One of his devotees called me a racist for saying #blacklivesmatter isn't a racist movement, and he then went on to call me a "limey wanker."
This is the level of interaction we're talking about, here.
Twitter this week permanently banned a high-profile self-proclaimed troll, marking a possible sea-change in how the social network tackles its worst users. Baffling web celeb Milo Yiannopoulos was previously temporarily suspended from the service and earlier this year had his "verified" status revoked. Then after Yiannopoulos …
Like the cop in Miami who was concerned that an autistic guy had a gun (which was obviously a toy truck) so he naturally shot the guy's black therapist, who was lying on the ground with his hands in the air?
"Very short comments do not lend themselves to any insight but more to snide cracks"
Is it still 160? No matter, you are perfectly correct, a maximum only encourages the barely literate in many cases.
They should switch to a minimum with checks for garbage characters or repeated phrases. Stop people for posting anything unless they make an effort to compose at least half a page of at least semi literate content. That should weed out a fair percentage of those with nothing meaningful or coherent to say. Probably kill the business though, meh, they can go to Facebook and be experimented on.
It's not as if contact anybody as long as they have an account model was a wise idea in the first place, too many with conflicting beliefs or ideas that feel threatened by the beliefs or ideas of others and seek to attack them directly or at the behest of others to whom they identify.
Twitter is great for witty remarks, references to websites, and general short posts. It seems also to be good for abuse.
When people over in the US bleat about private organisations censoring them, they conveniently forget (no one learns civics in US schools any more) that the First Amendment only bans the government from inhibiting speech. Private organisations may choose who they allow to speak/write/post in their forums. And Twitter, not being part of the US Government, can ban trolls and pests and the said trolls and pests can do nothing about it but complain.
The thing is that this design is also Twitter's strength- as a regular user one can have a degree of conversation with interesting people that is possible because of the brevity and low-commitment form of communication we are using. It's also a great medium for one-liners and sharing interesting links.
Unfortunately the things that make it good, also make it vulnerable to the worst of humans and their organisational reluctance to pay any attention to user concerns does mean it is easy for it to become a horribly negative platform if you attract the attention of the wrong subset of users.
In a way, both the sides of this are like a microcosm of the internet in general.
I feel it should do something like exponential back off: the nth tweet in a conversation should be allowed (n+1)140 characters. So the first tweet is 140 characters; the reply is allowed 280; a response to that 320 etc... (I know that's an arithmetic progression, not a geometric one, so it's not true exponential back off.)
Twenty-five years a Sysop on CompuServe and never saw anything like this in the political and entertainment fora. Things did get rambunctious in the Linux forum,but not near as bad. Really shouldn't have been allowed to go this far.
We used to make the point that you were under someone else's roof and their rules. Most people got it then.
>We used to make the point that you were under someone else's roof and their rules. Most people got it then.
Not related to this thread really, but Twitter et al want to be seen as infrastructure. They want to be the roads, not the houses with roofs and rules and gates. That's how they want to be seen, but it isn't what they are.
With the abandonment of open protocols and software in favour of clientless, closed, remote-server-based applications like twitter, users lose the ability to do useful things. We've known for years that you have to have a "contact-acceptance" system or you get spam (smtp), phishing (skype), or just more noise facebook) but twitter is a self-promotion platform so a contact-filtering system rather defeats the point.
The abuse is horrid, but in the same way that ebay has gone from a car-boot sale for individuals to a direct sales platform for business, so twitter is basically a commercial promotion machine. If that assessment is correct, get someone who isn't personally involved to either filter/proxy the requests through or answer on your behalf. That doesn't excuse the abuse, but the abuse is commercially facilitated, if not commercially motivated. An obnoxious troll is bad enough, an obnoxious troll with ratings to maintain will be worse. I don't use Twitter, but it appears to be usenet with just a single top-level of topics (user handles). Cross posting is still an issue.
As far as the trolls' claims of racism go, people need to remember that the internet is bigger than their issue. In a town with just black and white people, blacklivesmatter may be relevant, but it is playing the race card. My first thought was, "Do brown lives matter? Are you interested in what happens to Mexicans? For that matter, do you care when white people are the subject of police brutality?" blacklivesmatter seems to exclude concern for non-black people. Maybe blacklivesmattertoo would have been better? Would that not be snappy enough for the soundbites so the campaign went with the more aggressive-sounding version? The point is, if you draw distinctions based on race, you encourage others to do the same. The ensuing conflict might be great for those who live on publicity (the trolls and the SIGs), but it doesn't actually help. Don't refrain from shooting someone because they are black, refrain from shooting them because shooting people is bad. Rather than "don't shoot black people" perhaps the rules of engagement in general need to be updated or more frequent training and equal opportunity courses need to be taken. That's nowhere near as twitter-worthy but I suspect closer to what is actually needed.
To narrow the focus is to make your statement meaningless. He tweets in an environment where he knows his fan-base will take whatever he says, ramp it up, and bay like hounds across the twittersphere. You can't isolate his comments from the whole point why his comments have an impact.
The problem with Twitter is that it relies on people to get followers, and typically the majority of followers share some or all of the viewpoints of the people they follow.
Milo has enough followers that he doesn't need to tell people to "get her" for them to pile in and post some nasty stuff, he can be fairly vague and yet get the same impact as a direct call to action. The key question is more for twitter to get to grips with, and that is how do you deal with overly popular idiots like Milo?
In the interest of balance you can of course look back at some of Leslie Jones tweets which exhibit racism, anti semitism and calls for her followers to "get her" in response to a tweet.
[quote]I'm sure there is a huge overlap between this group of reprobates and those that said that they were going to move to Canada if the candidate they didn't like was elected president.[/quote]
No thanks, we don't want them here either. We're taking donations to build a wall between us and the US.
"Agreed. Leave twitter to just be an SJW echo chamber and have people with alternative views find a better platform."
It's not about getting rid of alternative opinion. It's about getting rid of steeple that echo and amplify vile character assassination.
It is possible to express an alternative opinion without being c**t! See I just did it!
For the love of dog.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.
What is wrong with the world today? Why are you even giving this guy press?
He's a prick, I concur but by giving him a platform and free publicity just insights others to believe that by being a twat on twatter you can become famous.
Look at streakers in football, the camera's now never show them and the result is hardly any streakers.
A better analogy than the streaker is that of the botnet. The controller has it all primed, ready to go and at the point of attack, there's such a sustained distributed attack that many who are not geared up defensively will just crumble. It would seem that many who row in on such Twitter campaigns really do seem to be operating on a lowest common denominator.
We don't stop talking about botnets just because we worry about encouraging others. There is a point at which - without being an SJW - people can say stop.
Take the technology out of it for a moment - would you feel OK with 40 people openly abusing a person to their face, based on nothing more than a dislike of a movie remake? Would you consider it acceptable for that abuse to turn racist, religious, based on gender, body shape whatever....
Because if its not OK in person, it's not OK when it happens on line.
I agree it's never OK and these people should be banned off social media I just believe that when they get publicity it just gives them exactly what they want and therefore encourages others. I would have thought it much better to publicise the wrongdoing and that they have been banned but not name them. Why feed the troll?
The sticks and stones comment is because I just find it ridiculous that people being abused take the bait, no it's not nice but I'm a strong believer in people showing others to stand up for themselves and not run away because someone is clearly a nasty vindictive piece of shit. The correct course of action in my opinion is to report and ignore, don't even acknowledge any of them. If that happens they will very quickly disappear from the internet.
This is just my opinion of course but I stand by it.
I'm seeing both sides of the coin here, because I never heard of this guy before - and now that I have it's all negative and a warning about abusing other people will get you banned etc.
On the other foot, I also believe that people who become serial killers to make a name for themselves should be assigned a really dorky sounding code word and their actual, real, name forever struck from public records.
Eg. Ted Bundy could be known as 'Mr Bunny' or something. Take away the fame/notoriety and it might prevent someone from going on a kill crazy rampage one day (maybe..worth a shot).
That is just about a genius idea. But I would be inclined, rather than something goofy like "Mr Bunny", to go with something humiliating like "Bed Wetter #3"; it may be possible to combine the two, EG: "Impotent Bunny-fiddler".
Making their Media Name part of the punishment for going on a rampage seems like a very fitting (additional) punishment - and may even help with rehabilitation, when possible.
I suspect that if not on the same actual page, we are at least working from a similar book.
I suspect part of what make this twonk so powerful is that he's been previously suspended and reinstated, de-verified (even asked a question at a White House press conference about that) and IIRC he was more than happy to row in and stir the poison in GamerGate.
This was always going to go public - his position as Tech Editor for Brietbart meant that this was never going to go quietly. Do we have to give him the oxygen of publicity going forward - no.
Will others rise to fill his place - probably. But if Twitter didn't act now, and act with some backbone then it was probable that they would have lost even more in terms of others walking away - and that affects their profitability.
Should Twitter do something to stamp out more of this..... Well Now! That is a loaded question and probably one that will run and run for eons. Questions about proportionality etc.
As to the sticks and stones - perhaps on this occasion it was only words. But in the aforementioned Gamergate, it did escalate beyond words - some of the targets of such abuse were targets of SWATTING - the delights of US policing arriving on a doorstep following a fake 911 call.
That's not to say that he had anything to do with it - but I've struggled to find any records of it being condemned.
Long and the short - I believe people have a right to go about their daily lives and business without being abused - and if someone engages in abuse so as to deprive another of that right then they should face sanction.
I've been on the receiving end of numerous nicknames from my youth however none of them ever stuck because I didn't entertain the notion, the more anyone responds to this sort of behaviour the more it happens. Stop racism by ignoring the racist, trust me it works,
I agree, they should be banned without any publicity, that's the point.
This playground retort is supposed to mean something? 'Assault and battery' -- the 'assault' is the language and behaviour of someone, and 'battery' is the physical attack. We have had a concept of 'attack' being words and behaviour for centuries. Racism and other hate is manifested mostly through language, and it is language that destroys people. Abusive language IS abuse. You can brainwash a person into thinking they are trash, that they ought die. The US Army has a huge resilience program to help strengthen soldiers to withstand verbal as well as physical torture. The stuff that goes into the brain can destroy the mind. It's not name-calling, it's a specific attack using what humans have evolved to do best: language, and it is why it is effective. I can only assume you have never been on the receiving end of bullying or verbal hate. Anyone who has could never be so flippant.
I have a Twitter account but don't use it much.
However as far as I can see a Twitter account is just a bit bucket. It isn't like this forum where a post is visible to all. If you don't retweet a message then it is gone forever.
So to see individual abusive tweets you either have to be already following the tweeter, or following the victim who then retweets the abuse. Or posts the tweet on some other medium for all to see.
Otherwise you are just a voice in an empty room - much like my twitter account.
I am assuming that if you need a twitter account for your business then you can also have someone filter out the crap - or just have a SPAM filter?
If abusive tweets just disappeared with no publicity or reaction then the incentive to make them would surely go away.
Bottom line - don't retweet abuse or tweet that you are getting it. Just report it.
Bottom line - don't worry about abuse or tweet that you are getting it. Just get on with your life, or if you like you can leave twitter.
If I stood up on a stage in front of thousands of people, I would not be surprised if I got heckled by one or two. If I want to avoid heckling, I would avoid the stage completely. Victim culture....
'Victim culture' -- if you want to avoid heckling, avoid the stage. So let's extend that. If you want to avoid being taunted for, say, a disability, don't ride on public transport. If you don't want to be abused for being gay, don't do anything that could be seem and ridiculed as 'gay' behaviour, ie stay in the closet. If you don't want to be catcalled, ladies, just stay indoors.
"So let's extend that..."
Everything can be extended to infinity, and end up with the nazis. Unless twitter now is being treated as something necessary for life I do not think the comparison fits. Obviously I would think this, but I believe my comparison of a stage is better; twitter is there to show off, to gain some followers, influence etc.
The world is not fair, it never has been. There's no point pretending it is, or that we can make it that way. Sometimes people need to be told to toughen up, like it or not.
Abuse on twitter can be so easily solved by not using it. It's text on a screen, which can be turned off permanently.
I don't subscribe to the idea that censorship is always wrong, and I certainly don't subscribe to this fucked up notion that free speech means zero consequences and that I should be able to use someone else's medium to say whatever I like.
@AC and Political Censorship.
Here you go - the reason there was no comment is because there was no political censorship.
Twitter is not part of the state apparatus - the author covered this.
But if it helps..... Imagine you're in a nightclub and you get loud and obnoxious and either threaten to glass or encourage others to glass another customer.
The Bouncers kick you out - possibly with a good size eleven to the arse but hopefully you get one of the ones who is as good at talking people down as he is a taking them down.
No censorship - the business entity has exercised its right to protect its other customers.
That's what happened. No Censorship. Move along. End of.
Actually, that would seem to be the problem right there. Not specifically its existence, but that given the vast diversity of challenging and thought-provioking information available online, people choose instead to gather around sites that exist simply to confirm their prejudices - whether they be right wing, left wing, religiously fundamental or otherwise created to exclude the possibility of doubt or debate.
The Twitter issue doesn't really bother me: it seems to have a kind of US college fraternity culture and I can't see what purpose it serves apart from the affirmation of group membership. However, I am disturbed by the fact that we live in an age of unparalleled access to information of all kinds and yet political debate is perhaps the least informed it has been since 1642. And also that the suppression and poisoning of online sources of information that is increasingly practised by governments is not so much an imposition on the people as a form of collusion with them.
I think the debate is as uninformed as it always has been, only where once it was conducted in private now we get to see it in public.
But, supposing you're right, could one be related to the other? Could people be seek out group affirmation because they are crumbling under the multiplicity of information? (Or maybe they're seeking out group affirmation because of economic insecurity?)
I was involved in a discussion the other day around the juxta-position of many UK youths complaining that their elders had sold them out and ruined their lives etc. (/whinge/whine) when most of them who seem to be complaining didn't get off their arse and *actually* vote.
They *expected* everyone to vote remain, popular opinion and divided polls aside.
Now, quite a few of these youths (and apparently people of more aged appearance) now seem to be taking solace in AR (aka Pokemon) in a kind of mass ostrich-like 'head in the sand' behavior*.
*At least that was the general consensus of what we were seeing happen at any rate. People aren't happy, feel disempowered in some way = stick head in sand and bleet about it online.
Just an opinion piece of course, no facts were harmed in the composition of this post.
" was involved in a discussion the other day around the juxta-position of many UK youths complaining that their elders had sold them out and ruined their lives etc. (/whinge/whine) when most of them who seem to be complaining didn't get off their arse and *actually* vote."
Except that's anecdotal bullshit, because youth turnout was 64%, in the same ballpark as all working-age groups. Which may actually go a little further in explaining why they're so pissed off with the result - they actually voted for once and it didn't go their way. Combined with the general theme of the Remain campaign being 'if we leave, the world will literally end by 3pm on Friday', that kinda left a lot of under-30s feeling very upset.
Actually, while I generally agree regarding the echo-chamber effect of the web (which has only really become this way since social media became a thing and started channeling us into small cliques who agree with each other all the time and filtering out anyone who might offer a different opinion), I think that the US right is in a much worse condition than most other examples, because it started this earlier. Hence this kind of deranged racism masquerading as free speech and the orange monstrosity that just became their nominee.
No one seems to have picked up on the "Freedom of speech" angle;
My thought on it is that it always seems to be brought up as a "defence" by people trying to abuse or attack others verbally or online, for whatever means.
They all seem to dumb to realise that freedom of speech is exactly the same as freedom of action:-
There is nothing actively stopping _anyone_ from snatching a phone or handbag, walking up to someone and punching them etc.
The reason normal, sensible people do not do such things is because they know it is wrong and they know there will be unpleasant consequences.
No difference whatsoever with "Freedom of Speech" - you _can_ say whatever you want, but you should be prepared to suffer the consequences if you harm others or break laws in the process.
"They all seem to dumb to realise that freedom of speech is exactly the same as freedom of action"
Um, no, it isn't.
You don't have 'freedom of action', because many actions - like the ones you cite - are illegal and will result in the state arresting you.
You do have 'freedom of speech' (in the US), because the state will not arrest you for saying things.
That's the difference.
It also has absolutely nothing to do with this case, since Twitter is nothing to do with the state. Though the usual idiots who bring up 'freedom of speech' whenever they're complaining about not being allowed to spout racist or misogynist filth wherever they like generally fail to recognize that too.
How do you think El Reg should have reported this story? They seem to have got their facts right. Is reporting that this chap's fan-base poured abusive comments about an actress into the Twittersphere someone liberal shit? That reporting the ban of this chap is somehow Left insane bias?
Would your version be 'freedom fighter for the right of real Americans silenced and censored by self-proclaimed thought police of the feminzai left?' Just curious.
I don't know that they should have bothered reporting it as it isn't tech related beyond being on Twitter, though this is a comment piece not a report so reflects the author's opinion as opposed to just facts.
Someone was suspended by Twitter. So what? Happens daily. And as far as I can tell there were no innocents in this. On one side there seems to be a right wing attention whore and on the other a semi literate comedian prone to racist outbursts who seems to have been upset by a film review. Both seem happy to stir the crowd when it suits them.
And ultimately to the wider world it's meaningless.
But I still see an article reflecting a particular viewpoint that not so long ago would have come nowhere near this site but looks right on target for Comment is Free.
applies to speech too but..
The price of freedom is the requirement that you accept the consequences of your actions.
That some vile troll like @nero hides behind his sexuality, blames perceived political bias and espouses some sense of entitlement to access a privately owned forum just speaks of how little right he has to be a public mouthpiece.
she was taunting many people for many hours with just as bad language because they didn't like the movie.
look at the whole timeline over very long period to see it.
she played the victim card, @jack personally talked to her, now whiny milo gets to play victim.
since you linked to verge
Yiannopoulos’ tweets were deleted when the account was pulled, and Twitter didn’t provide examples of the targeted abuse or harassment he was banned over. His Ghostbusters review, while negative, didn’t single out Jones, and he wasn’t directly responsible for the more egregious messages she got. So was he suspended over a specific tweet, like the screenshots? Did Twitter decide his gloating was encouraging her harassers? After years of complaints over generally trollish behavior, did Twitter just decide enough was enough?
Consequently, we can’t tell if Yiannopoulos finally crossed a clear line, or if Twitter is only paying attention because the abuse hit a celebrity like Leslie Jones. We can’t examine or dismiss Yiannopoulos’ long-standing claim that he’s been targeted for his conservative views. We can’t know what kind of harassment reports Twitter will take seriously when people besides Jones submit them.
Obviously, a Twitter ban is orders of magnitude less serious than a criminal conviction, whatever the pro-Yiannopoulos #FreeMilo hashtag implies. But it’s not nothing. Just as we shouldn’t tell harassment victims to “just log off” the internet, we shouldn’t pretend that being kicked off a platform with millions of users doesn’t cut you off from some part of modern public life, and Twitter should be careful with the power it’s got.
like I said....meh
bunch of whiners get to play victim cared
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