Perhaps, the World is not Ready for Social Media

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  • #25379
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    When I was growing up, I was called “Al-fatto,” a girl said to me, “I’m sick of you and your Spanish farts,” and one other student once said, “let’s have Make Fun of Alfredo Day.”

    When I was in high school, there was a girl who had a distinctive look. She had short, curly hair, and she always wore parachute pants along with non-matching Chuck Taylor All-Stars. All of the items in her wardrobe were deliberately mismatched for an overall kaleidoscopic effect. Because of her somewhat androgynous look, she was taunted; often the implication was that any young woman who dresses in this way must be a lesbian.

    In that era, the people doing the bullying generally had to have the guts to confront the people whom they were trying to torment. Today, technology allows the bullies can hide behind a curtain of anonymity. The consequences, nonetheless, are quite real, as was the case in the tragedy of Brandi Vela:

    http://newstalk1290.com/texas-teen-commits-suicide-after-years-of-alleged-cyber-bullying/

    #25381
    skeptical
    Participant

    I know of an incident where bullies pushed a trans man to kill himself after he posted on facebook he was on the fence. There are hoard of folks who seek out suicidal folk of all kinds on FB then land on their page en mass to urge the offing. FB tidies up the page and perhaps close the accounts of offenders, but this usually comes after the person is dead and the page becomes a memorial page with no evidence a public lynching took place.

    I blame Trump and the hypocritical Christians that elected him.

    #25382

    You blame Trump because a man committed suicide?

    Trump is doing a great service as a scapegoat these days.

    #25383
    paulwalker
    Participant

    I can’t stand Trump’s on-line behavior. It is inane, if not downright dangerous to our security.

    That said, and I’m not sure I ever have shared this before, but I was in Portland sometime in the mid-80’s, it was a warm summer day and a man was threatening to jump off a bridge near the Columbia if I recall. My recollection is a large crowd gathered and most were yelling, “Jump!”. So this isn’t new, it has been part of our “so-called” humanity, or lack thereof, for decades, perhaps centuries. Sorry, but as much as I dislike Trump, I can’t blame him for this. It existed well before any of us knew who Trump was.

    #25384
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    But it’s been magnified without restraint or consequence. And is now endorsed by high profile political figures as well. Big difference.

    Contrary to what Trump and his supporters seem to think, words matter.

    The expression about the First Amendment not protecting one from shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, is a paraphrasing of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes opinion, in the Supreme Court’s 1919 decision in the case Schenck v. United States. The Court ruled unanimously that the First Amendment, though it protects freedom of expression, does not protect dangerous speech.

    In my opinion, the fake news industry, the fake outrage industry, and the like fall under that dangerous speech umbrella. To one example: the inability, or in many cases complete unwillingness due to self-serving fiduciary interests at odds with the common good, of internet based industries to police such speech on their own has created a safe haven for every form of ism imaginable and a torrent of inflammatory misinformation and complete falsehoods. All safely protected by anonymity and all possessing zero accountability.

    This kind of idiocy has always been a serious public nuisance. It’s now morphed into something even more dangerous.

    The public discourse, in general, has now degenerated to below high school level. The average American citizen cannot distinguish between fact and opinion, possesses little to no critical thinking skills, is dismissive of reason and the scientific process, (which, let us not forget is literally the foundation modern society is built upon) dismissive of expertise, distrustful of institutions, credulous to the point of entertaining conspiracy theories at equal merit with rigorously fact checked journalism, and is overall woefully uniformed about the empirical based world. As has been amply demonstrated time and again, the average American citizen could not pass a citizenship test and has an almost comical misunderstanding about the role and function of government.

    In many respects we collectively got the leader we deserved.

    You should, of course have every right to your opinion. You should not have the right to your own facts. The fourth estate is one of the pillars of a functional Republic and it has been under assault, particularly be The Republican Party and conservatives, for decades. Our country, as it has been, cannot survive both an uninformed and non-participatory citizenry.

    To that point, though it’s hardly limited to the conservative news media even though they are (far and away) the largest purveyors of misinformation in our society, we’ve now passed the tipping point where it apparently no longer matters to slightly less than half the voting electorate if the utterly disproven and entirely and alternately ludicrous or dangerously ignorant is the base of one’s political support. Emotion is enough.

    This process has been going on for decades now; and one could argue with a great deal of supportive fact and reasoning that it’s the single biggest factor that’s metaphorically riven our country in two. You literally cannot reason with the unreasonable. Examples even here in this very limited on-line space are legion. It’s micro representative of a much larger trend line.

    What to do about it is a longer discussion with no satisfying answers. I’ve renewed some (digital) newspaper subscriptions, (Including both The New York Times and The Washington Post), made financial donations to a handful of online news organizations, added some more organizations to my charitable donations, (I’ve always supported the ACLU, but had never contributed until now), and plan on being a vocal pain in the ass with my elected representatives.

    The good news is, and I don’t say this as an antagonistic jab but rather as a statement of fact, the majority of American citizens did not vote for Donald Trump. He lost a wide array of demographics by wide margins who are in many cases both angered and frightened by his election. There are a lot of good people, hopefully some elected Republicans among them, who will not allow recklessly dangerously decisions to be made without comment, protest, or vociferous opposition. One would hope, at some point, a combination of ethical concern and human decency might, ahem, Trump blind partisanship.

    #25386
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    I think social media has made America dumber. Or is it more dumb? I think the whole fake news issue is more dangerous to our well being than terrorism is.

    As an example, look at the dipshit that showed up at a pizza joint with an AR-15 to rescue sex slaves thanks to fake news. And I also believe fake news helped Trump get elected.

    #25395
    skeptical
    Participant

    Think Trump has nothing to do with it? Think again. This, by the way is the THIRD transgender South Dakotan who killed themselves (folllowing a posting on FB) after Trump’s election.

    Christians and Trump. You two deserve each other.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/trump-trolls-desecrate-trans-womans-facebook-page-with-insults-after-her-suicide/

    #25398
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    Reported hate crimes have sky rocketed since Trump’s victory. That’s just a statement of fact.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has fairly comprehensive tracking. And of course these are only the incidents that have actually been reported to law enforcement.

    It can’t address the innumerable examples you read about, hear about, and see first-hand where emboldened bigots, racists, and homophobes have been on both the metaphorical and in some cases literal attack since early November.

    The NEA has been sounding the alarm since as early as April that instances of bullying, taunting, and hate speech in our schools have proliferated since the political ascent of Donald Trump. Lying, bullying, taunting, insults, etc. and the like are all perfectly acceptable for the soon to be leader of the free world; why not emulate him? When adults behave worse than children, it’s not hard extrapolate the dark places this is going to take us as a country.

    (Daily) the words and actions of Donald Trump underscore the hypocrisy of self-described conservatives and Christians. There’s not a thing conservative nor Christian about Donald Trump. He lies almost daily. He’s a bully. He’s a narcissist. He’s scarily unprepared for the office he’s about to assume and seems to disdain critical expertise while at the same time exalting mindless agreement. His conflicts of interest are already too many to list and getting worse and more convoluted day by day. He clearly does not understand, or even pretend to understand, any number of the extraordinary complexities that he’s going to be forced to confront in the coming weeks and months.

    Just in the last couple of days, he’s (literally) endangered our national security with his reckless contact with Taiwan. (Sidebar: If you’re not well read and educated enough to understand why this is an issue, and why China is so upset about it and why that in turn should make you concerned, I’m not going to bother attempting to explain it to you.) He’s lied about the particulars of the Carrier deal in Indiana; which basically amounted to a combination of governmentally backed bullying and threats coupled with a corporate welfare handout. (Sidebar part two: I can’t fucking believe Sarah Palin and I agree about something.) He lashed out at Boeing, threatening a government contract (which in turn resulted in a stock sell off that damaged the company and its shareholders) which good reporting has now been able to link to Trump having gotten a sad about some mild criticism a Boeing execute dared to utter in the press about Trump’s threats regarding tariffs and starting trade wars.

    The sheer level of unethical, inappropriate, and deeply troubling associated just with that last nugget is breathtaking.

    Keeping up with the absurdities is almost impossible. It’s the same issue that challenged the press to the breaking point during the campaign.

    If and of these same traits belonged to a Democratic candidate they would be howling in protest. But, Trump is Republican. (Editorial note: No, he’s really not.) So, everything’s cool, apparently.

    “Christians” haven’t said a word in protest about any of this. In point of fact, the majority refuse to even acknowledge the dragons in their midst. The Republican Party seems perfectly content to either tepidly defend, or simply ignore, everything and anything Donald Trump says or does as long as he’s willing to sign the legislation they plan on sending to his desk.

    #25400

    3,000 babies were killed by abortions in the past 24 hours in the US.

    Damn that Trump.

    #25401
    Broadway
    Participant

    >>3,000 babies were killed by abortions in the past 24 hours in the US
    Really the worse travesty of humanity on earth day…and NOBODY is in the streets protesting!!!…more travesty…

    #25402
    edselehr
    Participant

    That’s a lie – no baby dies as a result of abortion.

    Conservatives are particularly dependent on lies to make any point they want to make.

    #25405
    LurkingGrendel
    Participant

    Absurd deflections from completely unserious, and deeply hypocritical, people.

    #25410
    Broadway
    Participant

    >>That’s a lie – no baby dies as a result of abortion
    oh…excuse me…a “potential” baby is who we’re talking about here.
    >>completely unserious
    Life is a very serious issue…don’t get that…very sorry for you.
    Say mindset…all pregnant Mothers say…I’m having a baby, not some proto person or fetus…get real here!

    #25411
    edselehr
    Participant

    “oh…excuse me…a “potential” baby is who we’re talking about here.”

    Yes, exactly. Big difference. It’s illegal to kill babies, but it’s not illegal to have an abortion.

    Words matter.

    #25413
    Broadway
    Participant

    >>it’s not illegal to have an abortion
    but it is putting a human to death…very savagely by the way…not a good thing and again bad law and a travesty.
    Acts matter more.

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