The Internet Has Reached Peak Toxicity

Comments

1
Tools never improve humanity. Only a combination of economic parity and real education do.
2
What you say Paul?? "All we want to do is shout into the ear of someone else, to get a reaction."
Is that why you fill us with paragraph after paragraph every day, and contribute ever so rarely to comment threads?
Thanks for the shouts Honky Paul. Bet you're happy about all the reactions you get.
3
How does the The Stranger behave to make this less so? Seriously. Ask yourselves if your part of the problem. Because seven times out of ten you guys indulge yourselves in the internet hate-fuck almost as much as everywhere else.

And before you immediately respond about how your on the side of right - EVERYBODY thinks they're on the side of right. you can be right and still be a fucking asshole.
4
I got into an internet fight with an old high school classmate last night. At first I was just throwing digs, but then I cut it out and we actually got into a decent discussion, in the end coming to agreement on police body cams. I know it's the exception and not the rule, but it does happen once in a while. I aim to keep interactions more like that in the future.
5
I managed to calmly call out someone's racism on Facebook this morning without actually calling anyone a racist. The responses so far have been measured and reasonable, and though I want to continue the discussion I know it's best to call it a victory and walk away.
6
Paul: Perhaps we will soon see a second great evacuation. Humans created cities before they had the social architecture to handle inequality, leading to an abandoning of cities for thousands of years before they reemerged. Perhaps we will see something similar with the internet, where people abandon social media in droves to the point where it is nearly barren for a generation, before coming back with better controls and a better social architecture.

http://io9.com/how-farming-almost-destro…
7
I see. Vile forms of variously sick or degrading pornography didn't do it for you. Exploitation of children? Nah, insufficiently "toxic". Videos of accidental and murderous death? No worries! It's all protected expression- or something.



For Little Paulie Constant the internet became insupportably vile when people he disagrees with voice their take on an issue. And the little fella thinks finding a middle ground people not him can live with is a conspiracy by the...whatever he thinks the evil group might be? Whew!



Got it. And for the record "politically correct" is among the worst insults folks I know could use of an idea or person, little guy.
8
@ 7, does your black wife agree with you?
9
It is almost like strangers who have already chosen a "side" yelling at each other anonymously is not a good substitute for reasoned, learned discussion.



Please keep us abreast of this breaking news, because I am shocked, shocked!
10
So you guys are going to do away with the comment option on Slog?
11
BTW, SB, "politically correct" doesn't mean "liberal," it means political speech of ANY persuasion restricted to certain code words, such as when you call LGBT equality "special rights."
12
@ 7...

My but you're a super-pious fuck today.
13
Anyone who responds to SeattleBlues is a serious dumbfuck in my book. To up the petty drama, I'm taking names!
14
Trolling for comments and page clicks is bad!



http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…


15
Maybe the Intetnet is here to make us all stop being such big fucking whiny babies that people aggressively voicing different opinions makes us cry.
16
@14
Haha.
90 comments. haha.
Obama needs to read that thread at his next Ferguson press conference to prove how intelligent and caring Seattle people are. haha
17
We can disregard entire swaths of the internet as thickets of brambles too painful to interact with, but inside those thickets are foreign seeds of a common reality which we ignore at our own peril for they are the answer.
18
@11...spot on, but SB won't buy it.

19
@7:

LOOK, THERE! EVIL PURE AND SIMPLE!
20
Yo, yo, Paul Constant, douchey, still clueless about the agenda, huh (although you have finally figured out that centrism = status quo, yet you still cling to it?????





The point is to wean everyone off of those pesky PCs, etc., and on to pads, and then limit their access via The Cloud, and be sure they are good consumers primarily only doing social networking sites.





Read these:





http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/11/se…





http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittee…
21
@3 nails it, thestranger makes money off the magnified application of the Dunning-Kruger effect that the internet creates.

People huddle around in group think and when something controversial happens, everyone is a lawyer and their opinion is suddenly correct.

Reddit circlejerk nailed this locally the other day:

" White people protest killing of black man by white police officer by marching through empty downtown area of whitest city in America "
22
and Matt Pearce, Mr twitter New Yorker picture guy. No, the cover isn't Incredible. They've done covers like that the past 50 years. get a life and give it a week or two, until you claim something else Incredible. Incredible. Incredible. You'd think that Mr Pearce was a writer for The Stranger.
23
I'm not sure when Paul became a social justice warrior out to school the rest of us on the evils of capitalism and the wonders of property damage and anarchy. Was it Sawant's election that put red diapers on Stranger writing pool or was it a few too many beers with Charles?

Doesn't really matter - it's freshman level social criticism and political analysis. I truly used to enjoy reading Constant on culture. The transition to whatever he's become now isn't working.
24
Make the internet a better place: ban the 2 trolls on this thread. When you stop giving SB and others a platform for their hate speech, I'll take this post seriously.
25
@24: SB is at least honestly expressing his opinion. It may be ignorant, wrongheaded, and wildly anti-rational, but it's his honest opinion. The other troll is just completely worthless. Hell, he's apparently jealous of SB because people actually respond to SB, but have learned to completely ignore him.
27
@25 there is literally nothing honest about SB. He is a compulsively lying disturbed sack of shit who haunts this place because he gets off on people hating his guts.
28
Hm, aside from those first amazing years of the Internet, back in the early 90s, when Usenet was a-teamin' with interesting and open-minded people...
... these more recently years it has become obvious that the Intertubes are a giant Self-Reflector: You search for what you're interested in, friend who you like, Google modifies your search results based on your web-history, you read what you agree with, and rant fruitlessly against what you don't, and the Big Boys just want to sell you something (and will say anything that it takes).

Meh. It's a phase. If asshole racists refuse to listen to blacks. And sexist-douchebags block feminists. And feminists block virulently hateful death-threat trolls. And good sensible people say away from 4chan (ha! a joke! Lookie there!). Well... then they are only just reinforcing their own biases, all the way around the spectrum.

As if Americans haven't been fully encouraged to not listen to each other already... What's happening online is only a reflection what's happening in homes across the land.

It'll be amazing to me if the soi-disant "leaders" of this so-called 'free country' can actually keep it together. Culturally, we're already very, very fragmented.
29
(plz ignore typos & unpolished grammar, it was written quickly and I'm a busy mans today! ;>)

The big question is: What does it take to stitch culture together?

Anthropologists might answer: Gifting.
30
Paul Constant you fucking idiot.

The Left keeps spewing vindictive about anyone that doesn't comport to their definition of acceptable (hipster, urban, hyper-racially aware, guilt-bearing, uber-sensitive, vegan, indebted, dependent, etc.) -- and then when the rest of us start to bite back, you get all butt hurt about it.

There has never been a revolution against democratic free-market capitalism. You will deny that we have democratic free-market capitalism because it is inconvenient to your narrative. Where capitalist model stumbles and fails usually has to do with government interference (mortgage markets, healthcare economics,etc.)

In history, there have only been revolutions against over-bearing state apparatus and dictatorial central governments, which you Regressives at Slog keep supporting or selectively ignoring. (NSA, IRS as political weapon, Obamacare, Executive orders, etc.)

The hate spewed on the Internet is folly compared to the danger the "Left" (and its fascist shadow identity), is playing with.

So be careful "Hoping" for the "Change" under a guy like Obama. You are not immune from history. The mid-term elections didn't wake you up. And if they did, they may actually push you in the wrong direction. "The State Can Solve the World" is bullshit coffee-shop talk best left to college frosh.

Most Americans simply want to be left alone. If you don't respect that tendency, you're gonna' make the bear angry.

When the counter-punch comes, it will likely be bloody. And the people who suffer first, most and longest will be the people least disciplined, least funded, least sympathetic, least committed, least focused and least articulate... They look a lot like the Occupy movement, and the parade of douche bags yesterday on Capitol Hill.



31
"Most Americans simply want to be left alone. If you don't respect that tendency, you're gonna' make the bear angry."

ironic
32
@ 30, racism and defending the killing of unarmed black male teens will always trump your real and imagined slights.

Can't wait for c_s to show up and round out the Trifecta of conservative idiocy.
33
@27: his opinions are honest. He lies about his experiences and life, but his opinions are real.
34
"There has never been a revolution against democratic free-market capitalism. "
How does one wage a revolution against a currency-type?

Maybe by, um, creating other currencies?
;>)

"Capitalism Can Solve the World"(sic) is bullshit coffee-shop talk best left to von Mises diehards.

"When the counter-punch comes, it will likely be bloody. And the people who suffer firs--"

Ooh! Threats!
35
Part of the problem is, we keep hearing "We need an open dialogue on racial issues in this country." and yet when people virtually open their mouths to say something, esp. if you go off of some people's strict liberal roadways, you're blasted as a racist! It's like you can spend your whole life fighting against racial injustice, yet if you agree that the Brown shooting was justified, or that there's another issue of black-on-black crime that cries out for protests and action, I'm neither objective and my opinion is unwanted because I'm white (mostly). My opinion was pretty valuable when desegregation was busing children to schools in my neighborhood and I made some of my best childhood friends.
36
@30: Wait, you're blaming economic collapses on "government interference"? You DO REALIZE that the cause of most of our recent economic woes is deregulation, right? Government oversight of banks was loosened, banks made riskier moves to try and drive up their profits, it didn't work, and shit hit the fan. Blaming that on government interference is like blaming Syrian war crimes on Western meddling.
37
@35: that's why i draw a line between pointing out prejudice/bigotry and calling people racists.

yesterday on FB, a close HS pal started posting photos of the looters with racist photoshops - big bird, e.t., tutus on men. haha. i think he a. doesn't know why its inappropriate and b. just doesn't realize that all the black people we're friends with can see that shit.

did i call him a racist? no. he has prejudices and can't see past the looting.

38
on here, i admit i can be trolled by the SBs and dnt trust mes. SB is particularly obtuse.

with gun assholes like 5280 (RIP) there was a willingness to debate facts and solutions.

sgt. doom is just tl;dr.

39
I have been trying to figure out how to respond to some of my more basic associates in a gentle way, for there really has been a lot of bad behavior out there. I have a friend who is all "white people can't be silent", which I agree with, but I'm not sure what I want to say.



Michael Brown was no hero, but he didn't deserve what happened to him, either. I understand the anger, but I don't get the looting - especially in one's own neighborhood.
40
@38

I'm particularly glad Dr Awesome is only lurking these days. As funny as he was, his comments were obnoxious. Maybe someday SB, myself, and Sgt Doom will be gone, and love will triumph in the community. I didn't read much of 5280, the gun control issue doesn't float my boat. But he seemed like a good bloke.
41
What you are being overwhelmed by is the miasma that shrouds every black and brown person every day. The cloud was parted for an instant so that you, who sit outside it, could peer in. And you're overwhelmed. And though it may be the screeching minority that provides the poison into the atmosphere, it's the day-to-day accepting, affirming silence of the majority that has (always) allowed it to spread from a poisonous steam into a choking cloud. Are the diatribes effective? Only in laying bare the truth underneath them. We need to see who we really are as a people; break away from our fantastical mythology of who carries purity and goodness. Just because something doesn't serve your interests and needs doesn't mean it serves no ones.
42
@39 - Looting is about redistribution of wealth, plain and simple. When there's a breakdown in "law & order", poorer folks loot. Check the history on the NYC blackout in '77... people set up ad-hoc distribution points for stuff... instant division of labor: Some people grabbed the TVs from the store, others stood on the sidewalk and handed them out to people who stopped by in cars to pick one up.
--

I just ran across this related concept, which may be a useful perspective in all of this:
We are in the middle of a power shift in society that is at least as large as that of the printing press. Information advantage has always been the same as power: when the ruling elite has historically lost the information advantage, they have also lost power. Therefore, that advantage has always been defended, often with violence: militarization of information technology goes back to the Roman civilization. By learning from history, we get blueprints of the successful battle plans, as well as an understanding of where we are in this particular cycle of history.
Worth noting that "sowing confusion and discord" is a very common authoritarian tactic to keep the lower classes fighting each other, instead of focusing their attention on the men behind the curtain.
43
"The proliferation of strong anti-Gamergate statements from prominent nerd celebrities" helping to bring the shitstorm to a close blows a big hole in your whole thesis, Paul. If these fights didn't matter, then it wouldn't matter what anybody said.

Did these nerd celebs have their gamergate talking points all prepared and fully formed before the debate started? Hardly. They read the waves of arguments from both sides and realized one side was fucked. They spoke out and people heard them. In other words, the gamergaters lost the argument. The celebs just said what most everybody else was saying, but with more Twitter followers.

It might seem like nobody is listening, but consensus does start to gel. A lot of "nerd celebrities" hold that status precisely because their judgement is respected and their words represent large swaths of the community.

It's call winning. You're supposed to be happy, not gripe about it.

We're winning on Ferguson, too. The old guard holding public office in Missouri is clueless but the rest of America see's what's what.
44
New media doesn't make old arguments go away, it just plays the role of a superficial moderator that exposes the rough edges and either isolates them or smooths off some of the rough edges, and occasionally moves public opinion (a rarity). We rediscover this with each new medium. Each new medium is more personal and liberating.

No matter who the "us" and "them" are, ubiquitous communication is an exercise in public participation and self reflection. We then choose to reflect or generate positive or negative expressions, both equally useful and necessary.

The new medium allows others to access to us how and where we choose to engage them. We are all little celebrities now, suffering the same social ills that actual celebrities have (in most cases) for decades chosen to accept as part of their famous positions.

Everybody should make an explicit effort to seperate their private selves from the social media public self, just like a celebrity, because that's the level of oversaturating engagement so many people blindly dive head first into.

People choose to be "Friends" with people they don't actually know on their personal facebook pages, which gives some strangers an equal social value in that medium as your very best friend in the whole wide world.
Try not to do that.
Create a Facebook fan page for yourself for public social engagement, and keep your personal FB page for actual friends.

If two people are arguing on a street intersection, or on the internet, know that you are not required to be there to argue with them.
45
Treacle dear, I'm not all that against looting per se - it's human nature. But why loot your own neighborhood, and destroy what's there? Why not head to the centers of power? (I know the answer - if someone loots a poor neighborhood, the cops just stand by. If they try to loot Nordstrom, the cops shoot to kill)
46
Some highly intelligent comments here today, and some incredibly moronic ones as well.



There Internet, comment-wise, is pretty much over, with an older study indicating that over 60% of the comments at the more popularly-read sites weren't human at all, but chatbots and various other automated code.



Free speech? I've been blocked and banned from boingboing.net (Mr. Free Speech, Cory Doctorow), whowhatwhy.com (Mr. Free Speech, Russ Baker), huffington post, had my comments completely deleted on certain subjects (said comments were of a technical nature in support of a subject, nothing insulting, etc.) at The Guardian, Raw Story, nakedcapitalism.com, and a slew of other sites.



If my comments, which were informational but vanilla in verbiage, were blocked, then considerably more is being blocked, I'm quite certain.



This subject is irrelevant!
47
Commondreams.org also blocked and banned me, which was even more mystifying, unless all these sites only tolerate vanilla comments anymore!
48
so dramatic
49
sgt_doom, I think you got b& because you are nuts. Now I am an admitted madman, but I'm just crazy, not nuts. You, I'm afraid, are a fruitsy fruitsy nutbar.
Some people are allergic to nuts.
50
@36

You've been reading too many Occupy Wall Street St. placards. Federal housing policy under Clinton encouraged everyone to own a home even if their own personal finances didn't support it. With excess captital sloshing around the market, banks made less on conventional loans, so looked to package risky mortgages as securities. So -- Who do you think was the largest provider of subprime mortgages? yep -- The federal government. Look it up. Now they're doing it to the education system with massive student loans availability driving a tuition bubble.
51
@ 50,

So -- Who do you think was the largest provider of subprime mortgages? yep -- The federal government. Look it up.


I looked it up, and to no surprise, found that you're full of shit. [pdf]

52
@51: I AM SHOCKED
THIS IS MY SHOCKED REACTION
I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT
WOW
53
I like how Paul thinks "social justice warrior" is exclusively used by the right.

There are liberals who don't like Tumblr "check your privilege" anti-discussion shrillheads either.
54
@53- You're not a liberal. You're a selfish asshole who like weed.
55
@45 -- Well, there's a couple of factors at play: One is the heightened emotional state of being in a riot, & fighting the cops -- you don't necessarily make clear logical decisions, reflecting carefully on all the ramifications; and the Other is that looting takes place in the area where police control has been lost, where one is more likely to get away with it. If the riot/lack-of-police occurs in the lower-class neighborhood, then that's where the looting happens. Things looted are frequently the things people covet -- nicer cellphones, plasma TVs, laptops, etc.

Do note that several police cars were burned, particularly one right in front of the town hall. So clear political messages were being sent.
56
So you're saying the internet -- which serves the entire world -- has become too toxic because Americans can't use it productively? Try this experiment: Take out a Facebook account and friend 100 people from other countries, but no Americans. You will find no talk about Ferguson, race issues, Gamergate, or whatever else it is that you find toxic. Maybe think about what your internet consumption says about your own community or your own country. Those of us who live in other places (some of those places less than an hour's drive from the US border) can't relate to your particular concern.
57
@Paul Constant, that you would say this about SJWs:



""(On the conservative side, I'm sure they're talking about having to unfriend people who were secretly "social justice warriors" or whatever the Republican code word for "politically correct" or "empathetic human" is these days.)""



Tells me that you have not done enough research to be talking about this topic, or are perhaps a little too deep in your own echo chamber. Unless this is meant as some parody?



Let's see if I can help... remember those people ("It" and friends) that tried to get Dan Savage booted from a University discussion? Those were SJWs. SJWs are like the TEA Party of the Left. You can differentiate them from other progressives because they condone and engage in racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry so long as it is directed against social categories they deem bad. They often also do so in an arbitrary manner, which belies their dictatorial sensibilities and modus operandi (typical tactics of intimidation, threats, or 'doxxing').



Also, social justice advocates =/= social justice warriors.
58
"It is almost like strangers who have already chosen a "side" yelling at each other anonymously is not a good substitute for reasoned, learned discussion."

^ This.