A few weeks ago, the Solomon Islands Government faced criticism over documents leaked on Facebook that showed how COVID-19 funds for economic recovery had been spent.
Ruth Liloqula, the head of the anti-corruption group Transparency Solomon Islands, said she believed such leaks were the real reason behind the ban, which she said was "an indication that our Government is becoming very authoritarian".
The fact that information about government's actions can spread to a large number of people, without any control from authorities is a first time in history for many. Organising protests without government censorship. Publishing investigations. Alerting the entire country to corruption as it happens.
It's really life-changing and unfortunately I don't think it will last. It's already routine when civil unrest happens to shut down internet. Facebook is a good one to censor but other networks take its place so creating Great Firewalls is next for many (somewhat rich) governments.
Some of us see an unfortunate trend recently, in which our political powers collude with or badger the owners of these companies to engage in censorship, and find it highly alarming.
May not require active complicity from Facebook and may even happen despite them.
The worst thing that can happen is having Zuck run for president and win. A pesident with a propaganda tool of his own.
In Ukraine they already have a reality TV actor who played a president as the president. Turns out that he's no worse than any other 'real' politician. Guess it's the Ukrainian way of trolling the vote.
1) You can look at the 5 eyes alliance's assault on encryption. That's literally forcing their will on the company (and others)
2) The TikTok ban demonstrates not only capacity but an appetite to exert to control over this domain
3) That whole "summon the CEO of the company to directly answer questions from the group of people literally in charge of policies around reform and control"
Or we could sidestep these questions and conflate income with ownership
Next synergize all these efforts: Have the newspaper write about the activists, have the lobbyists talk about the newspaper articles with the politicians, and bring up the articles during sales talks regarding your ads.
Compare YouTube policy adjustments in light of P&G announcing they were planning to yank their advertising from the platform because it wouldn't rope in what P&G considered to be its worst content.
Controlling the content is awfully close to "controlling Facebook". Facebook can decide to stop serving your content, but they've shown no interest in doing so.
Exactly, the amount of psy-ops via bots and entities like the CCP's Wumao Army are going to be way more effective at steering the narrative in your favour way more than any short-lived 'viral' ad or targeted ad campaign.
Furthermore, it can be sustained for much longer periods of time and can foment and incite way more resentment than any controversial or persuasive ad, because of the associations to other conflict-based facebook groups.
This is all really to say that the underlying surveillance economy is entirely indifferent to labels such as 'communism' or 'capitalism' and seem ephemeral and fleeting when the means/methods and desirable ends are the same as each other: manipulation by discord.
The fact that this takes place is not a surprise as psy-ops, conspiracy and counter-intelligence have been the mainstays of every single Nation-state's intelligence agencies; what is a surprise to me is how widely adopted and how pervasive it has been for so much of the Human population when there is SO MUCH MORE interesting aspects of the Internet. And how readily people are drawn to go for such shallow fodder when presented the opportunity to do so.
It's all so High School, and for those of us that got fed up with it when we were (forced) in it we cannot see the value or appeal to any of it: I got a small chuckle in passing from the whole 'Space Karen' spat with Elon after he supposedly tested positive for COVID and was not able to go to the Cape, but rather than waste my time digging into it or anything else related to that drama that led up to it I just kept the stream from the Crew flight on throughout the entire mission and then stopped listening to anything related to that entirely until I had time to watch the Sentinel launch this morning. Which was pretty rad, and dedicated to an amazing man who devoted much of his life to the pursuit of studying and monitoring Climate Science and Ocean levels and made incredible contributions to the discipline before tragically losing his battle with cancer this year: Michael Freilich .
His children's recounting of their father was incredibly touching and it made my day to hear their story and relationship with Micheal.
By contrast, I felt physically ill for several days trying to follow the impact of Anonymous' Blue Leaks on twitter without an account during the riots. I'm not prepared to subject myself to such a degrading sense of mental health for what seems like vapid forms of entertainment, especially with so much more beneficial and fruitful things to be in engaged in, both on and offline.
The concept of 'de-evolution' comes to mind anytime I hear about the latest twitter beef that spills over into real life that often leads to violence: Follow Live: Violent white supremacists (proud boys) clash with Liberal snowflakes (BLM protestors)! Its often feels like we're filling in the missing parts to the prelude of Idiocracy.
The Atlantic Council are listed as a "thinktank"?
This seems to be the direction we’re moving towards.
Their only saving grace is that it’s in a fringe political system that not enough people care about. Or maybe the opposite, there won’t be enough counter outrage to handle the gov organized information suppression networks set up during some past emotionally volatile times without thinking of how easy it will be to abuse.
FB has been only slightly better in this context, by not being stupid enough to interfere with politics of random countries, which might explain the ban.
As time goes on, people will put less and less stock into sources of information that have proven faulty in the past.
However, I think this kind of thing takes way longer than anyone thinks, and will play out over many years or decades.
>people will put less and less stock into sources of information that have proven faulty in the past.
Do you have any idea of the number of people who inherently trust a 'fact' because it was on a radio or television program?
I'm not sure that your assessment is correct. I think what we're seeing is what we see with TV, there is just less of a way to track it with those stations. - when I buy cable, I get both left and right news stations. I only watch one, but nobody but me knows that. When I use social media, I can access right and left, but everyone can see what I access, and the people who see it can cater their message to me specifically.
Anyway, I think you're wrong. I don't believe people inherently distrust traditional media. I think they distrust traditional media they don't agree with.
Think about the way that FDR used his “fireside chats” to directly message the American people. By making them feel like he was speaking directly to them, many Americans felt like they were given access to a greater level of transparency of government. 50 years later, Reagan and Clinton both still made regular radio addresses, but failed to control their narratives the same way FDR did. Why? Because by that time the farce was up. Most Americans knew that radio wasn’t some intimate conversation between the president and them. There was a greater cynicism about the medium, everyone knew that lying was just as easy over the radio as compared to written statements.
Now think about how many assumptions people make about social media. Even forums like Hackernews. You’ve engaged with me, so you probably have made several assumptions about me.
1. I’m an actual person and not a bot
2. I am personally commenting my opinion and not the opinions of someone who has compelled my opinion
3. I am arguing in good faith
4. I am a single person, not multiple people with the same account.
I’ve made the same assumptions about you. But the funny thing is that NONE of these things is guaranteed to be true. And in some cases it’s not even likely that all of these things are true.
Eventually people will stop making these assumptions, and learn to mistrust the Internet to the degree that they probably should.
Back when it was new? More than you'd think: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Worlds_(1938_...
Facebook is an effective media outlet in cases where country are too poor to bribe Facebook and too small for Facebook to ignore market altogether.
I think Twitter and Facebook should continue to do more to mitigate harms, but the people doing the harm don't get a pass. The Myanmar government must think Westerners are idiots. They kill tens of thousands of people and the general response is Facebook is bad.
A Rwandan court sentenced one of the announcers to life in prison.
This information is easily found on Wikipedia for those curious enough to look.
Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) was a Rwandan radio station which broadcast from July 8, 1993 to July 31, 1994. It played a significant role in inciting the April–July 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Widely listened to by the general population, it projected hate propaganda against Tutsis, moderate Hutus, Belgians, and the United Nations mission UNAMIR. It is widely regarded by many Rwandan citizens (a view also shared and expressed by the UN war crimes tribunal) as having played a crucial role in creating the atmosphere of charged racial hostility that allowed the genocide to occur. A working paper published at Harvard University found that RTLM broadcasts were an important part of the process of mobilising the population, which complemented the mandatory Umuganda meetings. RTLM has been described as "radio genocide", "death by radio" and "the soundtrack to genocide".
More generally, does every company that sells a dual-use product/service have a duty to interrogate the motives of the buyer and apply editorial control over all uses of that product/service that they could conceivably have visibility of?
Why is this even a question?
I think much of the West has always fallen under that umbrella in many ways. Look up "yellow journalism". Hell, look at how the media is currently controlled by corrupt businessmen.
It seems the way moving forward will be "crypto-activism" where key individuals distribute information through end-to-end encrypted messaging channels; when they act in the public eye, it will not be obvious that they are affiliated with an organized group. In this way their actions will appear to represent "the will of the people" rather than the agenda of a single organization and it will also shield the organization itself from misinformation.
Just my two cents based on what I observed this year.
Anyway, during WW2 the press was controlled by the occupants (and before, possibly influenced?), so after WW2 we said never again. We still take the piss on newspapers that cooperated with the invaders instead of fold.
Until, we curb massive disinformation campaigns and lack of fact-checking in media and political speech...
There will be always be politicians and government officials who will spread falsehoods and work to discredit the truth.
It’s not important for everyone to believe a lie. Corrupt, despots only need enough votes to obtain power and then subvert established norms and laws.
Tor isn't particularly difficult to use (client-side), the only obstacle is having to remember the links
If your status quo is shit, random change is statistically likely to improve the situation. If the status quo is decent, random change is statistically likely to worsen the situation.
I even question that. Didn't we have this exact discussion after the 'Arab Spring' already? For a year everyone was elated because the internet was ending the evil autocracies of the Middle East. Turned out in most cases the chaos was even worse than the corrupt status quo
even if you're in a bad place turns out there's still way more ways for it to get even worse rather than better if you roll the dice, you can't fall up a hill
In Victoria, Australia, the government used social media to track people organising lockdown protests, which led people to be arrested for 'inciting' protest.
Think speak 101.
For those who want context. There's a pandemic. People are dying. The government stopped an anti-quarantine protest before it could cause harm.
All they did was to suggest a protest.
Here's some news articles:
This was enough to get your door broken in and arrested:
> As some of you may have seen the government has gone to extreme measures and are using scare tactics through the media to prevent the Melbourne protest...
> Here in Ballarat we can be a voice for those in stage four lockdowns. We can be seen and heard and hopefully make a difference!
You severely overestimate the independence and faux-organic nature of "western" social media. Every last aspect of it is controlled by "corrupt businessmen or politicians".
If you're in "the east", wishing for a system like in "the west", be careful of what you hope for and be cautious of what you actually build.
In corrupt places as well as democratic, peaceful places, it creates disruption and discontent through dissemination of (true - or false - doesn't matter) informations that in turn fuels civil unrest.
In corrupt places, this unrest is an opportunity for improvement.
In non-corrupt ones, it is an opportunity for worsening.
Rather, in all places it is an opportunity for change. It's just that the upwards potential is a lot bigger than downwards in corrupt places.
I suggest that the opportunity for downward is just as big as the opportunity for upward, if the Rohingya situation in Myanmar is anything to measure by.
Double edged sword to be sure. It's great that people get access to better information, but we need to evolve as a species in order to handle bubbles this big.
Now we have a few large bubbles who insist that the smaller bubbles become part of them or else...
> true - or false - doesn't matter
I happen to think this matters rather a lot, but not everybody agrees.
It does matter in the sense that what is built on lies, besides being immoral, is unproductive, as it will always come back to bite everyone.
Humans run these organizations and humans deflect responsibility for doing anything.
Are you going around gathering a team to free kids in cages? Where is your group that is registering voters to save your democracy? What does Myanmar have to do with non-citizens? Why does the West think the world is their snow globe to ogle?
I have a hard time feeling like this can approach anything resembling honest debate if we’re going to point at the behavior of ephemeral, external objects and ignore how we individually organize our daily life.
You bow to the common time economy. Being good at rhetorical debate is, to me, nothing more than indifferent humans equivocating and deflecting with themes that sound good but mean nothing.
Focus on your society and culture. More often value comes of it.
> I have a hard time feeling like this can approach anything resembling honest debate if we’re going to point at the behavior of ephemeral, external objects and ignore how we individually organize our daily life.
How can these two sentences coexist in the same message? If you argue in favour of focusing exclusively on our personal daily lives rather than on amorphous imaginary entities (fine), then how can you write in an adjacent sentence about "the West", which "thinks"? And what's wrong with watching the world from afar, as if it were a snow globe, anyway?
So individuals often cannot do anything about it and the only way to solve problems is a change of systems. (This does not absolve one of their personal responsibility to act morally though)
I’m not freeing kids from cages nor registering people to vote, I am not from the US and have never been there so that’s not the issues I have to tackle.
Your point seems to be that we the west should let Myanmar deal with its own problems, when in fact we already play a role in it with having exported Facebook there.
What I see in my society is how Facebook has fueled a resurgence of right wing extremism and led to a wider spread of conspiracy theories. I have deleted my Facebook account but do not see what I can do more than ask my government for better regulation of Facebook.
We are one of the easiest countries in the world to immigrate to, and have an extremely immigrant-friendly culture.
There is nothing about democracy or its construction that precludes corruption. You literally just made up nonsense.
> You're just looking for a fight.
No. I believe you are projecting.
> Go for a fresh air walk outside instead.
Go read about the solomon islands. This issue is about corruption in solomon islands - a democracy. Or go crack open a book and learn about democracy and its history. Why everyone from the ancient greeks, who gave us democracy, and the founding fathers, who gave us modern democracy, all distrusted democracy.
As a matter of fact, democracies are by nature corrupt ( tyranny of the majority ) and that's why most democracies have measures to product the citizens from democracy. Rather than regurgitating nonsense you've seen on tv or the news, learn about democracies or take a moment to think about it.
Not saying that is the case here, but the truth is this cuts both ways, and I would say this development of free flying unverified information is overall more helpful to bad actors than good.
Yet the story was able to spread like wildfire through the US.
I don't know if it was authentic or the origins of it, and no credible media source was able to verify it. Frankly, the story of where it came from was absurd.
So did that story help bad actors or good actors? I would say bad actors because the people pushing the story seem to be playing fast and loose with verifiable facts and truth.
This is tearing the US apart by the seams. We are now in a situation where the president is openly attempting a coup on the popular vote, and using massive amounts of unverified information that is mostly false to push his agenda of destroying democracy.
Democrats are doing a pretty good job on that on their own. They attempt to force thoughts and beliefs on others, “cancelling” anybody getting in the way. When was the last time you saw a republican NOT getting screamed at by some liberal on any of the popular sites? Even now your comment reads as though you don’t want the parties to work together.
> We are now in a situation where the president is openly attempting a coup on the popular vote
We don’t use popular vote though. We use electoral college. And the media is overplaying this to induce panic from people like you. He’s not going to stage a coup, and if he did, even the republicans would stand against him. Calm down.
This is nonsense. Trump is openly trying to overturn the popular vote in PA, GA, MI, etc. That is how electoral votes are decided. He has openly called for the legislature to overturn the popular vote in these states based on nothing.
This isn't some outlier. He made similar accusations about fraud in 2016, and even in a race during the primaries against Ted Cruz.
He has already tried to stage a coup. We are past that point.
I do want the parties to work together, but I don't know what to do about these 2 bubbles I see being created on the right and left of these very deep fantasy worlds.
It is like the world of LOTR, where you read about hobbits, and then there are all these stories about hobbits and this deep web of information about this world that doesn't exist. Except now the right and left are creating these worlds and people can't tell it isn't real.
This has been a growing problem, and it is now at the point where it is threatening our democracy.
> This is nonsense. Trump is openly trying to overturn the popular vote in PA, GA, MI, etc. That is how electoral votes are decided. He has openly called for the legislature to overturn the popular vote in these states based on nothing.
Yes, he’s trying to overturn illegal votes, he’s well within his right. Had Trump won and Biden lost you wouldn’t be angry. You’re only angry now because there’s a chance, however small, that Trump can still win and this upsets you. Calm down, turn off CNN, this is not what a coup look like.
Republicans tried to secure the vote with national voting IDs, people are too poor the democrats said. India uses electronic voting to secure the vote, yet we’re too poor. So this mistrust in the voting system is again the fault of the democrats. The truth is there’s fraud in every election, it’s just usually not enough to swing the vote. Did you not read of all the problems with non residents and non citizens getting ballots anyway?
> This has been a growing problem, and it is now at the point where it is threatening our democracy.
Agreed, so let’s go for voter IDs so this question never comes up again?
Much like the contents of the Steele Dossier...
It's unbelievable that anyone can hate Facebook so much that they side with authoritarian regimes.
Who is doing that here? 2 Things can be bad at the same time. Just because people are critical of FB in the west it doesn't mean they support authoritarian regimes.
I think that very well captures 95% of the effect.
I also think the 5% which doesn't fit relates to the individual profit motive. I don't know how users of social media profit in the spirit of the CAP. I would replace "profit motive" with "ignorance that their passive involvement enables" the destructive direction social media is heading.
However I have no such choice when it comes to Government. Whatever they choose to decide I have to abide by or face fines, jail and other reprocussions. Some of those decisions maybe just which aren't a problem. However some of them maybe unjust. If those decisions are unjust I have almost no direct way to address it especially if I am in the minority.
There was much less difference between a government and a corporation if you happened to deal with the
East India Company, or US worker towns of old.
It is simply a deflection from the central point that frequently the state will involve itself in things that it really shouldn't be involving itself in. This is frequenly because it must justify its ever increasing size. Saying that the state should have well defined responsibilities shouldn't be controversial. What those should be is a different conversation.
I don't use Facebook, but it still has a huge impact on my life.
What device would you use? How would you find information? It’s all possible, but not straightforward.
There is likely a good sci-fi or black mirror plot in here somewhere.
If I don't want to use Windows or MacOS, I can use an alternative operating system. If I don't want to use Google's search engine there are many other alternatives. If I don't want to use a companies webmail solution I can setup my own.
It is very simple to not deal with these tech companies.
You may find it easy, and well done if so.
Every step you have listed there is quite hard, even if you let some through (Apple in my case). Some of the things you are cutting out are very good, and that’s how they get you.
There is still lots of stuff I kinda have to use but I've managed to massively reduce my use of most of this stuff.
Obviously if your job/business relies on using this stuff then you gotta use it. I wouldn't advocate that you put yourself out on the street for the source code freedoms.
I have personally concluded that there is no practical difference between credulity and corruptability - both make it easy to get them to support and commit evil. I can only conclude that a lack of critical thinking is a moral flaw in itself as strange it may sound at first blush. But really if greed can get people to do bad things nobody would deny that it is a moral flaw so why should credulity be any different?
Who exactly is siding with an authoritarian regime here? The article indicates it was a unilateral decision on the part of the government. The article also states:
>I't has drawn a heated response from the Government's opponents, with Opposition leader Matthew Wale labelling the ban "pathetic" and unjust."
"Facebook is an authoritarian regime." means "Within the context of users' actions on the platform (and actions of non-users that are nevertheless tracked by the company), Facebook acts in ways that are analogous to how an authoritarian regime acts towards its citizens."
And, of course, TikTok ended up on that same administration's radar days after it was used to smear egg all over the RNC. (Through the massive no-deposit no-show ticket pre-ordering campaign.)
Much like in the Solomon Islands, these correlations, are, of course, purely coincidental.
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
Censorship is Unity
Outright bans are clumsy, but imposing a cost or bar to entry, like most societies do with alcohol and drugs, might be constructive.
I'm tired of meeting friends and family in person and listening to them spend 20mins one-way unloading all the shit they read on the internet. They're so indexed on things that aren't physically present in the moment it's like talking someone through a psychosis or reasoning with someone with schizophrenia. It's a mass hysteria machine. When I talk to some people, it's like I'm not even talking to people anymore, I'm talking to some node of the internet.
We've basically invented language cancer, nice one guys.
It's easy to imagine this being about the news (in whatever format: TV, radio, newspaper) or even ideas in general. This very forum is dedicated to talking about things that aren't physically present.
Maybe I didn't understand your argument, but to me it sounds a lot like you're complaining about human nature.
That said, I do know what they mean. I also hate to see people getting almost traumatized by the random crap they find on social media. Especially if it's bullshit - and it's obvious that it's bullshit, but you can't say it, because that would invalidate the other person's feelings. So yesterday, it was "did you know our government wants to XYZ?!?!!" (no, they don't, the news article was lying, as usual). Today it's maltreated pets (could you please unsubscribe from the feeds that trigger you every couple weeks like clockwork?). Tomorrow it'll be a YouTube drama (between a very niche vloggers).
Perhaps it is human nature, perhaps it was also present with the old media. But what seems different is isolation. I remember that before the web became truly mainstream, people would talk a lot about bullshit they've heard on the news. But they would all talk about the same bullshit. People would ultimately take comfort in an understanding that they share the knowledge about the story. Today? Everyone has their own isolated social media feed. So you end up having people unload completely random and unexpected stuff at whoever is willing to listen to them.
OP was so eager to regurgitate the popular news narrative that Facebook is ruining the world, he failed to see that in this particular case, Facebook is being banned over online leaks of documents proving government corruption with Covid-19 funds.
The government in this case isn't doing this because they want to protect people. They're doing this because they want to freely steal money without public scrutiny on social media.
One data point: I have family who have never logged in into Facebook or used the Internet. And they spend hours unloading all the rehashed sh*t that happened in their lives, in a one-way monologue.
I like the term 'autocult' myself, though it might be too pessimistic for what we're actually facing. Language Cancer implies there could be a cure, which is worth considering.
Verbal coronavirus. Snow Crash was rather ahead of its time on this, although derailed by the author infodumping ancient Sumeria in the middle.
In this context, what is so special about islands? The porous nature of borders doesn’t relate particularly strongly to the presence or absence of water barriers.
This comes up a lot with pandemic arguments too.
With requiring payment comes the ability to trace where the money came from.
So you're essentially demanding:
- that every social media account is easily connectable to the real citizen ID behind it.
- that governments should assist social networks in their already rampant tracking of users by even enforcing it through legislature.
- by that also that governments build infrastructure which can be used to track the political opinion of every citizen, because that's what they can do if every user account is linked to a real person.
I can understand that the goals behind what you say are noble, but please take notice of this:
When I use FB or whatever, I want to be completely anonymous.
I neither want FB, nor random strangers there, nor the government to track what the real person behind my pseudonym posts on FB.
And that should be the right of everyone. Mundane things such as posting your opinion on the internet should not have huge barriers of entry and possibly individual consequences attached to them.
To not become a fascist country, you cannot regulate social media access.
2) Facebook demands and aggressively enforces that your profile represents you and has your real name and other credentials associated with your identity. If your pseudonym gets reported it will definitely get banned.
> With requiring payment comes the ability to trace where the money came from.
Yes that's true for literally every transaction on the internet when done with a credit card. Not sure why that's a problem.
> And that should be the right of everyone.
Facebook is a company selling a product. You do not and definitely should not have any "rights" on their private platform. Just like you do not and should not have the right to force a local business to trade with you if they do not want to.
Because once such laws are enacted they surely will NOT only apply to FB but to all other social networks as well.
Classic "pandora's box".
> 2) Facebook demands and aggressively enforces that your profile represents you and has your real name and other credentials associated with your identity. If your pseudonym gets reported it will definitely get banned.
How does FB doing a bad thing currently justify demanding the government to even one-up them and make it legally mandatory to do that bad thing?
- I was aware of them doing this, and if that were the subject of the discussion I would have in fact demanded that they're legally forced to stop doing it.
> Yes that's true for literally every transaction on the internet when done with a credit card. Not sure why that's a problem.
Did you have to use your credit card to write this post?
To post on any other forum for the past few decades?
Would you be happy to give me your credit card data in real life before I start listening to anything you say there?
> Facebook is a company selling a product. You do not and definitely should not have any "rights" on their private platform. Just like you do not and should not have the right to force a local business to trade with you if they do not want to.
FB has taken possession of a now essentially public space of which the participation therein is a central component of having a social life. Try finding a party or any other kind of event to attend without FB access.
If you take possession of a part of the commons along with that possession comes the duty to provide proper access to the citizens which are reliant upon it.
E.g. if you own a piece of land below which there is an aquifer, the government will force you to provide access to the water so the public can drink.
There is no reason why this should be any different in cyberspace.
There's this thing called "cash". There are (and have been for at least a century) ways to transfer it from place to place, even electronically, in a mostly anonymous way - as mobile minutes, through western union, etc. The farther it has to go, the easier it is to track, but locally, it takes non-trivial effort to track transfer to the point that governments mostly do it when they actually have a reason rather than "just because".
> When I use FB or whatever, I want to be completely anonymous.
Well then, you're doing it wrong. You are violating FB's "real name" terms of service. And also, rest assured that almost everyone of the people you've talked to on Facebook has de-anonymized you, by having your real name in their address book somewhere which they uploaded to FB/WhatsApp/Instagram knowingly or unknowingly.
> I neither want FB, nor random strangers there, nor the government to track what the real person behind my pseudonym posts on FB.
Then FB is the wrong venue. With FB, the only winning move is not to play. They do an enormous amount of work to connect your online FB account with a real world identity. And the almost always succeed.
If you care about your privacy, get off facebook.
> To not become a fascist country, you cannot regulate social media access.
To not become a fascist country, you have to regulate social media.
You are right that this COULD be designed in an anonymous way, e.g. with cryptocurrencies, sure :)
It is however naive to believe that governments will actually do that if citizens allow them to require payment for social media access.
It will very certainly wind up being trackable.
> Well then, you're doing it wrong. You are violating FB's "real name" terms of service. And also, rest assured that almost everyone of the people you've talked to on Facebook has de-anonymized you, by having your real name in their address book somewhere which they uploaded to FB/WhatsApp/Instagram knowingly or unknowingly.
That only applies if I tell my real name to any of those people, which I don't.
> If you care about your privacy, get off facebook.
It is impossible to get off of FB without being denied access to things which are a central part of social life, e.g. events.
> > To not become a fascist country, you cannot regulate social media access.
> To not become a fascist country, you have to regulate social media.
I'm sorry, my wording was imprecise!
Let me correct it please: To not become a fascist country, you have to regulate social media, but you MUST NOT deny access to it.
> That only applies if I tell my real name to any of those people, which I don't.
FB also correlates by a thousands items if you use the FB app, and (at least) by IP address if you don't.
Hopefully, you never ever logged in to any other website with the same browser (or are using a super strict uBO / uMatrix policy), because that website will likely correlate you through their embedded FB pixel/like button.
> It is impossible to get off of FB without being denied access to things which are a central part of social life, e.g. events.
I guess you are in the US? That's not been my experience in other places. Everything still happens by email as well in other places. (The same cannot be said about WhatsApp - however - which cannot be escaped outside the US; If you meant "including WhatsApp" when you said FB, then I agree - though if you don't backup and don't use WhatsApp web, your copy of the conversation is still private. Metadata and the other party's is likely not.....)
Keep in mind it's already against the FB terms of service to use it anonymously. You're supposed to use your real full name.
One possible solution could be bitcoin. I'd be more worried about where the money is going, though. Do modern democracies need to be collecting even more money from us, to do god knows what with? Would this new tax come with a decrease in other taxes? Probably not.
I think disincentivizing social media is a good idea, but a social media tax isn't the right move. Brainstorming some other ways of doing so:
- Ban certain social media Skinner-box features like endless scrolling, recommendation algorithms, likes, whatever. This is more likely to get to the heart of the problem, but gives the government more control over the internet, private businesses, etc.
- Create alternative social media platforms which don't use the same rage-inducing and addicting mechanisms. These will fail because they are by definition less addicting than the alternative.
- Make current social media unusable by flooding it with spam. This could be accomplished "extra-legally", preferably using AI to make spam hard to detect. This is already being done to an extent by bad actors (Chinese Communist Party, though you don't need AI when you have over a billion cheap workers), but could be done on a larger scale not to sway opinion, but to ruin the platforms altogether.
- Social media companies could use semantic analysis to downrank rage-bait and negativity and up-rank positivity and thoughtful discourse (though hopefully not that hollow "you go girl!!!" faux-positivity you sometimes see on social media). This is uncomfortable because it means social media companies get to engineer our conversations to be whatever they want, but they are already doing this, they're just doing it in a malevolent way.
- Somehow educate the entire population on the dangers of social media the same way we did with cigarettes. Whether through a public information campaign, or by generally getting people to meditate and realize the true important things in life. This is a terrible solution, and obviously social media companies would fight it tooth and nail, but I only mention it because I've heard it seriously proposed too many times. If your solution is "educate everybody", but everybody is currently hooked up to disinformation machines, you're screwed.
That's all I've got. Anyone else have any ideas?
Facebook is not nearly as bad as the narrative driven tabloids would have us believe.
Most people get along with it just fine, it's mostly just social media.
It can have a downside, but it's better than having communications restricted.
It's what they call a humanoid interface to the Data Integration Thought Entity.
You're thinking about this from a prism of a country with a generally functioning, competent government (i.e. any rich Western country). Solomon Islands isn't that.
Some things that stood out to me:
> Facebook has also been cited as a factor in riots that gripped the capital, Honiara, in 2019. The social media platform was alight with anti-government rhetoric in the days after Sogavare’s election and was used by rioters to organise and congregate.
> But observers say China has influenced the government’s decision. Facebook has been, officially at least, banned in China for more than a decade.
> In September 2019 Solomon Islands switched from recognising Taiwan to instead embrace diplomatic relations with Beijing. The Solomons are home to a significant Chinese population and Beijing’s influence in the Melanesian archipelago – with the exception of Malaita, the most populous island and which remains loyal to Taiwan – has been steadily growing.
The guardian also has a link to a solomon times article:
> Minister Agovaka told Solomon Times Online (STO) that this temporary ban was made because of the controversial issues raised via Facebook.
> “Abusive languages against Ministers, Prime Minister, character assasination, defamation of character, all these are issues of concerns”, Agovaka says.
Personally I will be happy if Facebook goes away, but I don't know if this is the right way to do it.
Will Twitter be available? Because in some cases is even worse. Will they ban every social network? If so, what criteria will they use to flag a website as social network?
I think their premise is correct. Facebook is bad. But their solution doesn't make sense.
Many of the social issues we see are caused by the overton window narrowing so quickly and fiercely that it's causing backlash. I'd bet that by slowing this restriction, we'd reduce the chance of social and governmental conflicts arising from swift social change. Banning facebook would do this.
A large and diverse network is likely to offend more as more people come into contact with people they don't already have familiarity with, and less as they are less likely to come into contact with people they do.
Rephrased: I'm better able to tell sincerity from my dear friend Eliza when she says something, whereas those same words phrased the exact same way may cause offense when heard from a stranger at a bar.
Similarly, a window that includes legalizing cocaine while banning political speech would need to be very large, ranging from far left to far right.
Shit would get real if we could compare two larger nations, Hungary and Poland for example, to see if any negative effects could be reversed.
Of course FB will come up with all manner of excuses why they can't possibly do this, but here is the rub: if their products were actually good for society they should want to do this sort of research.
People underestimate just how good Facebook's network (computer network, not social network) is.
On the topic of Facebook: I've found a lot more instances extremism, divisiveness, and large groups attacking people/companies on Twitter and Reddit.
For starters the internet is less balkanized, social media platforms are magnitudes larger than the largest forums ever were so an idea can just spread faster and further than before. Email chains could approximate the reach but other factors meant they were less potent and also I think people had fewer emails known in their address books than they generally have friends on social media though I don't have any numbers to back up that gut feeling. Although things are just randomly shared outside of social nets by social media algorithms so that would also help it jump outside of limited social groups too.
Next the medium is just inherently more engaging now that photo and video are first class citizens on the major platforms, they're way more attention grabbing and engaging than a wall of text could hope to be.
Also I think fundamentally there's an imbalance between how easy it is to lie and to debunk a lie and how much each of those will spread. A lie is exciting/angering and people will spread it much faster than the 800 word debunk that explains just how full of crap the lie was (and often how the person spreading it is using it as a trojan horse for other shittier ideas). "Everything you know about X is wrong" spreads faster than "No most of what you knew was basically right and here's the history of X," it's shocking and new vs familiar and old.
Finally I think there's a fair amount of blame on the structure of *feeds and the algorithms that place things on them. It optimizes for salacious, shocking content that gets people to share it because that's what the algorithm selects for (roughly), things that keep users on the site so more ad impressions can be served. Add to that bad actors willing to lie and twist the truth to make money and a decade or so of Darwinian corporate evolution and you've got a pretty nasty combo.
This is the bottom line.
Back in the day you'd join a forum over a particular topic or hobby. Everyone had screen names. Moderation was tight, if there was politics it was confined to a single area that was easily avoided. You only saw "links" to "topics" that included images, not images.
Now with social media, people share images, memes, quotes, posts, etc. But while before that could be confined to one particular area and wasn't visible with fully anonymous screen names, now you see a real person that you know saying it, in your feed. It makes it feel more real. And get this - 50 people liked it and shared it themselves.
Where Facebook's brilliance comes in - is that it gamed the process of popularity. Most want to have as many "friends" as possible at first, they see old people they knew and want to see what they're up to, want to be popular, etc. But they don't realize that they really just don't want to get to know that many people that well. Some people are insane, some are borderline white supremacists, some are borderline anarchists. Before you never saw that side of people often. Now it's right in your face.
My advice? use social media for what it was originally designed for - staying in touch with friends you actually care about. Not politics. And mute/remove any friend who cares more about their agenda than seeing a good friend's cool vacation or neat artwork or cute newborn.
It's probably an extension of advertising, behaviour modification and outright propaganda (including agit-prop). Previously newspapers, magazines and televisions were used. Would Facebook etc be giving rise to a new phenomena or is it an existing one in new clothes?
Hoaxes are a good subject to look at, like the dead alien hoax. How did a hoax spread before the Internet?
Assuming new things are spreading, how can we make a vaccine to protect people against hoaxes and fake news but not against advertising, manipulation, behaviour modification and necessary government propaganda?
Lots of old quotes about falsehood spreading faster than truth:
Excuse me for sounding daft, but I think the intensity with which you are confronted with these opinions has changed drastically. I think you're purposefully being a bit ignorant here; no one (viz: 'they') wants to cancel opinions they disagree with. However to think that false information has the same platform today that it had 50 years ago is also just plain wrong-- and whether you agree with it or not, it does shape the public discourse these days. Unless you want to erode discussions to a point where its a battle of who can fabricate the biggest claim (true or not), you're going to have to accept that in a modern information society we will eventually need some form of controls.
Case in point: https://twitter.com/0x445442 (Seems you have a problem with "Leftists" and like to retweet right wing tweets)
Back in the day, the internet just laughed at "stupid people". Now it tries to ruin their lives for daring to say something edgy.
"Information controls" is one of the most horrific concepts I've ever heard of.
"Information Controls" -- I see you are making some kind of boogey man of this, but this already exists in some forms already (Slander/Libel/etc). I don't know how anyone can seriously argue that anyone should be able to claim whatever they want with no repercussions (especially when that anyone holds a position of power -- you could easily fabricate a story with false pretences to justify further power grabs).
Didn't some guy literally get canceled because he posted a study that discussed the effectiveness of violent vs peaceful protests?
random search: https://twitter.com/jenbrea/status/1271148784316108800?lang=...
Check out all the censorship laws in the past and even present. Content ratings, censorship committees present even today in many countries, including democratic ones.
Just for fun, check out how many pictures of Roosevelt showing him as a cripple you can find ;-)
I know it's wishful thinking.
This isn’t like your mom telling you that you’re not allowed to go on MySpace.
- ABC News Australia is funded by the Australian government
- There are Facebook groups named "Hate China" in support of Honk Kong, these groups are free to operate, why are they not removed under hate speech laws?  
- Separatists (Anti-Communists if you read NYT) use social media platforms to create violent mobs, beating anyone in support of Hong Kong unity  
- Facebook bans groups and individuals in the US almost immediately if they lean far-right or otherwise disagree with establish norms set by organizations like SPLC (not laws)
- Facebook and Google see themselves as stop gap to prevent bad ideas from forming in the first place or "to prevent the next Trump situation." 
- Facebook spies on millions of Americans and sells that information, what would it do to the citizens of a foreign nation?
Autocratic regimes the world over approve this message.