How about we just arrest everyone posting terroristic threats before they can do this kind of damage? 8Chan, or whatever public forum these discussions are occurring on.
I keep reading about blimps watching us 24/7, license plate readers tracking everywhere we drive.
Either these terrorists have the best opsec imaginable, or the FBI agents watching the site should consider a new line of work.
A guy like the El Paso shooter driving 9 hours to that city should have been stopped for a “broken tail light” long before he got to his destination.
I find it nearly incomprehensible that the attacker was entirely unknown to the FBI, that they didn’t flag the manifesto, know who posted it, and have the means to know he was, at that very moment, on a long road-trip toward the border.
I don’t personally know how long ahead of the attack the manifesto was posted, or if it was the attacker’s first post. Perhaps those details would mitigate somewhat my exasperation that this attack wasn’t foiled, but I suspect otherwise.
EDIT: According to the NYT it was posted 19 minutes before the first 911 call came in. But Newsweek says an hour and a half.
A major factor impeding law enforcement is the sheer number of people posting violent threats on social media. I can't remember the statistic, but they mentioned that the US justice system basically wouldn't be able to effectively process everyone in a timely manner that posted indications of violent activity on social media, it's just too frequent. It's easy to look back after a shooting and ask why law enforcement failed to see the warnings, but it's much harder to predict looking into the future. Simply posting angry threats on social media doesn't meet the threshold of committing a crime, but perception around that could be changing.
Another major issue is that this isn't a mental health issue, despite how it's characterized by politicians and the media. Deeply angry young men aren't mentally ill by any classical definition of mental illness; they're just really angry. They don't necessarily exhibit traits of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder; they're driven by hatred and anger, and that's just not something mental health professionals are equipped to diffuse.
And law enforcement does thwart these kinds of attacks on a fairly regular basis, we just don’t hear about them as much. The same day that El Paso occurred, the FBI arrested a kid in Lubbock who was trying to obtain an assault weapon with the intent to perpetrate a mass shooting. It’s not like the feds are totally incapable.
Like it or not, relying on sigint from social media isn’t going to stop many of these attacks. 8chan is full of trolls who parrot off one another, there’s just no reliable way to determine who’s just trolling and who is serious.
Our gun laws and the purchasing loopholes that exist desperately need to be addressed.
The show is followed with vigilantist justice as the people they locate usually end up receiving a lot of harassment from the public, and the benefit of making examples of people has not had any effect in decreasing hate messages online.
An interesting side note is that when you actually go after hate messages online, the gender stereotype of young male start to melt and you get a new stereotype. It is people with a lot of free time and who feel ignored by society. A typical example is thus middle age women.
However turning that hate towards going on a killing spree is unlikely for a middle age woman even if they say things like "someone should go down there and kill everyone", so there is a high rate of noise-to-massacre.
They basically exaggerate their real desire, hoping that if they express their feelings strongly enough, it might lead to some very small action because their experience is that they are mostly not taken seriously and what they say mostly makes no impact. This is probably true of a lot of middle aged women.
It's almost as if this "surveillance state" you all imagine doesn't exist. There are checks in place and warrants needed for this. If you see something illegal online you could report it to the FBI perhaps?
How do you imagine that billing for EZ Pass and license plate scanners works?
I think you're setting the bar too high. That's a lot of effort, a lot of resources, for something that can be solved in other ways (ie. controlled access to devices with the potential for mass murder).
Well, crap. When I heard the news I decided to pay 8chan a visit (never really been there before) to see how they took the news(not surprisingly, not well). I really hope I am not on a list because of this.
You and a million others. You'll be fine.
e.g. Lord of The Flies.
I've used the example before of a town with one place to eat. Someone comes in screaming and throwing poop at people. You cannot just "ignore" it. It ruins the place for others. So you choice is to suffer it or never go out to eat and socialize with other calm folks. Is that a proper price to pay so the screaming poop thrower doesn't feel oppressed? Is that really sensible? Sure long term you can build another diner at your own expense...but the screaming poop thrower will come there too and if you kick him out you are "censoring". You can also stay home. But you lose out on experience and peace to avoid the problem. But this seems to be the idea people who are entirely against any censorship or rules propose. "If you don't like it ignore it or move on". That doesn't work in the real world.
>The site remained on the fringes until 2014, when some supporters of GamerGate — a loose reactionary collection of anti-feminist video gamers — flocked to 8chan after being kicked off 4chan. Since GamerGate, 8chan has become a catchall website for internet-based communities whose behavior gets them evicted from more mainstream sites.
It may be argued that 4chan’s existence gave a home to this crap, or that it created it. Hard to know one way or another.
4chan was created by somethingawful users as an imitation of Japanese imageboards. It was used for speech that wasn't allowed on SA because it was right next door. Then SA decided it didn't like 4chan.
Then SA's culture spread to magazines like Gawker and Buzzfeed, which is part of the reason 4chan is so unpopular now.
If Gawker and Buzzfeed had hired from one side of the Harry Potter fandom, and if a handful of high-profile people like Zoe Quinn had come from it, we'd probably be hearing about how all of America's problems are caused by people who like Snape or whatever.
You can hide behind a username and say hateful things without any consequences.
I don't have a citation for this, but my feeling is that historically, the majority of the people posting hate on social media aired their fringe views in much smaller and more direct social settings (the family dinner table, the pub, their barber/hairdresser) where instead of the reinforcement and gratification of many random upvotes from people in a similar situation or a vitriolic internet argument, they received either a fairly awkward smile and nod, a face-to-face rebuttal, genuine confirmation or (more likely) a mixture of the three.
Or you call up talkback radio and blabber into the void, often being shut down by the host.
A quick thought experiment:
Imagine you're pissed off because you've become disenfranchised for whatever reason and you're looking for someone to blame and lash out towards.
You don't have access to the internet. How much more effort would you have to put in to locate a similarly sized group of like-minded people who vehemently confirm and reinforce your views than you would now? How much more effective would the social filter which you encounter on the way be, remembering that every step of the way would mean real, rapport-inducing, face to face discussions with people who may disagree?
> How much more effort would you have to put in to locate a similarly sized group of like-minded people who vehemently confirm and reinforce your views than you would now?
That will be highly variable, but IME not too hard. The punk/metal scene used to have a lot of overlap with neo nazis so exposure was easy. I've twice been invited to migtow groups from people at my local drinking hole (a progressive club in a progressive inner city area), not to mention some other fringe but less violent groups. If your a social type of person that enjoys chatting with a wide range of people your often only one or two steps away.
If I'm hosting some content, I now have to worry about if my content might violate their opinions of 'tastelessness', and if so, I might be given 24 hours to leave.
If I were a customer, that's a small risk but a big impact. I'd prefer a provider that didn't do that.
Do you think any other provider you may do business with has a more liberal policy than CloudFlare? Have you actually read the terms of service for any of them?
If this is the thing that changes how you view CloudFlare then you are already on shaky ground.
Or after the shootings of Congresspeople, arguably inspired by all the celebrities calling for violence?
Or is your outrage (and CloudFlare's) partisan?
Same shit with LA Times and the WP.