Internet – Social Abuse and Censorship
When the internet began,
- 1938: The Z1 was created by German Konrad Zuse in his parents’ living room between 1936-1938.
- 1951: Joe Thompson at Whirlwind console, ca. 1951
- 1968: Beranek and Newman, Inc. (BBN) unveils the final version of the Interface Message Processor (IMP) specifications. BBN wins ARPANET contract.
- 1969: U.S. Defense Department’s
Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). ARPA-funded researchers developed many of the protocols used for Internet communication today. It has been referred to as the beginning of internet as we know it today. But their’s was only the culmination of research and development by independent groups.
- 1974: The first Internet Service Provider (ISP) is born with the introduction of a commercial version of ARPANET, known as Telenet.
- 1986: The National Science Foundation’s NSFNET goes online to connected supercomputer centers at 56,000 bits per second — the speed of a typical dial-up computer modem.
- 1991: CERN introduces the World Wide Web to the public.
- 2004: Facebook goes online and the era of social networking begins. Mark Zuckerberg, 23, founded Facebook while studying psychology at Harvard University.
- 2009: The Internet marks its 40th anniversary.
- 2010: Facebook reaches 400 million active users.
As you can see despite the overwhelming belief by young people, internet was not always the way of communication. In retrospect, its growth pattern has been nothing short of extraordinary. From the use of a “computerized” dinosaur during WWII and even today, the world has been and continues to be astounded as internet communication has been opened up to view and comment instantaneously from anywhere in the world in less than a century.
Yet with that opening, like any coin there have been two sides. The struggle between morals and immorality, good vs evil, and dark uses vs legitimate have created a nightmare scenario for designers, programmers, enforcement, businesses, and individual uses. Those monitoring the digital highway have had to develop and evolve constantly in order to stay ahead of those who would abuse internet for self-fulfilling, hedonistic, or ideological reasons.
In such a rapidly evolving and constantly changing environment, those who make use of this pathway of communication seems with anonymity to become addicted to the seamier, more evil side of their natures. People during a normal day appear meek, mild, or focus-driven suddenly can turn into raging freaks and online “heroes” either light or dark with all of the uncensored, immoral behavior, or uninhibitedness that they cannot or fear not to portray in the real world..
Like addicts, they have become so focused online that they are rapidly losing moral and social skills often preferring to be verbally and pictorially abusive to some focused theme simply because having an IP address not a physical body makes them invincible (at least in their eyes).
Facebook and others answered this with tougher censorship algorithms which they believed was the answer. Unfortunately, what they also discovered is that such use of algorithms is very limited. Math’s function is impersonal, neither understanding nuances nor society standards of humans. It is a limiting factor. So now Facebook and others are having to again refocus and rely more on the human censorship capabilities. Therein is a conundrum. Humans are flawed. They have their own agendas, ideas, and ideals. The focus for censorship itself is also flawed. What one finds offensive, others may not. What one culture finds immoral or unjust, another culture may not.
We are now seeing a much more virulent, aggressive, and destructive censorship emerging. One that targets advertising and advertisers. In the real world, advertisers can pick and choose whom they wish to be representing or targeting audiences. In a much more limited way, so can online advertisers. However, advertising online is a different animal entirely than the real world. Without specifics and focus, advertisers have had far less voice in whom their commercials are placed with. As a result, their ads might appear in online sites that are an antithesis or moral dilemma for their products. Reasonably, one would think that this was easily fixed but apparently not so. Again math is impersonal and cannot be expected to adjust to this door of censorship.
Enter at least one very focused group. Volunteers with impunity and anonymity are able to bombard companies they do not like or wish to destroy with the very flaw that apparently online gurus have not been able as yet to master.
In this instance I am speaking of Sleeping Giants. It has ready access to liberal-minded and virulent anarchists as well as agnostics (unwilling to commit to an opinion about something). Their focus is to take down a business, industry, or individual so that advertisers will no longer allow their ads to be viewed on their sites and that the target can be financially starved with the end result being, they hope, its ultimate destruction and removal from any online access.
The group should be considered cowards and lethal to the right to freedom of speech. They are the ultimate online bullies of business. By their ability to seek out advertisers appearing on a site, then focusing a multitude of internet emails to the advertiser, they are creating a worldwide censorship the likes of which even the dark ages had been unable to achieve.
If names of these vicious militants were broadcast, I am going to assume that the companies or small businesses many of them work for would be hyperventilating. After all, it might become that company or business that one day becomes the focus of the attention of this group called Sleeping Giants. How would they survive the onslaught of thousands of emails focused on eliminating a source of revenue stream?
Common sense says this group would target any that they choose for any reason or non-reason for take down. Rabid packs enmass don’t discern good from bad, right from wrong, they simply feed off the hate and viciousness like a rapidly growing cancer. We see the same play out across the country now daily as rioters like Antifa or BLM show up seemingly without prior knowledge to interrupt peaceful rallies. We see the same happen when social media broadcasts “show up here” for sing or dance-a-thons. Only in this instance without face or form in a real world setting, these cells of cancer respond at a far higher vibration and resolve than if they were visible.
The question is who has been behind the group known as the Sleeping Giants (and possibly others)? What is their purpose. Hate on this scale has increased exponentially. Like a drop of water signaling a rainstorm, each of these cells are taking delight from their activities. But, would they do so if their own paycheck were at risk? Highly unlikely. They are a brand of cowardess who takes no responsibility for their actions nor the results they have initiated.
These anonymous militia of attackers have targeted mostly conservative online sites. In particular, Breitbart has become their most aggressive online target for nearly a year.
A recent Washington Post article brought this to my attention. Following their reference to the site, I found the following:
Whether I agree with Breitbart (I do mostly.) or not, it is wrong to set the entire focus of any pack of people no matter their ideological beliefs on any one person or group. This is an example of the destructive ability of internet use. Where focuses before were by a less numerous group against a local or national target, this group is using their focus from millions of users across the globe who might or might not have a real life problem with a particular business to destroy rather than to change.
Their brand of censorship is both cowardly, though according to that blurb politely, and deliberately obsessive in taking down a business using the power of the advertising.
First, socialism is not a workable ideology in the long-term. It destroys far more than it produces. Examples of extreme censorship and destruction of the rights of individuals to be free to form their own opinions or achieve their own sense of accomplishment can be found readily across the globe. Socialism has proven time and again that with its rise, humanity has suffered.
Second, the devolution of humanity into pack mentality has accelerated thanks to the anonymity of internet. The ability to take responsibility for one’s own actions, the lack of understanding of purpose and acceptance of purpose behind an action, the impersonal lack of worry about outcome of actions taken, and the rise of extreme measures to secure personal validity are abhorrent. In the real world, one must answer for actions, apparently internet provides no such feeling and thus only feeds the addiction like the introduction of more drugs.
I might find their method a bit more palatable if it was a generalized thing such as the pornography sites. Though, I find even that vigilante censorship distasteful and unacceptable when viewed as part of a sickness invading all the corners of the planet. Namely, the degradation of civilized and legally permissible behaviour. Without laws and a sense of order, pack groups such as these are no different from a pack of animals like hyenas drawing sustenance from ravaging a victim.
The point here is once the militant attacker should reach their goal on a given business or target — will they then turn to the next and the next after that to fuel their pack energy needs. Who will be next?
More than one or two sites and businesses online have all reported such attacks. In this case, most of them have as far as I can determine have been conservative, patriotic, Jewish or Christian in nature. But packs once set upon their course, eventually will turn on all groups including the advertisers they are currently reaching in order to feed their need.
Do individuals who are now participating really want to become the very thing that their vigilante group is so determined to remove? Do those individuals have any sense of purpose of these groups or understand the broader picture? Can internet approach this in a different way to stop harrassment such as this? Will companies continue to bow down to these vigilantes and empower them to continue their destructive behavior?