Social media controls the world


I don’t know. I don’t think we’ve grappled well as a culture with either the permanent or public nature of internet discourse. Social cohesion depends on being able to preset different “faces” in different social contexts and hiding–to some extent–our feelings and perceptions. We have a highly developed facial musculature and vocal apparatus for this purpose, and we are highly attuned to detect slight variations in these for social cues. The internet turns all of that inside out. Everything is public, nothing is contextual, everything is permanent. You need more, not fewer words to provide context without your voice and face as a mediator, but Twitter enforces fewer. It’s awful. I’m not losing sleep over Gunn being ousted, but 1) this was a calculated effort by Mike Cernovich, who is not an ally of anyone you’d want to be an ally of. 2) The internet is full of spiders. Ken White posted this tweet yesterday, someone took it at face value and posted a vituperative response, was immediately dog-piled by Popehat defenders, and nothing constructive at all happened. We’re bad at this, and we should start thinking about the cultural consequences of that.


I think the things people say on social media are often very like the things they say when they’re drunk or otherwise have lowered inhibitions. They’re the things they really believe and normally don’t feel safe saying. I think when people tell us that they are bad people we ought to take them at their word.


While I agree, I also believe we should understand and support personal growth. Lord knows I said some shit when I was younger that I would be mortified by now. I learned. I grew up. I got better as a person. I hope to continue that process for the rest of my life. Part of that is supporting others who are trying to do the same.


Nothing wrong with that, but did I miss some public act of sincere contrition from Gunn? Some evidence that he’s a different man now, one who’s ashamed of that other version of him? Somehow I doubt it.


That’s an entirely reasonable debate to have, and IMO the right questions. Also, as Matt_W references above, ones we’ve not yet gotten very good at dealing with in the age of social media.

It sounds like the GotG cast at least have answered those questions for themselves in the affirmative. YMMV, of course.


From the Guardians and Apology threads:


Well, whether it qualifies as “sincere contrition “, I don’t know, but he did post on twitter an explanation and claims to have stopped making these kind of jokes.


Exhibit: Sarah Jeong was just hired for the NYT’s editorial board. In the past, she had responded to racist trolls by counter-trolling them:

Now cue accusations of reverse racism and how awful it is that the time would hire such a racist person. Do you think she’s actually racist against white people? That her tweets are the result of lowered inhibitions? Or maybe, there was a context to them that alters the way we should probably interpret them. And maybe there’s a context to the outrage over her hiring that makes it entirely disingenuous.

EDIT:Here’s The Verge on this “controversy”:

But as the editors of The Verge , we want to be clear: this abusive backlash is dishonest and outrageous. The trolls engaged in this campaign are using the same tactics that exploded during Gamergate, and they have been employed in recent years by even broader audiences amid a rise in hostility toward journalists. From cries about “ethics in journalism” to “fake news,” journalists have been increasingly targeted by people acting in bad faith who do not care about the work they do, the challenges they face, or the actual context of their statements.

Online trolls and harassers want us, the Times , and other newsrooms to waste their time by debating their malicious agenda. They take tweets and other statements out of context because they want to disrupt us and harm individual reporters. The strategy is to divide and conquer by forcing newsrooms to disavow their colleagues one at a time. This is not a good-faith conversation; it’s intimidation.


I’ve followed Sarah for a long time and the whole thing is silly.

She’s a smart cookie and the NYT is better for having her. A lot of very staunch conservatives agree.



How can Facebook even do that? Damn. I’m a dormant user who never posts to FB but I do check a friend’s feed now and then. I am not going to have a knee-jerk reaction to this this but if it goes forward I’m probably deleting my account.


They’re talking about making payments via their app, in some kind of PayPal-ish or Amazon-pay type of thing. While I think FB is fairly evil, the blurb seems pretty sensationalized until I read anything different.






Facebook has denied reports that it is actively asking banks for details of users’ financial transactions.

Facebook users in Singapore who bank with Citi can check balances and view recent transactions.

So why would they have to ask? They can deny seeking it but if they are trying to push users to access their bank account and then have those balances on their platform… isn’t that almost the same thing? They will see balances and presumably use it for their typical data mining processes.


Good questions. I have no idea. Just sharing the link. it does seem a bit weird though.


Yeah not blaming you or anything… i just think Facebook is playing a game by sticking to the spirit of the words they’re using and not the real questions.


Trusting Facebook to actually be doing what they say they are hasn’t worked out well so far.

That said, it’s possible the media got it wrong. It’s probably more likely Facebook is spinning given their track record, but I’m open to either possibility.

It’s also possible they saw the backlash and decided to change what they had planned as a PR move.


“Bigotry is fine” is the explicit, written policy of Twitter these days.