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Showing posts from 2014

Stop Hate - Ban Computers

If you’ve been following the tech news you may have heard that British MP Luciana Berger is calling on Twitter to remove all anti-Semitic language. First, her statement presupposes that the hate is only on Twitter and that other hate on Twitter is OK. These statements are problematic at best and horrible distortions at worst.At the very least she seems to consider Twitter the source and vector for all such things. It is an election year in the UK and singling out Twitter, by Berger and others, appears little more than fashionable politicking.

The worst part is, of course, that things politicians say receive media coverage. In receiving media coverage these statements gain credibility without consideration for the challenges and problems they represent. 
To stop anti-Semitic, or any hate speech, is an admirable objective. However, to eliminate such things from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or the comment sections of other websites, does not eliminate the hate from the world. Sometimes y…

Reluctant Partners

The Internet doesn’t belong to anyone, it can’t, it’s too late for that. It is impossible to imagine how it can ever be a utility, corporation or unified power unto itself. It is a contentious, fractious, complicated, dynamic and glorious thing that rivals international politics for complexity and impact. Despite the fantasies of conspiracy theorists, the aspirations of corporations, the dreams of Governments and the doubts of the public; like it or not the internet is a partnership.
As if it weren’t enough that we are dealing with a dynamic technology the likes of which we have never experienced before, we (government, industry, public, academic) are also forced to participate with factions, entities and situations we don’t understand and don’t like very much. Maybe it’s evolution or God is testing us or maybe it just is and that’s that.
The internet is a blurry doppelganger of our world – part public, part privatized, part politicized, part bureaucratized and completely energized. …

The Zombie Apocalypse is Here and You Didn’t Notice

Have brain eating, society crushing, putrefying, corrupted, stalking creatures missed your attention?  If you are looking out your window, yes. But they are all around you on the Internet - and commonly called trolls. Not literally brain eating, but sucking the intelligence out of anything they can and drawing their strength from the meat viciously torn from innocent victims. Trolls are a species, a different species. Zombies are ruined, rotting humans who procreate by contaminating others. Zombies are much more like what we think of when we think of Internet trolls. Zombie purists probably do not like this line of thinking. They would rather we grapple with a weaponized version of an ancient middle/northern European demon than risk exploring the real meaning behind the current popularity of zombies.  Certain entertainment subjects have been popular in the past because they are a blurry reflection of what is going on around us at that time. Intended to or not, these images resonate wit…

Haters Pride

The Real Problem with Nicki Minaj’s Video

There is nothing new about Nazi imagery in music, games, movies and video or on the Internet in general.What is new and wrong is the loss of context. This is especially a true when the use of the images is casual and the audience is young.This is the real problem with Nicki Minaj’s latest video “Only.”In no way does this video attempt to illuminate the problems with Nazis, totalitarian governments or the glorification of their symbols and images - exactly the opposite.This is even more shocking because, if you think about, had there been a significant black community in Hitler's Europe, they certainly would been on the extermination list too.
Regardless of what apologies or justifications have been offered,the true sentiment of Minaj'a camp is hard to miss - a bunch of older whites are upset about our video and we really don't care,they're not our audience.
I could be wrong, but if Minaj was really upset about offending people, she would have pulled the video and ordere…

English – The New Language of Hate

The blooming of the information age and the commercial Internet in the U.S. has made English the default language of the medium. In addition to all of the other businesses that have emerged, website hosting companies and services in the U.S. are the primary home for websites from around the world. Because of the US commitment to free speech, hate filled websites from around the world, websites seeking to evade hate speech laws in their own country, often seek out and find willing hosting services in the U.S.

Between hate speech generated by home-grown sources and hate sites from around the world English is now the international language of hate.

Not all hate is in English, far from it. But many haters love and use English. It is the mother tongue of the new media. It is also the native language of free-speech and the U.S., where their most vicious rhetoric has a place to be heard. In conferences, at hearings, meetings and court proceeding around the world, when the issue of hate onli…