Andrey (azangru) wrote,

From the Hacker News discussion of a talk by Sacha Baron Cohen about social media:

- This is a thought-provoking speech. Do yourself a favor and watch it in its entirety -- before commenting
- I would encourage every single person who sees this headline to take the time to watch this speech. Its incredibly well done.
- Wow this touches really deeply and closely - given I use social media all. the. time.


So I did watch it, and it’s such a predictable, boring, tired set of arguments. Morality, yada-yada.

"I think we could all agree that we should not give bigots and pedophiles a free platform to amplify their views and target their victims"

— Not all, sorry. I can’t. On the one hand, "bigots and pedophiles", if allowed to "amplify their views", will show themselves for what they are. On the other hand, who the fuck is "we"? Do "we" allow "bigots and pedophiles" to use the internet? Do "we" allow them to leave the house? Do "we" allow them to exist at all?

"If a neo-nazi comes goose-stepping into a restaurant and starts threatening other customers and saying he wants to kill Jews, would the owner of the restaurant, a private business, be required to serve him an elegant 8-course meal? Of course not. The restaurant owner has every legal right, and indeed, I would argue, a moral obligation, to kick that Nazi out. And so do these internet companies."

— This is such a poor analogy ("threatening other customers" in a physical space is in no way close to verbal abuse online); but even so, remember what happened to the baker, a private business owner, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple? And I am sure it’s impossible for any private business owner to refuse service to any customer on racial or religious grounds. Why should the treatment of the hypothetical nazi be any different?

"This is ideological imperialism — six unelected individuals in Silicon Valley imposing their vision on the rest of the world

— The fuck?!

"Here is an idea. Instead of letting the Silicon Six decide the fate of the world, let our elected representatives voted for by the people of every democracy in the world have at least some say"
— Elected representatives voted for by people? Isn’t joining a social media network, i.e. a conscious choice that an individual makes, an act of direct democracy that actually tells that these people wanted to be on the network? This is the vox pops in action. How can "elected officials", in a discourse that puts an emphasis on the word democracy, be more legitimate than that?

"Google still takes you to the most repulsive Holocaust deniers sites with a simple click"

— With a simple click? How did you see a link on which to simply click then? Wasn’t there a "simple search" done before the "simple click"? Are you saying that Google should remove holocaust deniers sites from their index? Are you saying that if anyone wants to get themselves educated, for whatever reason, in holocaust deniers arguments, should not be able to find their sites on Google?

"If these companies really want to make a difference, they should hire enough monitors to actually monitor ... insist on facts, and purge these lies and conspiracies from their platforms."

— Ugh!

"We have standards and practices on television. And the movies. There are certain things we cannot say or do. In England I was told that Ali G could not curse when he appeared before 9PM. Here in the US, the motion pictures association of America regulates and rates what we see. I’ve had scenes in my movies cut or reduced to abide by those standards. Now, if there are standards and practices for what standards and television channels can show, then surely companies that publish material to billions of people should have to abide [by?] basic standards and practices too."

— As if it is a good thing! What of those of us who think it’s a bad, and retrograde (hello, the word "progressives"? how did you end up appropriated by the left camp?) thing, which the internet, at its inception, thankfully, didn’t have? He talks about "founders of the internet", or something, who couldn’t have intended the internet to be what it has become, in the beginning of his speech, — but surely "founders of the internet" didn’t want this to happen to the internet?

"Let me ask you, is having every thought or video posted instantly online, even if it's racist, criminal, murderous, really a necessity? ... The shooter who massacred Muslims in New Zealand livestreamed his atrocity on Facebook, where [it] then spread across the internet and was viewed likely millions of times. It was a snuff film, brought to you by social media. Why can't we have more of a delay? So that this trauma-inducing filth can be caught and stopped before it's posted in the first place?"

— Ok, are there any good, maybe life-saving examples of live streaming video? Live broadcasts on TV (e.g. 9/11 attack)? No?


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