26 Apr 2019 @ 2:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The above comment doesn't mean I actually agree with censorship, but damn, I understand why it's the go-to solution for Our Glorious Leaders.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:17pm

    Step 1 to throwing rocks: Step OUT of your glass house first

    These platforms give voice to everyone, but some of those voices are false or, worse, malevolent, and the companies continue to struggle with how to deal with them.

    It's a good thing that the various news agencies/companies always thoroughly fact check everything they post, never reporting on what someone with power said without checking to see if it was true first, never just parroting the PR a company issues, or what some random nutjob says because it'll get attention...

    It's a real good thing that they very carefully do none of that, because if they did it seems like that particular reporter just shot themselves in the back, providing the perfect justification to clamp down on non-digital 'news' like they are involved in, should someone say(purely hypothetically) blame them for spreading 'fake news' and claim that they are 'amplifying lies and/or spreading conspiracy theories'...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:40pm

      Re: Step 1 to throwing rocks: Step OUT of your glass house first

      This takes me back to 9/11 and Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. If there had been society-wide social media back then, the violence in Iraq would have been blamed on it. Since there wasn't, the US government used CNN instead.

      The issue with social media is that it gives anyone the same podium as entrenched political leaders, without the same checks and balances.

      But the solution to that isn't to ban all new means of communication, it's to figure out how to adapt to the new landscape, and sadly, add in a few new checks and balances. Because just ignoring the shift, or deep-sixing any platform that's used inappropriately, isn't actually going to fix anything. There will always be new ways to communicate.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:59pm

        Re: Re: Step 1 to throwing rocks: Step OUT of your glass house f

        "This takes me back to 9/11 and Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. If there had been society-wide social media back then, the violence in Iraq would have been blamed on it. Since there wasn't, the US government used CNN instead."

        LOL - wut?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:11pm

          Re: Re: Re: Step 1 to throwing rocks: Step OUT of your glass hou

          We know Saddam had WMDs. They had MADE IN USA on the box.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 7:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Step 1 to throwing rocks: Step OUT of your glass

            Yes - but I was responding to the claim:
            "If there had been society-wide social media back then"

            Maybe not during desert storm, but certainly by the year 2001.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:13pm

        Re: Re: Step 1 to throwing rocks: Step OUT of your glass house f

        Independent publishing does the same for entertainment.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:13pm

      Re: Step 1 to throwing rocks: Step OUT of your glass house first

      The anti-vaxxer problem is a good litmus test for where the line should be.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:14pm

      Re: Step 1 to throwing rocks: Step OUT of your glass house first

      Yet they've all disabled comments because too many skeptics spoil the broth.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:17pm

        Re: Re: Step 3 profit

        And not because, to pick a totally random example. Some idiot spammed their forums with his garbage?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:37pm

    Maybe its time for a law any building or church that has more than 50 people in it should have security on the door,
    Anyone carrying a large bag or backpack must be stopped and searched.
    i think every small pub in america has security at the door just to stop people under 21 buying beer.
    As well as providing security to the pubs clients.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      Shops, malls, hotels, railway stations etc. are large buildings, and people carry large bags into them all of the time. Can you picture the chaos if everybody with a large bag was searched on entering such buildings? Besides which, a suicide bomber can kill door security on their way in.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:11pm

      Re:

      my local strip club has a metal detector.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 8:20pm

      Re:

      Maybe its time for a law any building or church that has more than 50 people in it should have security on the door, Anyone carrying a large bag or backpack must be stopped and searched.

      Have you ever been to Disney World? Or any amusement park for that matter? They do that there. There are typically INCREDIBLY long lines of people waiting to get in. Do you realize that what you are suggesting would bring society to pretty much a screeching halt? Especially considering that 95% of buildings and churches have more than 50 people in them? Businesses that have 50 people in their building, or just over, (like small restaurants, department stores etc...) wouldn't be able to afford the staffing necessary to make sure that takes place, let alone get people in and out in a timely manner. Not even Disney can do that, you think a mom and pop shop is going to be able to?

      i think every small pub in america has security at the door just to stop people under 21 buying beer.

      Then you obviously don't live in America because they don't. And generally they aren't called pubs. We call them bars. There's 20+ of them in my city and NONE of them have security ID'ing people at the door. The only time I've ever heard of that kind of security is for upscale night clubs, and those are not nearly as prevalent as bars or "small pubs".

      As well as providing security to the pubs clients.

      See above but to reiterate: that is not what actually happens in America.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 1:55pm

    Social Media ... the new video games

    Guess they gave up on blaming video games for all of life's problems.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 3:29pm

      Re:

      Those evil, child-corrupting, satan-worship-encouraging forms of pseudo-entertainment will have their day in politico-public non-court again!

      /s just in case

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  • identicon
    DocGerbil100, 23 Apr 2019 @ 4:02pm

    Hmmm....

    I'm entirely onside when it comes to TD's general assessment of the sheer hell of large-scale moderation issues.

    I'm entirely in agreement with everyone here when it's suggested that old-media lobbying probably constitutes much of the incentive to blame FB and other platforms for Sri Lanka's problems...

    ...but...

    ...if - as suggested by the criticism - FB genuinely had fair and direct warning of specific, major moderation issues and has chosen to ignore those issues entirely, then I think some measure of blame really does fall on FB's own shoulders.

    This, according to the account, is a situation where violence is brewing and erupting daily, in large part fuelled by bullshit spreading on FB.

    Even if only as a matter of good PR, it would seem prudent to have put forward stronger moderation policies and more responsive points of contact for the authorities to try and keep a lid on things.

    FB ignoring the problem, sticking its fingers in its ears and loudly singing the theme tune to the Banana Splits instead, was and is an open invitation for bad legislation.

    They're not responsible for the violence, but they are at least partly responsible for the regulatory push that's followed it.

    In a situation where so many people are dying, they could have and should have done better.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 4:42pm

      Re: Hmmm....

      Telling a social media site that they have a moderation problem is not helpful, unless you expect them to use keyword based algorithms to heavily censor good, bad and indifferent conversations.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 8:09pm

      Re: Hmmm....

      Having moderation issues is not against the law, nor is it even remotely suspect.

      Some sites don't even have moderation and it's perfectly legal and morally ok.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 7:36am

      Re: Hmmm....

      "In a situation where so many people are dying, they could have and should have done better."

      Third party liability? Say it isn't so.
      Looking for the easy answers in lieu of root cause, is a human fault that is difficult to overcome and as you pointed out can lead to very bad decisions. Censoring speech you do not like is one of these bad decisions. If someone posts evidence of their illegal activities then they should be held accountable - no?

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    identicon
    HG, 23 Apr 2019 @ 4:07pm

    Jewlywood

    Before the 1980, there were still 30 or so "media"companies.

    Today, there are only 5 left, all managed and owned by Jews, and everyone knows it but do not dare to tell this fact.

    Hollywood is owned by Jews who produce films and stories to fulfill the jewish lobbies agendas.

    But let's pretend that the censorship, the fake news, the far left ideology and cultural marxism these media vomit all year long are nothing but the representation of our world rather than the propaganda of the very few...

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    identicon
    hg, 23 Apr 2019 @ 4:18pm

    islam is worse than nazism

    The only people to blame for the Sri Lanka jihadist massacre are the muslims who committed it in the name of their fascist fake religion called "submission" (islam).

    The title itself shows that it is a fascist type organization or cult like the nazi party or the KKK, but certainly not a religion.

    Like in the attack against Notre Dame in Paris, grossly downgraded to a "computer glitch" by the prostitute media and the puppet macron governement, the war is on against the Christians, the Western world and our civilization.

    The muslims invade, terrorize, kill, attack, massacre and colonize us with the help of most of our corrupted politicians, the corporate media, social media giants and the passive and obedient idiots who are also the victims of this WAR.

    We, will have to fight back or disapear, we will have to kill the muslims, expel them from our lands or we will become like Iran, saudi arabia, algeria and other islamic shitholes of this kind.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 4:46pm

      Re: islam is worse than nazism

      Replace Muslim with Infidel,, and you sound just like the extremist Muslims you are railing against, showing that you have the same extremist mindset.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:22pm

      Re: We, will have to fight back or disapear

      Don’t let the door hit your dumbass on the way out. In fact why don’t you little whinging cunts go back to your little inbred safe spaces at Stormfront or whatever trailer you crawled out of. We all know that if you actually tried any of the shit you talk about you drop your dads revolver and blow your kneecap off.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:42pm

      Let’s see how much you sound like an violent extremist.

      The only people to blame for the wars in the Middle East are the Americans who committed them in the name of their fascist fake religion called “capitalism”.

      The title itself shows that it is a fascist type organization or cult like the Nazis or the KKK, but certainly not a religion.

      Like in the war in Iraq, grossly downgraded to a “mission accomplished”" by the prostitute media and the puppet Bush/Cheney government, the war is on against Muslims, the Middle East, and their civilizations.

      The U.S. military invades, terrorizes, kills, attacks, massacres, and colonizes Muslims with the help of most of our corrupted politicians, the corporate media, social media giants, and the passive and obedient idiots who are also the victims of this war.

      They will have to fight back or disappear. They will have to kill the Americans and expel them from their lands, or they will become like Afghanistan, Vietnam, and other “American-made” shitholes of their kind.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 4:26pm

    Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

    Unfortunately I've read 2 articles today saying that you can't blame social media or the internet for people using them to do bad things. This definitely sounds like the same argument that gun rights activists are using to say you can't blame the guns and need to blame the people. Interesting to see how the same argument can be embraced and completely disagreed with by some of the same people simultaneously.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:07pm

      Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

      Like #notallmen and #notallmuslims

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:33pm

      Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

      This incident wouldn't have happened if we had a worldwide ban on guns.

      Bombs were used? Who could have seen that coming?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 7:07pm

        Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

        Oh man. You are right. Let's make it illegal for people to make and own bombs. How could anyone see coming, well it happens all the time all over the world.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 7:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

          In the UK, it was proposed that pointy knives should be outlawed because there were too many stabbings and you really don't need a pointy knife for any cooking - lol

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:44pm

      With all due respect to Marshall Mathers:

      Can Twitter load up a gun for you and cock it too?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 10:11pm

        Re: With all due respect to Marshall Mathers:

        Exactly. And guns don't load themselves and shoot people, bombs don't build and detonate themselves, knives aren't bouncing around stabbing people. But people are using these things and far more to harm other people.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:57pm

      Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 8:04pm

      Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

      There has yet to be one incident of someone using a social media platform to physically kill another human being.

      Your logic and argument is invalid.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 9:18pm

        Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

        Does that include the people in India who died by vigilantes after being falsely tagged for something?

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 24 Apr 2019 @ 10:34am

          Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

          Does that include the people in India who died by vigilantes after being falsely tagged for something?

          What did the autopsy say? Death by Facebook?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 8:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

          Once again, they were killed by vigilantes, not social media.

          Being falsely or accurately tagged does not normally result in death. Pulling the trigger of a gun while pointed at a human being, does.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 10:13pm

        Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

        Ummmmm. Ok, but encouragement does far more than a weapon just sitting there with a person who has no reason or intent to use it maliciously. You lack logic and an argument.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 8:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

          Ok, but encouragement does far more than a weapon just sitting there

          And yet, encouragement doesn't require social media to spread. Social media still does not kill people. It's a communication tool that has a wide range of uses, only one of which is to "encourage" others to do things, good or bad.

          You don't need social media to encourage people to kill others, you can do it over the phone, email, newspaper, print media, blogs, snail mail, and gasp word of mouth.

          If you want to address the "encouragement to kill other human beings" fine, but social media is not responsible for it. Nor can it be used to actually, physically kill someone.

          with a person who has no reason or intent to use it maliciously

          .......I'm tempted to not even respond to the stupidity of this statement.

          Every murder committed with guns throughout history has had a person behind it with a reason or intent to use it maliciously. Social media has nothing to do with it. People who commit murder either already have reason or intent or are in a mental/emotional state that makes them predisposed to such action. Whereas a normal person would reject that course of action when "encouraged" by outside pressures, they do not and instead engage in it.

          The fact that they may or may not have been "encouraged" via social media is irrelevant. It could have come from anywhere. Indeed, I find it highly unlikely that social media is to blame for "encouraging" all the murders throughout history before social media was even invented.

          You lack logic and an argument.

          No sir, that would be you. Your argument is that social media, an ephemeral communication tool, is magnitudes more dangerous and deadly than a mentally unstable person with a loaded gun. This assertion is laughable in the extreme. I'm not saying social media doesn't have it's faults, but it is nowhere near deserving being regulated as a deadly weapon, especially when it has a myriad of other beneficial, constructive, non-deadly uses. Guns have one purpose. Killing.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2019 @ 2:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

            Actually, had you read anything I'm writing you would see that I absolutely do not blame social media. I also do not blame weapons. People are the issue, but anytime there is a tragedy these days people try to find anything to blame besides the people who commit the actions. My comment about the encouragement doing more than a weapon in the hands of a person with "no intent to use it maliciously"(that's a pretty specific statement, nobody was making a comparison to a mentally unstable person besides yourself) was meant to point out that people like yourself can't stand that someone can have a weapon and not be a murderer, but saying that someone could be influenced and encouraged by what they see/read on social media is absolutely absurd cause, cause social media is just for sharing puppies and unquestionable truth.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2019 @ 7:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

              First off, I do apologize if I misunderstood your position.

              That said, you should probably be more specific with your statements to better clarify your point. The way you phrased it pretty much states that you believe social media is more dangerous than a loaded gun. Following it up with an insult doesn't help and makes you look like one of our resident trolls who also make vague, baseless accusations preceded or followed by insults.

              Actually, had you read anything I'm writing you would see that I absolutely do not blame social media.

              You stated nothing of the sort. In fact, your statements very clearly imply otherwise:

              encouragement does far more than a weapon just sitting there

              In a comment thread specifically talking about social media, you give me no reason to interpret it any other way than you referencing social media.

              People are the issue

              On this we agree.

              anytime there is a tragedy these days people try to find anything to blame besides the people who commit the actions

              Some do, yes.

              My comment about the encouragement doing more than a weapon in the hands of a person with "no intent to use it maliciously"(that's a pretty specific statement

              Yes it was specific. In a conversation specifically about social media, there is nothing in there to suggest your statement was not aimed directly at social media. If it was not, you should have clarified that. I am not a mind reader.

              nobody was making a comparison to a mentally unstable person besides yourself

              Yes, because I was rebutting your somewhat silly statement that people who commit murders with guns don't have any reason to unless encouraged by outside sources. And I quote:

              a weapon just sitting there with a person who has no reason or intent to use it maliciously

              Obviously many people who own guns don't use them to commit murder. It's only the ones who do have reasons who do, and they are generally mentally/emotionally unstable. Again, normal people don't commit murders just because they have been encouraged to do so. It's only the people who already have underlying issues who do.

              was meant to point out that people like yourself can't stand that someone can have a weapon and not be a murderer,

              That is some serious projection on your part supported by nothing I stated. I am, in fact, quite fine with most people owning guns. I in fact have several friends and family members who own guns and are not murderers. I even occasionally go target shooting with them. It would seem you are looking to make a case where there is none.

              but saying that someone could be influenced and encouraged by what they see/read on social media

              Yes, they can. No one is disputing that fact. However, they can also be influenced and encouraged in a myriad of other ways too. If you're going to hold social media liable for people committing murders because of things they saw or heard on these platforms, then you also have to hold every other form of communication liable as well. Otherwise you're just a hypocrite with a grudge against social media and one of those people that you supposedly despise who are looking to blame anything other than the people responsible for these crimes.

              is absolutely absurd

              No,it's not absurd to think that it's illogical to hold a communication tool liable for the actions of someone else who did something not even related to said tool. Again, were the murders committed using social media? No. It's even more illogical than blaming a hammer because someone used it to bash someone's brains in.

              cause social media is just for sharing puppies and unquestionable truth

              Again with the projection. Nowhere did I state this. Stop putting words in my mouth and debating dishonestly. It is a tool. And like any tool, it can be used for good or ill. That doesn't mean we start blaming the tool and regulating it because some bad actors used it in a way we don't like, or were influenced BY OTHER PEOPLE who use the tool.

              I hope I have made myself clear.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2019 @ 4:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

                I am glad you took the time to read. I will certainly be more pointed in my statements specifically for you in the future.

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      • icon
        cattress (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 10:40pm

        Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

        Well, not to be obnoxious, but there was that incident where some jerk tweeted a flashing/strobing image or gif to someone they knew to be epileptic in order to trigger a seizure. The person did not die, but this is a unique situation where social media could be used like a physical weapon to cause death.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 7:41am

          Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

          ... and you need social media to do that?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 8:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

          As the other commenter stated, you don't need social media to do that. There was an episode of Pokemon that was banned in the US because of a scene that involved a flashing/strobing image that had the potential to cause seizures in some susceptible individuals.

          The person did not die, but this is a unique situation where social media could be used like a physical weapon to cause death.

          Except that social media still would not have caused death. The flashing/strobing image would have and could have been transmitted via a variety of different methods. Hell, people susceptible to that sort of thing take chances just looking out the window during a lightning storm.

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          • icon
            FlatZOut (profile), 25 Apr 2019 @ 5:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

            Hey just out of curiosity, how did you indent some of the text for the quote? I’m still trying to figure out the different techniques with this comment system.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2019 @ 3:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmmm but, but, we can't blame people

            Well damn, now we have to ban lightning.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 5:32pm

    newsflash: people are people on the internet, just like they are in meatspace. film at 11.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Apr 2019 @ 6:11pm

    In unrelated tech news this week: a massacre in Alaska. 350 years ago. Seems some people got angry, and plotted to kill a lot of other people. Didn't have guns, didn't have dynamite, didn't have twitter or google or Siberian hatemongers or Koranic verses or even Hearst's Yellow Press. Didn't have APVs or military paved roads or any kind of public transportation.

    Didn't matter. Somehow, lots of people still got killed, all across Alaska and Canada. It could, of course, have been worse. Didn't have tort lawyers, so nobody sued the tribal fishermen for harvesting mercury-tainted seals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 23 Apr 2019 @ 7:58pm

    Annnndddd,,,Lets play bad cop..

    "Within hours after it happening, someone had jumped into a Twitter thread on content moderation to let me know that my views on content moderation were clearly invalid, given that the "failure" of social media companies to stop extremists in Sri Lanka was clearly to blame for the attacks."

    NOW, how would he know this?? Lets ask him..
    Becasue I THINK he was PART of that conversation..Lets pressure him to find out..
    Where can we do this...Guantanamo??
    Lets ask him if it could of been Just a phone? A cellphone.. A smart phone, a NEWS paper, a Message sent in the mail..

    OR did his Girl friend DUMP him because he was the WRONG religion and he decided to take it out on the CHURCH she went to....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 7:51am

    Look. We the public NEED a scapegoat. It used to be video games but that is old and tired and no one really buys that anymore. So now social media is our new scapegoat and we will use that sucker until we are finally forced to acknowledge we are beating a dead horse and go find another goat. Heaven forbid we actually tackle the real problems or issues. So much easier to break out a broad brush and misrepresent reality until we feel better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2019 @ 8:08am

    Media bunch a fucken hypocrites
    Muslims die and the world bends over backwards to appease em
    Christians die and it's move along nothing to see here .
    Better read up {if you're even allowed} on your sharia law
    cause soon enough it will come for you .
    So much for live long and prosper

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, 24 Apr 2019 @ 9:57am

    They've just moved on from video games as the standard issue boogeyman to blame for violent crime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    bhull242 (profile), 24 Apr 2019 @ 4:36pm

    That guy who tweeted you…

    Within hours after it happening, someone had jumped into a Twitter thread on content moderation to let me know that my views on content moderation were clearly invalid, given that the "failure" of social media companies to stop extremists in Sri Lanka was clearly to blame for the attacks.

    Hang on. Isn’t that exactly what you said, anyways? That it’s impossible for large platforms to moderate such content at scale and catch them all? How does this prove you wrong at all?

    If social media companies can’t moderate content at scale, any attempt on their part to stop extremists is doomed to fail to some extent, so it’s hardly surprising that they failed to stop some extremists in Sri Lanka.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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