Tag Archives: Freedom of Speech

How to Fix Social Media

A review of Parler on Renard’s website got me thinking about the mess that is social media

Image via SocialMediaExplorer.com

The bias, cliques and general toxic nature of it all has made me walk away from it entirely years ago. I’m still not sure a blog counts as social media, but this is it for me. 🙂

The reality though is that all social media platforms are EASY to fix. Easy in the sense that the solution is straight forward, but it does require work. What’s the answer? Simple:

Ages ago, back when the closest thing to social media was .vbb (virtual bulletin board – similar in form to reddit, although a little more primitive) discussion sites, I helped moderate one of the biggest ones out there. The code of conduct there was pretty straight forward. The biggest rule that we used to define Trolling and abusive behavior was:

You can debate the idea, but DO NOT attack the person making the post.

Examples (of somewhat obvious concepts):

Debate the Idea: “Tax cuts for the rich doesn’t result in them creating more jobs via reinvestment, they just horde wealth.” Controversial enough to be an example here.

Attack the Post Maker: “What kind of idiot believes that tax cuts actually help the economy?”

Do I even have to point out how one keeps the debate more focused and civil, while the other degenerates it into ad hominid personal attacks and childish name calling?

Why isn’t it done? Simple. None of the owners of these sites want to pay for moderators, and bots aren’t sophisticated enough to differentiate yet. They also avoid dealing with tantrums claiming bias if a human moderator shuts down a troll and their followers.

Yes, there’s political and (mostly) economic bias guiding these decisions also. They don’t want to take what will inevitably be a very large hit to their user bases via this rule. Personal experience has taught me that this is fairly short term though. People LOVE having the spotlight. Take it away from them, and they’ll rant and pout, but then come back and play within the rules MOST of the time because they want their stage and audience back.

The habitual rule breakers and one who will try to skirt the rules constantly… They’ll always be there, and will act even worse without that kind of rule in place.

Of course, there’s the other issue that has to be dealt with, and that takes a cultural shift: Back then, the common sense belief was that free speech and the ability to freely debate ideas was paramount.

Nowadays everybody wants to live in an echo chamber:

The biggest step to straightening out the internet and social media specifically is that the other side has a right to speak.

I’ll be blunt, if you have to resort to silencing dissenting voices via name calling, applying labels, trolling, attempting to get people banned or blocked, etc… In short, if your ideas can’t stand the light of open honest discussion, chances are you don’t understand them yourself.

Change that and implement the above rule along with a few other common sense ones (ie no advocating violence), and social media would change fairly quickly.

BitChute; An Alternative to YouTube

This one will be a quickie. As anyone who’s paying attention knows, censorship has gone off the deep end lately. The government and big tech are vanishing anything that disagrees with their official narrative. YouTube and it’s Google masters are leading the way there, even more so than social media.

https://www.bitchute.com/

BitChute is fast becoming the popular alternative to YouTube. The mainstream media hates it of course:

BitChute is a video hosting service founded in 2017. It was created to allow video uploaders to avoid content rules enforced on other platforms, such as YouTube. The platform accommodates far-right individuals and conspiracy theorists; with the Southern Poverty Law Center saying the site hosts “hate-fueled material”. Wikipedia

To be fair, I did see conspiracy theory videos there. Nothing from nazis and similar types during my brief visit though. What I also saw were former YouTubers who were screwed out of payments during the policy change a year or two back, and more moderate videos questioning things like why even talking about food shortages and the mass killing of livestock that can’t make it to market is now being banned.

BitChute Food Shortage Rant Video

As with ANY information source, go in with a skeptical, discerning mind. They’re worth a look though.

Chris Mathews is Gone…

My first “Tuesday Trash” post following my blog reorganization.

Chris Mathews abruptly resigned, errr… “Retired” from MSNBC at the start of his “Hardball” show last night.

For the record, I never cared for Chris as a journalist. His “thrill up my leg” comment about Obama’s election is just one easy example of how biased he was. NONE THE LESS, as with Trump, I feel compelled to defend him here. Fundamental honesty and fairness demand it.

Mathews “retired”, briefly making some vague remarks about inappropriate comments. Most folks are saying they believe that publicly this has something to do with him flirting with a co-worker or some woman. I’m not up on the exact details.

If this IS the case, the fact that multiple female frequent guests to his show have jumped to his defense says ALOT. I’ve said in previous posts that I feel we’re losing something in this society when we can’t even compliment a person of the opposite sex on their looks, clothing, or casually flirt. I do STRONGLY differentiate flirting from sexual harassment as well. The difference SHOULD be common sense.

At the very least, “flirting” stops when the other party clearly says “Stop, not interested”. Somehow, we’ve gotten to the point that we have to protect people from the need to speak up. If you think about it, THAT only dis-empowers them. If you’re a feminist, the idea that you’re too weak to say “Sorry, not interested” should be repugnant.

All of this assumes the alleged flirting is even the issue.

Many people are also speculating that Chris Mathews was pushed into retirement over his criticism of Bernie Sanders, and anything else is just an excuse. This would NOT surprise me. MSNBC has been going more and more hard core socialist Left in it’s views.

That is all the more reason MSNBC needed somebody like Chris Mathews. I don’t think he’d give a person on the Right a fair shake to save his life. HOWEVER, he was more honest than most on his network about the pluses and minuses of various left-wing issues and people. He served as a balance to the extremists and kept the network better anchored with moderate liberals.

Now that’s gone. What’s worse is that IF it was a Bernie issue, we’re talking about a freedom of speech issue from an organization that no longer seems to realize it’s existence thrives on that same freedom.