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Author Topic: Twitter, Flitter, Bitter
Shooshie
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Icon 1 posted January 30, 2012 15:10      Profile for Shooshie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for calling attention to Twitter's complicity with dictators and censorship the world over. I was appalled at the lackadaisical response to the demise of their judgment. That was a tremendous social error based entirely on the profit motive. Not only did they appear unaware of their own importance in recent world events, but they have unwittingly applied pressure to all the Internet to allow censorship.

I realize that I'm speaking to the wind here, but how wonderful it would be if people would suddenly abandon Twitter as they did NetFlix for a mistake with virtually none of the potential consequences of Twitter's decision.

Of course, most of Twitter's user base is probably too young to have any idea of the significance of Twitter's choice, nor of the power of their numbers if everyone would simply act on it and drop Twitter like a Motorola 68020. One can wish, can't he?

Shooshie

Posts: 119 | From: Texas to Nevada... depending. | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted January 30, 2012 15:48      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I realize that Twitter has been considered instrumental in organizing uprisings around the world, but I'm quite certain that adequately motivated parties will get the word out another way.

Mind you, I'm one of those grumpy people that thinks Twitter is a lot of hot air, and would be inclined to utter the /.-ism "and nothing of value was lost." I think people assign way too much value to Twitter and per the JoyPoll, perhaps people's productivity would increase w/o it. [Razz]

Now Netflix is another story - I may not be thrilled that the price went up a bit, but it's by and large a great service. I think Quickster would have been a horrible move, but its offerings are still pretty incredible and some reactions have really been over the top. However, it's an actual business and people can vote with their wallets, unlike Twitter. (Will Twitter really notice if thousands stop posting?) Thanks to Netflix, I was able to while away an hour at the airport watching "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" -- and that was good. [Razz]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 30, 2012 17:15      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think twitter's success in the jasmine revolution was due it bieng the only or best way to get the word out. I think it was it's GUI.

Maybe nothing of value was lost, I also don't like twits, but maybe someone needs to step up and provide an alternative for revolutionairies that cna allow peoples around the world to organize.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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Shooshie
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Icon 1 posted January 31, 2012 03:27      Profile for Shooshie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
[QB] Well, I realize that Twitter has been considered instrumental in organizing uprisings around the world, but I'm quite certain that adequately motivated parties will get the word out another way.

It would be hard to prove either way, but the obvious evidence is that these people have been motivated for a long time, but anyone caught planning such an uprising was instantly removed from the face of this planet. Twitter and Facebook (and possibly other GUI's) made possible something that has never been possible before. Anonymous planning, decentralized distribution of instructions, unstoppable redundant copies, and the resultant ability to plan with impunity. If there were another way, they'd found it long ago. The way came along, they used it, and now the provider of that way is caving to powers who don't want that happening in THEIR backyard.

No, I don't think another way will just appear overnight. If something replaces Twitter and Facebook, then you would be right, at least until it also caved as have Twitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and many other corporations who have given free-speech concessions away in order to do business more easily under oppressive regimes.

Business is business. One learns not to expect it to have a human-rights conscience, at least not for long after its management grows up. But at those fateful intersections of youthful naivete and viral global adoption, when a window opens for dissent against oppression that governments haven't been able to crack for decades, technology indeed plays not just a significant role, but the deciding role in changing the political faces of nations. That is why even the US Congress is always trying their darnedest to find the handles on the Internet such that they can pull it back down to earth when they want to.

Give them those handles even one time, and you won't get those freedoms back -- ever.

Shooshie

Posts: 119 | From: Texas to Nevada... depending. | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted January 31, 2012 06:23      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
They're a business, operating in the real world, so they do what governments tell them to.

I've been to a number of countries that could fairly be described as dictatorships, and my rule #1 was "Always do what the man with the machine gun says"

Does anyone think Twitter would (or should) refuse a CIA 'request' to take down al-qaeda tweets?

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Shooshie
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Icon 1 posted February 01, 2012 17:50      Profile for Shooshie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
They're a business, operating in the real world, so they do what governments tell them to.

I've been to a number of countries that could fairly be described as dictatorships, and my rule #1 was "Always do what the man with the machine gun says"

Does anyone think Twitter would (or should) refuse a CIA 'request' to take down al-qaeda tweets?

We've always had provisions for invasive procedures when dealing with criminal cases. We depend on our courts and the integrity of our law enforcers to keep those actions where they belong and not treat innocent people as criminals.

But to expect everyone to be treated the same as criminals? The USA is one of many nations whose laws promote freedom, not oppression in the name of "security." Since the laws already exist for dealing with criminals, why should a corporation voluntarily cave in to requests to limit freedom for everyone at the whim of a dictator?

Shooshie

Posts: 119 | From: Texas to Nevada... depending. | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 01, 2012 19:26      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Shooshie:
The USA is one of many nations whose laws promote freedom, not oppression in the name of "security."

Have you been living in a cave these last 10 years?

quote:
Since the laws already exist for dealing with criminals, why should a corporation voluntarily cave in to requests to limit freedom for everyone at the whim of a dictator?
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:"Always do what the man with the machine gun says"
You want to criticize the dictator? Fine, more power to you.

But don't criticize others for not saying 'no' to the guy with the machine gun, bravery is not compulsory.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 01, 2012 20:16      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If those of you who are lambasting Twitter for it's country-specific censorship could kindly take a moment to read this article, you might find it to be interesting.

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2012 02:17      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GrumpySteen:
If those of you who are lambasting Twitter for it's country-specific censorship could kindly take a moment to read this article, you might find it to be interesting.

Wow...I hope the tinpot dictators are stupid enough not to realize how big a loophole Twitter has created there. [Razz]

Thanks very much for the link - definitely an interesting take on things.
I'm not entirely sure I agree with the thesis of it being 'good for human rights,' but I can follow their reasoning just fine. (Google states plainly on pages where things are blocked that "some content has been blocked due to ____" (paraphrased). I believe they may also put explanations on the Chilling Effects page for stuff like DMCA removals.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Shooshie
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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2012 16:12      Profile for Shooshie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GrumpySteen:
If those of you who are lambasting Twitter for it's country-specific censorship could kindly take a moment to read this article, you might find it to be interesting.

Wow, thanks! That's very encouraging. I'm not 100% convinced, but I do see the logic that makes this a good move. What bothers me at this point is that they had to make any move at all. But I agree that they left a wide loophole or two, and it has the potential to expose the whims of those dictators while not really blocking the "blocked" citizens if they are motivated enough to find the moved content.

Things look a little brighter now.

Shooshie

Posts: 119 | From: Texas to Nevada... depending. | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Shooshie
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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2012 16:31      Profile for Shooshie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by Shooshie:
The USA is one of many nations whose laws promote freedom, not oppression in the name of "security."

Have you been living in a cave these last 10 years?
Why, yes! I'm Neanderthal. You Cro-Magnons are always making fun of us and our caves. Have you repealed Prohibition yet? [Cool]
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid: "Always do what the man with the machine gun says"
You want to criticize the dictator? Fine, more power to you.

But don't criticize others for not saying 'no' to the guy with the machine gun, bravery is not compulsory.

And Twitter would have to be VERY brave to say no to a man with a machine gun on the other side of the world. Yeah, I see what you mean! Can't expect them to do THAT!

Fortunately, as evidenced in other posts, Twitter may have been much more sly than we thought! And quite brave, by your definition. That man with a machine gun just won't understand why nobody follows his orders anymore. [Mad]

Shoosh

Posts: 119 | From: Texas to Nevada... depending. | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2012 18:29      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Shooshie:
And Twitter would have to be VERY brave to say no to a man with a machine gun on the other side of the world. Yeah, I see what you mean! Can't expect them to do THAT!

Ask Julian Assange or Kim Dotcom how safe it is 'on the other side of the world' from governments that bear a grudge.

Twitter is a global business, if you're doing business in a county, you abide by their laws - or expect the consequences.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2012 22:51      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Julian Assange stands accused of rape.

Kim Dotcom got busted for blatantly supporting piracy and making oodles of money off it.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted February 02, 2012 23:03      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Julian Assange stands accused of rape.

Kim Dotcom got busted for blatantly supporting piracy and making oodles of money off it.

Both of them were far away from the governments that had it in for them when they were arrested, which was my point...
distance ≠ immunity from foreign government action.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 03, 2012 00:19      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
Julian Assange stands accused of rape.

Kim Dotcom got busted for blatantly supporting piracy and making oodles of money off it.

Both of them were far away from the governments that had it in for them when they were arrested, which was my point...
distance ≠ immunity from foreign government action.

I don't dispute that one bit, and certainly got your point loud and clear.

Still, I would care to point out that both men are far from saints.
(And it's not at all like Ai Weiwei's bogus tax evasion charges.)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
fs

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2012 05:34      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Shooshie:
Twitter and Facebook (and possibly other GUI's) made possible something that has never been possible before. Anonymous planning, decentralized distribution of instructions, unstoppable redundant copies, and the resultant ability to plan with impunity. If there were another way, they'd found it long ago.

LOL. Just... LOL. ^o^

But now lets be serious.

The appearance of anonymity & privacy in tools like facebook and twitter is dangerous for people that don't really understand the technology.

quote:
As it happens, both Twitter and Facebook
give Iran's secret services superb platforms for
gathering open source intelligence about the
future revolutionaries, revealing how they are
connected to each other. These details are now
being shared voluntarily, without any external
pressure. Once regimes used torture to get this
kind of data; now it's freely available on
Facebook.

Unfortunately, such nuances are lost on
young Iranians and their foreign supporters;
they happily exchange public messages with
each other, creating a very dangerous trail of
evidence that, sooner or later, could be used
against them-in the case of Iranians,
probably sooner, in court.

http://www.gpia.info/files/u1392/Morozov_Iran_Twitter.pdf

Let's get real, Twitter didn't just wake up one day and say, "Hey guys! Today let's censor political dissidents for repressive regimes!" What would you prefer, Shooshie? That Twitter makes a big statement about "free speech" to people that don't give a rat's ass about it and ends up completely blocked, or that they comply with the letter of censorship requirements while leaving the back door open? (Also: Twitter is a corporation, a for-profit business, not a humanitarian concern.)

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
fs

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2012 06:30      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Ask Julian Assange or Kim Dotcom how safe it is 'on the other side of the world' from governments that bear a grudge.

Julian Assange's attitude toward laws seems to be that they don't apply to him, and that any attempt to enforce a law upon Julian Assange is governmental repression and conspiracy. This includes laws against raping women.

It's probable that only a monomaniacal sociopath like Julian Assange could've gotten something like Wikileaks off the ground. It's doubtful anyone with a conscience could have brought themselves to place a higher priority on exposing secret information than on the lives and liberty of the people that provide it. Which isn't to say that what Wikileaks does isn't important--it is. But it's really time to stop conflating the repercussions of Assange's failings as a decent human being with government harassment.

Reporting rape by iconic men has never been easy for women, but that doesn't mean telling a woman "You weren't raped, you're a CIA whore out to ruin my hero!" isn't pretty fucking despicable

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Shooshie
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Icon 1 posted February 15, 2012 16:19      Profile for Shooshie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
quote:
Originally posted by Shooshie:
[qb] Twitter and Facebook (and possibly other GUI's) made possible something that has never been possible before. Anonymous planning, decentralized distribution of instructions, unstoppable redundant copies, and the resultant ability to plan with impunity. If there were another way, they'd found it long ago.

LOL. Just... LOL. ^o^

But now lets be serious.

The appearance of anonymity & privacy in tools like facebook and twitter is dangerous for people that don't really understand the technology…. [etc.]

I'm the first to admit that I don't understand Twitter or Facebook. I use neither. (ok, I have a Facebook account, but I don't use it) Yet I just watched a string of revolutions in the Middle East in which power actually changed hands, sometimes after bloody confrontation and other times with only a little struggle, and they tell me that the reason these were possible was because Twitter and Facebook gave them the advantages necessary to plan quickly, and move fast with anonymity. That makes sense, because the dictatorships they're overthrowing do not have access to Twitter's files.

Yes, theoretically it's POSSIBLE to do what you said, and it is done in court, but it cannot be done on the run. When someone says "meet here at 6:00; bring signs and guns" the dictatorship doesn't have time to appeal to the US courts to subpoena the records and track down who said that. Besides, they're using discardable phones, anyway, and probably stolen accounts. These are not your average teens stealing music with an avatar, forgetting that the lawyers and courts can finger their account and quickly figure out who is downloading the files.

The fact that they have brought down several governments over the past two years, and installed new power, proves that it works. If it does NOT work, as may be the case in Syria -- we don't know yet -- then they will have to face the consequences when the government finally catches up with them.

No need to make it easier for the dictatorships.

Now, I've heard a lot of paranoid grumbling here, but I haven't heard a single good case for why a company should cave in to foreign dictatorships to make it easier to oppress their people. What I HAVE heard is that Twitter did not actually do that. They offered the appearance of some concessions while actually leaving open some major loopholes for the revolutionaries. That works for me, and I consider the case closed on a positive note.

But I also hear a very troubling undertone here: fear. You guys seem afraid of consequences. When you stand up for something that is as important to you as life itself, you set aside the consequences for later, and you enter with the hope that later those consequences won't matter if you do what's right. And you enter with the acceptance of those consequences if you fail. It's all or nothing. I suspect that many, if not most, of these revolutionaries fully understand how Twitter works, and that they're prepared to face the consequences. In many cases so far, the consequences have actually been that they succeeded at what they set out to do.

And finally, the idiocy of Julian Assange has nothing to do with this thread. I don't know why that's even here.

Techfully yours,

Shooshie

Posts: 119 | From: Texas to Nevada... depending. | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged


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