The Internet, and the species that created it, was a mistake.
Now the time has come to correct that mistake.
A new Internet Engineering Task Force draft proposes to apologise for social media. Issued on Monday July 16th, the draft titled “Social Media (An Apology)” is signed by “The Elders of the Internet” and opens by noting “Recently, you may have noticed a dramatic increase in the amount of opprobrium, outrage, hate speech and …
Perhaps this should be followed up by an apology from CERN for their April 1993 statement. Something along the lines of, "Yes we know we said the World Wide Web would be free to anyone, but we didn't consider that the average troll could actually use a keyboard, let alone know how to switch on their computer. Sorry about that.".
If it makes supposedly intelligent people like Musk behave the way he does, there's something up with Twitter, Facebook, and the rest.
To start with, Twitter's maximum length is pretty useless for anything except pithy insults. Maybe there could be something like a minimum 500-character length so people who just want to insult from behind the keyboard/screen would get bored and go away.
The thing about alcohol (and drugs), is that it only brings out what is already there in your psyche. A lot of mistakes in politics, hiring, marriage, etc. could likely be avoided by giving someone a few drinks and then letting them speak their mind before making an evaluation. Or perhaps requiring a final debate to be done under the influence of Pentohol.
It is weird. I've been drunk and also (now long ago) drunk and on various nonlegal drugs at the same time. I don't remember it suddenly turning me into a bigot. Perhaps that's because I don't remember at all the times that it did, but I have this nasty suspicion that, just perhaps, those people already thought the things they only dare say when they were off their heads.
Ah, I see - the Rosanne Bar defence.
He didn't state it as a defence. I stated it as a more likely explanation for his meltdown than social media having secret powers to turn ordinary people into twats with no sense of self preservation.
His admission is from a year ago.
"He didn't state it as a defence."
No, his actual defence was to bet a signed dollar that it was true.
If I were the victim, I'd seriously consider taking up the bet and then going to court to obtain the dollar (plus costs, obvs). It might be worth a fair bit if Mr Musk fails to prove his case.
No, the bet was more of the same. Incoherent, probably intoxicated ranting.
He hasn't offered a defence, probably because he's smart enough to realise that there is none. An apology would only make his position worse, better to get sued for a few million and get over it.
I hope the guy does sue him and get a seven figure settlement. On the other hand if I had to advise Musk on how to handle this situation ... I'd probably kick him in the balls and walk away.
Why on earth would he get a seven figure settlement? He'd have to show damages to that amount, and since no-one believed Musk the damages would be close to zero.
If it came to a lawsuit, then his claim that Musk developed the submarine purely for PR reasons would be more damaging. Many people believe it, partly because he said it while claiming to be an expert on the rescue. (I'm not defending what Musk wrote, because it did cross a line, but the diver was being a dick.)
I see Musk has now apologised. Good.
No, they'll just copy-and-paste until they get over the minimum. I'm reminded of a fictional title that was essentially the word "f@(#" repeated 8,000 times.
PS. For some reason, the title to which the above refers should make for some very good reading in today's screwed-up country. I Hate It Here.
Maybe 500 words. If you can't put together a well discussed argument then stick to shouting in the road.
With 140 words, give or take, you can put together a sonnet. Then again, the internet has thoroughly disproved the infinite monkey theorem, so that really doesn't offer much hope... Perhaps a platform that forces people to post in verse might be worth a shot just the same.
I'm afraid supposedly intelligent people have been behaving in bizarre ways long before the invention of social media - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spent the latter part of his life trying to convince people of the existence of fairies. Technology (in his case, a faked photograph) may be an enabler of idiocy, but it's not the cause.
"Maybe there could be something like a minimum 500-character length so people who just want to insult from behind the keyboard/screen would get bored and go away."
Nah, they'll just program a macro key to spam, "Kappa Kappa Kappa," until it reaches the required limit.
"Maybe there could be something like a minimum 500-character length"
The opposite tack could also be taken. Reduce the maximum length to the point where serious effort is required to condense a thought to anything meaningful. The two could be combined - nothing allowed between 5 words and 500 words.
"USENET was a pretty clear warning."
Fortunately readers like "Agent" allowed you to be selective in blocking specific posters - or to truncate a thread. It was only your view that was filtered - sparing your blood pressure.
Sensible people used a email address in the post which while valid - could be left unread.***
***I wonder what happened to the public black-hole email address in Demon that someone was providing? In those innocent days they presumably did not mine it for people's news group predilections? Or at least only did so for their
When a private entity controls public discussion you know that just ain't right. If I decide it's my mission to reveal to the world that Trumputin is building a weaponised nanobot factory in earth orbit then it's legit for people to block my posts if they want.
But I sure don't want Facetwitter deciding (as they would be perfectly entitled to) that I am persona non grata and routing my stuff into the bit bucket before people even see it.
Private entities controlling public discussion has been the norm through our history. Think Rupert Murdoch or St Paul, to take just two instances from different eras. Genuine commons like Usenet, or like the old Icelandic Thing, are exceptional.
Today's social media are as close to true egalitarianism as history allows. That's why governments around the world - including those that espouse free speech - are desperate for them to be more policed.
"Social media is private space, and its owners refuse to take responsibility for policing it."
There's a story somewhere today that Farcebook "moderators" are deliberately keeping offensive material online because they believe it would hurt their bottom line to censor it. If that is the case, they are making editorial decisions, which makes them liable as publishers, and have admitted a financial incentive to publish material including hate speech and physical abuse of children.
I'm pretty sure *I'd* be in deep shit if I published such material on my own web-site and I'm pretty sure that "but this is how I make my money" wouldn't be accepted as an adequate defence.
However, The Internet is what you make of it. You may, if you wish, completely ignore Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of them, and use the 'net for whatever you like. That's the wonderful thing about it: it's just a series of tubes, through which you can pump any bits you'd like: environmental data, video, phone calls, whatever your mind can dream up.
RIP, "The Hawk".
Social media sites are just that, they do indeed amplify negativity. They encourage morons to constantly battle each other to go "one-up", better house. better car, better phone, better body, so the 99.9% of the rest of humanity feels like shite compared to it. Most of us can see it's all bollocks, all made up tosh. The huge loans people take out to get a better car, better house and better anything just to brag to each other about how great their lives are but some people can't see that and they think they have to compete or worse, think they cannot compete and feel awful 'cos their lives don't match the made up bullshit they see in their social media feeds.
The sickly travelling couples, snogging at every major worldwide destination, sipping exotic drinks in far flung places and proclaiming their perfect relationship in a series of images so vacant and dettached from reality you wonder if they're actually the invention of some marketing group working out of a backstreet office in Shoreditch!
Social media was fun at first but now it's just a quagmire of negativity and bullshit. The quicker we all start to quit it and go back to isolated websites for key interests, the better we'll all be!
Whilst I'm not defending social media, what you have just defined above is apparent in ALL formats of media. Including printed, broadcast or social.
But to be honest, I really don't care enough about it to be bothered by it, and mostly pay it no attention.
There have always been echo chambers, where people amplify each other's biases. The Internet simply made these echo chambers more accessible to everyone. Who needs a lodge meeting or so on every week (and explaining where and when you're going) when you can just sit in front of your computer from the comfort (and privacy) of your home?
Over the decades, I've found various things, including Usenet back in the day, to be a dreadful timesink.
What I haven't found, however, is that my days consist of flamewars, oneupmanship, feeling negative about myself and/or my life in comparison to others, or any of the other negative nonsense people complain about.
The conclusion I draw therefrom is that, if your life on social media consist of those very things then, maybe, the problem isn't social media but the people with whom you are associating.
Find better 'friends'.
Separately, although the proposition is obviously a joke, when I read the proposal that people stick to 'memes', I couldn't help but wonder how would that stop people creating memes along the lines of "I hope your children have birth defects, you fucktarded waste of space!" - but maybe that's just me ;-)
The Internet needs to be sectioned off into walled gardens based on IQ.
IQ < 50 = idiot, padded cell playpen.
IQ < 70 = morons, but hopefully will fail the test : "stick your tongues on the terminals to see if there is a lethal voltage".
IQ < 100 = kinda like above average IQ people when drunk - so can be tolerated.
IQ > 100 = fingers crossed, can self-segregate.
In Germany Facebook posts are screened for illegal content, it is easy to get the big internet companies to clean up their act if there is a legal requirement to do so. If television had had no regulation, it would have developed into a 24/7 pr0n and violence fest too. In the US "free speech" means anarchy online as these ancient rights were not thought out for the modern world.
Don't through the baby out with the bathwater, just apply the same rules to Yourtube as you'd apply to ITV.
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