This is one of the troubles police officers find in their daily work. When they are not part of the society where they work it is hard for them to empathize, as they just see the worst parts of that society.
In the police case also to have members of the police that are part of the communities they serve. But counseling also is needed to be able to deal with a biased view of reality. People don't call the police to show them how nice a neighbor is, or to invite them to a party. Their experience is, like for the guy in the article, to see only the bad parts as the good ones are filtered away.
Helping folks, getting to know the 'normal' folks. This is when I get to the problem: I don't know what exactly I'd ask them to do, but it would be things like: Free (or very low cost) 2-hour windows of child care on the weekends to give parents a stress break, delivering hot food to elderly folks, helping some folks with lawn care or organize to repair some houses (at little to no cost to the dweller). Actual community improvements.
What is more common is to have well-advertised PR events and regulations that they live in the area. Simply living in the area without being exposed to the positive sides is not enough in my opinion.
I agree. I think it helps them see the people they "serve and protect" as better humans, and themselves as something other than the most righteous thug.
Cop life is so complex that a weekly home economics shift isn't going to repair relationships, normalize psyches or adjust attitudes.
There's a depth of behavioral psychology to this problem that extends well beyond imagining a one-size-fits all therapy plan.
This can't be approached from the perspective of an outsider's view of what plays well to the public concept of what ordinary people imagine about police.
I'm not sure if there even was a time where these things were enough, but right now they certainly don't outweigh the psychological devastation which almost inevitably follows being on duty for a couple of years.
I don't know the reasons but I'm sure there are many, ranging from cultural shifts in society to particular regulations they use to operate.
Still, the fact remains that the job is nowadays really bad. It's hard for people who never experienced it to understand how bad it is. An analogy which often speaks to programmers is: imagine the worst case of big corporation you can, stuffed with dick-head managers, full of pointless activities which obviously contradict each other, and so on. Now imagine every single manager above you can put you in jail for almost anything - but doesn't have to, if they don't feel like it - and that you are one weird rumor away from being fired (or worse). And that's on top of actual job being shitty, tedious, sometimes pointless, always psychically and emotionally draining.
All this is to say that I agree that "one day a week of social positive work" wouldn't help very much.
The bigger problem is to figure out whether the extra expenses are worth it.
Police officers need to have an 'edge' that is missing in normal people. Normalizing their experience with people and re-humanizing them isn't the best idea for their career and longevity in this day and age. Let them burn out in peace or find a way to cope with their distance from people (usually alcohol, seen that a lot).
The effect is the one you noticed in the 70s. From a normal citizen's perspective, the fear factor isn't there. You are generally OK so long as you cooporate, even if you tell the police to fuck off while still doing what they say. Some of this is culture: For instance, someone with a bow and quiver on their back walking through the summer palace that is here in town doesn't get harassed. There are fewer guns on the people.
I'm not sure about your outlook, however. I think they need the humanity to be able to treat people well. After all, normal people are the very people that become cops: That "edge" is a learned thing - just like it is in the military. Minimally, I'd go with a few years of training being mandatory before stepping out and becoming a rookie. Things like conflict resolution, dealing with the mentally ill, and interpersonal relations.
Edit: Oh, and stress. I'd include classes on dealing with stress in the training.
The dysfunctional approach between police and
citizens seems to be more manageable and cheaper
and makes candidates more numerous. My cynicism is
To stop child abuse, the most effective tactics are education and empowerment. Educating kids about the realistic dangers is uncomfortable and decidedly not something people are comfortable with. And empowerment - telling them that their body is their own property and no one, not even their parents, has the right to make them do anything they don't want to - goes against the narrative people want to believe about children being incapable of making those decisions (as if they're difficult).
To stop abuse, you have to realize what abuse is happening. And its abuse by parents first and foremost. A close second is close family members and family friends. Strangers simply aren't the problem. They're a statistical anomaly that is certainly a problem, but one that education does away with quickly and easily. That leaves kids who are afraid of seeing their family destroyed and potentially being tossed into the foster care system. Kids need to know that they will be taken care of, and to be made confident and competent enough to stand up and call out abuse when it happens. It's depressing, slow, intensive work. And law enforcement and politicians are instead too easily convinced to abandon it entirely and just go for the quick busts of extremely dubious benefit to kids.
That is, if they can get past the PC "parents first and foremost" BS. First and foremost is stepparents and mom's boyfriends. Actual parents are a distant second, and even then is often a case of "divorced dad lost all custody rights so resorted to kidnapping in order to see children". Concentrating on the wrong thing is just as bad for advocates as it is for police.
You mention children fearing the foster system. I don't think awful foster stories are being traded at kindergarten recess, but it's true that foster care should only be contemplated in the most extreme circumstances. If child advocates are advocating for just turning up the knob on enforcement, and destroying families for such flimsy causes as corporal punishment or parental marijuana enjoyment, they're abandoning that requirement of extremity. In that case, I wonder for whom they're actually advocating, because it sure as hell ain't the children.
Not only does it go against the "comfortable narrative", it goes against the law. Children are systematically disempowered (often for their own good) until they reach arbitrary magical ages. Minimum driving age, Minimum drinking age, Age of consent, Compulsory school attendance, etc, etc. The idea that children have little agency and few rights is enshrined in law, so it's no wonder they feel powerless when they're abused.
As a case on point, I am extremely disturbed by the way media and governments handle issues like domestic violence. 1800 respect (a government department in Australia) tried to shift the blame onto young boys in a series of heavily promoted TV commercials without any opposition from the community. When a female is caught abusing a family member (child/husband), the media's excuses flow readily "she lost her job", "she was under stress at work". The imagery on TV rarely reflect abused children, despite this being exactly what's happening across the spectrum of society. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says that about 25-33% of domestic violence victims are male (I haven't seen figures for children, but it is likely to be heavily under reported). That's a huge percentage of people who receive little or no representation by all media outlets and the government, let alone charity groups (ie. indigenous people are rarely represented, males are never represented, children are rarely represented - see the imagery as it speaks volumes).
Imagine being a young boy whose mother either mentally or physically abuses you. You turn on the TV and you only see fully grown white women who are (supposedly) the only victims. Politicians (eg. A prominent Queensland politician who should have been dismissed and charged long ago) are legislating for gendered criminal laws because fully grown white women are (supposedly) the only victims and never (supposedly) perpetrators. The people on the TV say how bad males are. The government (1800 respect) saturates TV with domestic violence ads saying "it's a boy thing". You open the newspaper and read the same message almost every week.
Even charity groups chime in. Most charity groups (about 95% of the ones I surveyed, using a public list of every charity that deals with domestic violence) won't even show images of male victims or house male victims. Some charities (like mission Australia) even go as far as to say that "men deny domestic violence happens". Which men? Where? This is almost certainly a ruse to justify almost all of their focus being on fully grown white women (even when Mission Australia say that indigenous women are 24 times more likely to be abused, they still mostly picture _white_ women as victims).
If you really want to talk about abuse and attitudes toward abuse, the problem starts at the top. Governments are prejudiced. The media is morally bankrupt. When somebody knows the government will turn a blind eye and the media will hand out a blank cheque and the courts will say "oh poor woman, she's oppressed/distressed/lost her job", you've got a complete system that's ripe to openly support child abuse.
I find some observations quite fascinating. For example, Steve Altman (Mr Y Combinator) expressed outrage because Muslims can't get on a plane. However, I am yet to see him voice outrage about domestic violence and the appalling attitudes in most media that are open for anyone to see.
The problem doesn't start with parents (although parents contribute to the problem). It starts with apathy.
I'm not under the illusion that this problem of violence and abuse is limited to one gender as that's patently not true. We need society to accept that truth and stop making excuses.
Hostile nations are employing legions of both paid users with a posting quota and bots. They are taking advantage of globalism to spread fear and infest rivals with a self-destructive nationalistic ideology which appears to be grassroots and organic.
Just the other day I saw "easyvpn" on here, a one command shell utility to hop VPNs to exit from any desired country. I assume far more anonymous and powerful alternatives exist if you have the cash. This kind of thing paired with "persona management software" is a real problem.
Step back, stop out-sourcing authentication on your websites (even if it means you have to do the time learning some amount of practical cryptography, it's safer than handing the keys off in this climate), and stop conceding massive tracts of digital "space" to a hundred thousand Ru & Romanian twitter accounts claiming to be Joe America tired of liberals while deflecting to "Correct the Record" and "but emails" every time you call them out. Step it up with security, boys, that means some degree of human intelligence. The Internet is growing up and it's going through a pretty nasty phase right now.
Build a wall? How about build a wall around your website so Facebook social sign-on isn't letting Ivan roleplay half of Texas on a popular news story.
You could restrict comments to subscribers, but that's anti-social to a degree that I expect is too severe for marketers.
It's a hard job with lots of nuance-against-shouting-people, and now has probably been the hardest time to be a moderator in the history of the internet.
I'm constantly delighted (and informed/encouraged/challenged/etc...) by the content available to me through this community, and by the hard work of its moderators.
There's probably even a market right now for a paid version of reddit or HN.
The sad fact is that the internet has gradually become a shithole as the entirety of humanity has joined in.
Twitter, for example, is being dragged down by low quality user accounts that add nothing but noise. It's actively hurting the stock price.
At least personally, I feel it worked pretty well... but there was a drop in quality when they introduced probations (a temp ban), meaning breaking the rules stopped hurting your wallet (you could get back in as long as you paid, and didn't do something so bad you got a permaban)
In what year do you feel the Internet was better than it is now?
There's no clear point, but when it was loosely "reserved" to a certain "elite" (financial, technical, cultural, scientific) which showed genuine interest in it, it was in a much better condition than now. It sounds terrible to say that, but as the masses joined in, the media dumbed down and what it carries dumbed down as well. Another step towards dumbness happened when kids were massively allowed to enter the arena. Again, this sounds harsh, but that's the pitiful reality of humankind. And businesses and capitalism know very well how to encourage the most vile behaviours in order to make more profit.
It also shifted from a confidence & collaboration mode to insecurity & defiance. Now it's "oh my God how this protocol / library is insecure, how could one design such a stupid thing?" Well, I am not sure who is most stupid.
Remember when a 'troll' was just someone who was just pulling a prank teasing a few other people? Well now the same word means a stupid, racist, hateful, mean guy who drowns out a forum or a site with his feces and whose attacks impact real life of its victims.
Which brings me to tell that another big difference is that when Internet was disconnected from real life, it was much better. That was a big turning point too. You used to be able to write everything under your real name and not fear some acquaintance, school mate, employer or any other peeping Tom or enemy would search for it.
So there's not a single year to point out, but during the last 15 (20?) years a series of steps gradually turned Internet in the shithole (and supermarket) it is now. And none of those steps was positive.
I'm not sure it's got worse intrinsically, but it has certainly got larger, so the badness has scaled along with it.
The problem is one of "lawlessness"; adhoc reprisals from your fellow netizens aren't an improvement.
This has led to walled-in gardens, where the noise is amplified. I'd even tentatively argue it's because having more users is seen as better, even if those users are fake, trolls, or non-contributers.
After that a law of large numbers must've kicked in (and I don't think human nature had changed any much in last 3-4 decades).
It's comedy focused, but there's topical areas too. They remain one of the largest posting boards on the internet.
> Tech companies don’t like to talk about the details of content moderation, so it’s difficult to judge how well they’re caring for the psychological health of moderators.
The number of such stories which include said companies declining comment (not this one, but anecdotally that's how it seems to be) is kind of a red flag though.
"Often, the moderators are workers in developing countries, like the Philippines or India"
It's not food, shelter, clothing AND the internet.
Staying away from the internet is the next health craze.
Communication is a fundamental need of human societies. I view excessive social network usage (to the point of unhealthy) to be analogous with over eating and the obesity it leads to. Underlying both is a basic need. We do better collectively to encourage others to behave responsibly with moderation and enjoyment.
In the extreme we should guard our freedoms, yet penalize harmful abuse.
I did forensics for a couple years, working with the police force to access and/or recover incriminating evidence.
I really, really wish that a machine could replace a person in that circumstance. And to a certain extent, it is possible.
One of the really unfortunate parts of the process, is to know a video is incriminating, someone at some point has to see that video.
It was part of my job to analyse and catalogue the evidence I recovered, such as saying who was in a video, and what happened to who inside it.
ML will hopefully take over this at some point, but it is difficult for a computer, at this stage, to tell if say, penetration, is involved.
It's moving in that direction, and that is absolutely fantastic.
No person should be required to witness this crap. Hopefully, we can offload it to something that can, one day, be better than us at it.
So the algorithms are used to create the list of dubious material. But in the end you need a human being to look at the picture/video and call the police as needed.
The day that AI can do that for us, they will do any other job also.
Machine learning and other algorithms are used to identify images that end up in this database (and others).
Sadly, teaching machines what exploitation looks like is hard and it's not as simple as "identify things that have explicit sexual activity" and then "filter those things by people who appear to be 6 years old".
People still often have to make a final determination because categorization is ... hard
(and honestly, nobody wants to be the guy handling mislabeling, etc)
It tries to detect a subset of pornography. Others may have different opinions, but personally I wouldn't relate porn to a category of "worst of humanity".
The only way to fight offenses is to restrict phrasing to Common Universal Neutral Terms. Of course, message consisting only of Common Universal Neutral Term Sequences cannot possibly contain an offense!
And/or crowdsource it so that more people are spending less time doing it? Viewing a little bit of this content is probably less traumatic than viewing it for 40 hours a week.
Of course I realize it'd probably be a regulatory minefield, a thorny area morally, and any specific plan would likely draw critics. But it seems a lot better to me than scarring people for life with a full time barrage of things that repulse them.
For instance, why not offer convicted pedophiles jobs which involve screening out child porn? That would save an innocent person from the trauma involved and it might even allow the pedophile to feel like he was redeeming himself to some degree by saving others from viewing that material. From my understanding many people with that fetish feel a lot of remorse about it and they're not exactly trying to get other people into it.
Everyone is responsible for monitoring their own job and making sure it isn't affecting their life in a negative way. I think the moderator should have quit or raised the issue. Instead it's the usual story... keeps going and going even after the nightmares and anxiety... keeps working and working... depression, substance abuse or whatever.
As usual, prevention is best. Change jobs.
Or just allow the pedophile to indulge in his paraphilia.
I'm really not comfortable with this...
But this comment seems to imply that there would be a problem with that? What is the harm in movies that harm no one?
Freud being wrong about something only tangentially related (what are the chances?) isn't a valid justification for prior restraint. If the work in question hasn't been shown to harm, there would be very little reason to censor it in USA.
Would it work to use such a system to improve filtering while reducing the human cost? Or would it do something akin to what subliminal advertising is credited with, and just push the damage to the unconscious level?
BTW, thank you to the people that do that hard job including the HN screeners.
Interestingly, the rates of stress disorder in those populations that they cite in the article are kind of in the ballpark of what you see in epidemiological studies of trauma-exposed populations, like combat exposed populations, areas subject to frequent terrorism, natural disaster survivors and so forth. My impression based on what they're seeing is that it's comparable to a job with high trauma exposure rates.
It might be a prime opportunity to study trauma response and treatment, actually, in that often these things have an element of unpredictability to them. If content moderation is something that's reliably characterized by traumatic exposure, you could maybe try to study content moderators to identify predictors of and preventions for stress response.
Those who hunt monsters are apt to become one.
There are published hashes of files known to contain child porn and the like.
sha1sum matches? Bit length matches? Contact LEOs with relevant details, delete the post, block the accounts, and move on.
It appears that the anonymity of the Internet combined with the echo chamber effect has pretty much completely ruined that.
The crux of the problem is, if the internet remains free then it is also free to "fail". If you can only post lollipops and cat pictures guaranteed not to offend then the internet would contain almost nothing. Comments on such an internet would be so milquetoast as to be not worth reading in the first place.
You can already filter out almost 90% of the content you don't want to see by simply going to certain websites / forums and not others.
Aren't we tired of saying this by now? That's fine, everyone can express her own views on Facebook, unless one is a Kurd who would like to say something about Kemal Atatürk? Should the Kurds have to create their own Facebook? Who's next, Trump voters? Do we really want them to sink further into their filter bubble?
At some point a service offered to the public must actually serve the public. We don't allow bakeries to choose which weddings they will cater. If you'll bake a wedding cake for $200, then you have to get baking, even if the happy couple with $200 are two dudes or whatever.
I think it's incredibly entitled to want the government to punish private businesses for refusing to do a job. Not everyone has to agree with your ideas or provide you a service. Getting the state involved to literally force a small business to make a cake is an insane, authoritarian over-reaction. The fact that it seems OK to you because you have no problem with gay marriage (neither do I, btw) is really besides the point.
By all means - boycott the bakery. Call them stupid for the bad PR and lack of work they'll get for not making the cake. But coercing them under the threat of force to do a job they don't want to do? Absolutely insane, and I can't agree to it.
Still, yours is an salutary consistency. My original statement wasn't directed at you but rather at the sort of SV person who "boycotts" Indiana and North Carolina but still talks about the "rights" of a social media service.
Excellent point. It is very well worth noting that pragmatically speaking, current law treats diversity > free speech, as is illustrated in your example.
But parent comment has a point anyway. Political censorship had (ab)used moderation systems in that way, at the very least in some countries. It's not unheard of cases of censorship slipping under disguise of "protecting from bad/unhealthy things". I can think of a few examples from Russia.
Facebook shouldn't be some kind of universal substrate on the internet anyway. Alternatives should be encouraged, and people can make their own choice about the kind of environment they want to spend their time in.
If you're saying that's impossible, and facebook is some sort of utility, or common carrier, then you can have rights which are enforced upon the space.
Ultimately, either it is a public space (which needs public rights analogous to what exists in the real world, enforced through constitutional or democratic means) or it is a private space, and the owners are free to regulate as they wish, and customers are free to make their own decisions, where to visit and where to spend their time.
Wholeheartedly agree that this is the ultimate resolution, but in order to actually get to that point we need a fundamentally different software architecture than the current centralized approach of "the web".
> Private people and organizations are well within their rights to set their own rules
Sure, but that does not imply that it isn't censorship. It's just within their rights to censor.
> If you're saying that's impossible, and facebook is some sort of utility, or common carrier, then you can have rights which are enforced upon the space.
It's not impossible, but it is Facebook's goal to have this level of necessity in people's lives. So, by their own framework, it does make sense to talk about rights on their service. The purpose of this isn't to incite government action of enforcing such rights, but to keep users' and devs' perspectives clear about the lack of freedom on centralized platforms.
But yeah, there's less in the way of censorship. The odd moderator with an agenda still sneaks in, but they seem to get outed.
That's one definition; my dictionary also lists "the human race; mankind; people."