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Senate QAnon Casualties

Discussion in 'Community' started by Bacon164, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. Kiki Jinn

    Kiki Jinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Yes, Trump isn’t the cause of most of the madness he leverages but he’s done more to legitimize psychotic, lunatic fringe thought than anyone else in our history.

    The POTUS basically called them patriots, on camera. I still have trouble believing that but it happened. Similar to his Nazi-coddling... he gives them an enormous sense of validation they would not have otherwise.
     
  2. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    I agree. He's empowering a new meddlesome and potentially lethal group of people. He wants a culture war to retain his seat of power.
     
  3. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    None of this is helped by a Google search algorithm that reinforces bias in the searcher; or FB that has allowed fringe lunatic groups to flourish for far too long. At least Twitter is now making an effort to permaban the worst troublemakers.

    Even people whom I consider friends or have respect for are coming under the sway of conspiracy theories that abound like never before. In the days before the internet, the gullible would have had greater difficulty finding each other. Now they can chat to like-minded people in echo chambers of their own making to their heart's content. They are far more organised now, they have a platform, and they are growing.

    Then all you need is the head of a country to reinforce a lot of the narrative and you have a potentially very dangerous situation indeed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  4. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    I agree, Tony. I'm tired of how FB has been neutral regarding white nationalists and QAnon types. I hate Twitter with a passion for its acceptance of these dangerous conspiracy theories. I don't mind having 3,000 anti-Trump people on my FB, but I refuse to have any followers on Twitter because I don't trust that website at all.

    https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-marjorie-taylor-greene-insult-001636305.html

    Update: AOC is standing up a QAnon supporter's attack on her intellect. These Q people are seducing uneducated people, I'd wager.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  5. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    At least in Twitter you can keep your account locked and only follow the accounts you trust.
     
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  6. DarkGingerJedi

    DarkGingerJedi Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Im still amazed that in 1998, everyone was like...don’t trust anything you read online ever!

    And now those same people are like yo, theres a shapeshifting reptilian hybrid human pedo-ring operating under a pizza parlor in DC, and all of hollywood and democrats and hillary and obama are involved and they drink the kids blood to stay young and Trump is going to save the world and JFK, jr. didnt really die in a plane crash but learned the truth and they tried to kill him but failed and now he’s revealing the truth to the trump admin within the WH and...
     
  7. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Exactly. Otherwise, I wouldn't be on. I'm thinking about making a new one without my name on it, though. I'd rather not have my name out there. Twitter is more toxic than FB or Insta.

    Ikr, Dark Ginger Jedi? Now, people trust way too much of what they read. I've seen people (people I haven't met or seen in a long time) get indoctrinated by tweets from QAnon accounts on Twitter. It's sweeping through Texas like a plague, and I guess its their way of trying to undermine the Hispanic vote to deny Democrats a victory or something.
     
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  8. DarkGingerJedi

    DarkGingerJedi Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Welp.

    Step one; tell all your devoted followers that the media you disagree with is fake and lying to you.

    Step two: tell all your devoted followers that they can only trust you and people just like you and believe any story that tells you how everyone you disagree with is evil and going to be destroyed by your devoted leader.

    Its nefarious. Brainwashing. And because there’s an once of truth to it, its easy to hook those not paying much attention.
     
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  9. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    They usually conclude that with, "Don't be sheeple! Seek out the truth!" except they do it in caps lock: the go-to for every deluded keyboard warrior.

    @SateleNovelist11: I actually really like Twitter, but then I'm usually able to filter out the looneys. I follow the main news channels there, and key people who are writing great stuff, but especially scientists. There's a lot of great stuff on there IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  10. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Now and again a relative will throw me the link to something they saw on Facebook... secret Chinese Virus labs, cancer from 5G towers or some such... but I know they haven't gone full Q. They aren't full on conspiracy nuts, but they've been infected by regular hits to the madness and sometimes they eat it up.

    They eat the digital junk food that is floating around. A non-fatal poison that damages their common sense.
     
  11. Bacon164

    Bacon164 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2005
    It seems more like digital crack
     
  12. Rylo Ken

    Rylo Ken Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Bad content drives out the good. It's Ken's law of online information. Everything useful retreats behind a paywall. Outside it's all Q Anon and unboxing videos.
     
  13. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    And cat gifs
     
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  14. Bacon164

    Bacon164 Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Btw I literally am going back to therapy to address this. I have an appointment tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  15. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    Best of luck Bacon
     
  16. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    The nature of Twitter really does make it, imo, the worst social media at this point. It's so heavily designed to be about getting what one person says out there to a wide net while limiting the content so that there can't be any attempts at nuance. And it's why Trump successfully rode Twitter into the White House
     
  17. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    I made a lengthy reply to your post and then lost the entire damn thing as my internet dropped out for the upteenth time today. I don't know whether you use Twitter, but the impression I get is that you don't.

    I can't even remember half of what I typed now, and inevitably, this post is going to lack the content of the original.

    Twitter is a platform that is just as successfully used by the political left, and anyone there is open to debate, condemn, or otherwise ignore anything that others post. I have had a far better time there for far longer than here, and my two failed previous attempts at joining this community are testament to that.

    The vast majority of the content I read on Twitter is from scientists or about science. As a platform, it enables me to get an 'at a glimpse' summary of the latest discoveries, and links to papers on the subject. It also enables me to ask those scientists questions. There's also a lot of really funny and silly stuff on there. Absolutely no harm in that.

    You can make a string of posts on Twitter far in excess of 240 characters, or you can link to an opinion piece or news article. You can also block troublemakers, lock your account so that only your followers can see your content, or you can unfollow content you dislike.

    It is inevitable that you will see views expressed there that you will vehemently disagree with. That's just how it is; but there is no way the political right don't get challenged, debated or condemned on there. It isn't an echo chamber, nor should it be, and the political left should be prepared to debate as much as anyone.

    Crucially though, movements such as BLM have been very effective in mobilising via Twitter as much as other platforms. It has been just as valuable for them as the likes of Trump. I would not have seen many of the latest news developments that matter to me if it didn't exist.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  18. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    They weren't and they are not.
     
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  19. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    No social media yet in 1998, a lot more search engines with far less efficiency at filtering results, not too many ads yet, no deepfakes, and most users still being on dial-up meant much lighter media. But the gullibility and the BS? They were already there. One early example being the presentation of DnD as a satanic device.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  20. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    I remember being a young trainee engineer way back in 1985, and going for a long drive with a more senior engineer, and an hour into the drive he casually said to me "So what do you think about the Jews?"

    And I didn't know what to say. The Jewish community in Australia is pretty small. They don't factor heavily in things so I didn't have any context to reply. Anyway, he talked a bit about how they control the media and the banks, and I just looked confused and didn't get all enthusiastic in the way he had hoped, and then the trip was very very quiet for the next hour.


    Anyway. He didn't have the Internet. He had.. what? Pamphlets? Racist fanzines? Weekly club meetings?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  21. Darth Punk

    Darth Punk JCC Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Facebook is like a flurry of sewage that comes into your house unbidden, whereas Twitter is like you constructed a sluice to let it in
     
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  22. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    @CairnsTony I do use Twitter to an extent, actually primarily because while scientists are not expected to use it, enough do that it can result in missing part of the conversation with conferences. So it's a somewhat grudging acceptance that I have to deal with it for that (I do also have an account for automated Twitter posts about the history of science, but that doesn't involve too much hands-on work usually). I do know plenty of people that don't bother with it at all still, but it's ingrained now to a somewhat annoying level. Though with all travel canceled for the year, Slack has been cutting into that lately.

    My point is not that all things that are done on Twitter are tainted by Twitter's original design sin, but rather that the design strongly shapes the impact it has, despite the ad hoc things people have tried to get around that design. So to start with, the format very strongly strips nuance out of the discussion with the 280 character limit, and while that's not as severe as the 140 character limit, that focus on brevity certainly constrains the ability for nuanced discussion even if there are partial work-arounds for that as the system disincentivizes that. Also in how retweeting or liking, as a single action, still only applies to a single tweet so there's no way to pass along a series of tweets as a single recommendation.

    It also then becomes heavily about repeating the content of others, and given that the default is that anyone can see a tweet, and many people can follow more public figures, it then results in large numbers of people disseminating very short statements that are often coming from the figures that generate the most attention, and can be very easily stripped of what little context they had in the first place. This is not something that only can be done with Twitter, it's just something that Twitter in particular is very good at. What would be easily an incomplete statement in most other mediums is, on Twitter, not challenged as such because it's one tweet long and so they gain traction there.


    What it allows, then, is very brief tweets to be made that don't have nuance, and where there's a built in justification for lacking nuance, and those tweets are then spread by anyone following that person, often with single tweets being repeated which further removes context, in a process that shares those tweets well beyond just those following the initial person and makes it easy to not see any challenges to it. It is why I said what I did before, because I think it encourages unhealthy standards of dialogue that have had major repercussions, including, but not limited to, the Trump presidency.
     
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  23. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    Twitter undeniably has issues, I don't contest that, but as I've pointed out, it can also be used in very positive ways. I've had some very interesting and informative exchanges on there with a lot of people over the years. I maximise its usefulness for what I want it for, and I am mostly oblivious to the stuff I don't like, simply because I don't follow it. I am fully aware of where the issues lie, but then that isn't the only thing that Twitter is about.

    I'll give you an example of where I think the debate has actually improved as a result: I have been a part of the environment movement since the early 80s. I subscribed to, or was a member of everything going that turned out environmental content, and felt pretty well informed. Even though it was much slower in its turn over than today, organising meetings, campaigns and so on was doable, but tended to reach much smaller audiences. If I wanted to participate in an awareness campaign, I literally had to leaflet door to door. However, in retrospect, there was another equally large problem: the 'facts' that many environmental organisations churned out, were just not open to scrutiny in the way they are now. When I look back at some of the literary content from that time, I cringe. Whilst it was terrific that things such as global warming and mass extinction were getting highlighted more and more, in hindsight, a lot of the 'science' being used was highly questionable; but being young and idealistic, I didn't want to question it.

    In those days it was not unusual for young idealistic, environmentally 'aware' Brits to do VSO (voluntary services overseas), which, in a nutshell, usually involved going to somewhere like Thailand or Vietnam and telling the locals how to live their lives and not question their great white saviour. I balked at the idea as did others, but you’d be astonished how little this mindset was questioned in those days.

    Nowadays, environmental organisations are simultaneously able to spread their message far wider, and be open to far greater scrutiny. Their science is often challenged, not because the overall message may be wrong, but because they could potentially undermine their own credibility if what they claim is based on dubious research. When I compare today's 'received wisdoms' on environmental matters with the eighties, there are still some which are endlessly repeated, and not questioned, but so much more that is. Not all of it of course, most of what is put out there is accurate, but at least social media platforms enable one to quickly fact check. Furthermore, the debate has become much more sophisitcated, and at long last people in Thailand, Vietnam, or wherever have a voice. It is refreshing to chat with people from Kenya on Twitter, as I did last year, about the appalling exploitation of their wildlife by rich American hunters. They would likely tell you, if they were here right now, what a boon social media has become, not because they don’t see its downsides as much as anyone, but because they see its biggest upside: they finally have a voice in the wider world.

    Now there's a whole ongoing debate of course on the gullible masses who will swallow anything, and those who will always abuse the privilege of such a platform, but quite frankly, there are people who lack critical thinking skills on all sides of the political spectrum and in all walks of life, and even the best social media platform doesn't filter them out, and I'm not sure even can. Platforms like Twitter are a double-edged sword. They can be seen as powerful tools for great benefit as well as great harm, but that mostly depends on how people use it. Its issues aren’t just a first world problem; it has many more facets, some of them surprising and positive- not least the unprecedented ability to hold powerful public figures to account.

    When I consider how hard it was for me and others to get the environmental message across back in the eighties, I am eternally grateful that nowadays it is so much easier. If there were a better platform for what I use Twitter for, I'd be right there. Until that happens, it serves its purpose for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  24. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2000
    I'd argue one of those two edges of social media is sharper than the other: disinformation, which doesn't actually try to get people to learn and think, gains more from the instant and widespread communication they allow than information.
     
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  25. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    And I would argue the exact opposite. It is easy to look at where disinformation has occurred on Twitter, and ignore or overlook all of the more positive stuff, which is far commoner. As with the example I gave, the environment movement owes Twitter a lot. Crucially though, powerful public figures are held accountable now in a way that they never used to be.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020