Tag Archives: Stop the Hate

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.

RANT: Anti-Semites, Bigots and Racists

Those reading my posts know I’ve made a resolution to be more positive in my writing moving forward. Some of my past posts got a little too negative due to being stuck in the dystopian nightmare that is California.

HOWEVER, a reply to one of my posts yesterday really got me irked. The responding person ignored most of what I said that didn’t support their own beliefs. I’m used to willful blind ignorance though. It thrives on Twitter. What I will NOT tolerate under ANY circumstances in my blog however was the anti-semetic tirade that followed that. Or bigots or racists of any type for that matter.

Let me be very clear regarding my views of the Middle East. I’ve met great people who were Arab / Muslim. My college Algebra, Physics and Statistics teacher was the nicest Iranian (he preferred Persian) man you’d ever meet. Incredibly brilliant too. I’ve met great Jewish and Isreali people as well. I will NEVER stereotype either group… ANY group as evil, genocidal, etc… Everybody deserves to be judged as an indivdual, and every group has good and bad in it.

Isreal has a right to exist peacefully, and so do all it’s Arab neighbors. While I may have issues with the Iranian government and it’s decades long sponsorship of terrorism, I know the Iranian people are intelligent, kind people who simply want to live their lives like the rest of us. Trying to paint me as a genocidal pro-Isreal racist sickens and offends me and really shows just how horrible a person that now ex-follower was. Hitler would be proud of her views.

I could spend some time here de-bunking some of the racism directed at both Jews and Arabs, but this would turn into a runaway post. The bigger point here is that I will not tolerate that kind of crap here. It WILL get you banned from my blog.

Same goes for ANY form of racism or bigotry. I do NOT want to hear that Black, Asian, Indian, Native American, White or any other people are all inherently evil, ignorant or out to screw over everyone else. I don’t care how you try to justify any such hatred either. It has NO place here. Hence there is an absolute ZERO TOLERANCE policy in place here. Any such reply will be deleted and you WILL be banned if you come in here spewing hate.

I could and should include political labels here also. I lean a bit conservative myself, primarily because I live in a state that’s completely screwed up due to EXTREME left wing policies. HOWEVER, I dislike extreme right wing policies too. They’d lead to a corporate run police state. Life is about balance. Left balances right and some liberal polices are needed to prevent people from falling through the cracks. There’s room for all but the most extreme views in my opinion, so long as they’re presented politely.

People are all individuals. They deserve to be viewed, treated and respected as such.

Enough Said!

Past Due Credit

I kept meaning to post this a few weeks ago while I was up to my neck in chores (still am, lol). Since I avoid the Twits on Twitter, I was unaware of this “controversy” until the news here covered it.

Apparently Ellen DeGeneres caught alot of crap because she was at a Dallas Cowboys football game, and (HORRORS!) sitting with and talking to George W Bush!!! Here was her response to her attackers:

MAD Props to Ellen for practicing what she preaches and setting a positive example. The world needs more people like her.