Social media is it Toxic Bubble...

So I think there’s a counter arguement that social media provides a truly democratic platform for those who are often disenfranchised by modern democracy.
I suppose it should; but the counter-balance argument is that it distorts as there is always a perverse incentive for a minority opinion to organise and argue for their policy outcome, as the rewards are shared between a smaller group.

For example, it make more sense for an association of "ex-offenders" to collect and argue than for the general public to discuss sentencing. The benefits to the first group are concentrated amoungst a smaller number, and so the rewards are higher. The benefits to the second group are distributed to a larger number and this diluted.

Ideally, social media should "democratise". However, I do see a worrying "silo" effect that actually makes democracy difficult. We self-select who we talk and associate with, and are selected by the sites and channeled by predictive behaviour?

It is a reason why I like this site, as there is the potential for an argument* to test the soundness of one's assumptions and beliefs**.

*A proper argument, not this -


**And the fit birds in uniform thread.
 
Just throwing this out there.

There's a pretty good episode of the first season of 'The Orville' where they take a lot of shots at social media. It's called 'Majority Rule'.
 

Those who get into power often do so for the want of power. Few have excercised that power in a truly honourable way.
So I think there’s a counter arguement that social media provides a truly democratic platform for those who are often disenfranchised by modern democracy.
Those who become"influencers" on Social Media often do so because they want to be influential. How many of them are doing so in a truly honourable way?

I think that there's a counter to your counter argument that social media only gives the impression that it is democratic, and that the majority of people have zero influence.
 
Those who become"influencers" on Social Media often do so because they want to be influential. How many of them are doing so in a truly honourable way?

I think that there's a counter to your counter argument that social media only gives the impression that it is democratic, and that the majority of people have zero influence.
So how is that different to what occurred before social media? Back then, if you wanted to influence others, you had to spend big on advertising, PR etc etc. The barriers to getting to market were massive.

Social media gives a platform that is largely free. When you do spend, you get clear return on ad spend. Social media makes the marketplace accessible.

What hasn’t changed is the need for quality, engaging content.
 
It says all you need to know about social media, (and current US politics) that 4 Chan; the internet's ground zero for trolling and malicious pranks, has:

1) Convinced Trump supporters of a deep state conspiracy against the president, called "Q Anon", and has led Republican conspiraloons on a wild goose chase all over America.

2) Convinced Democrat supporters that the OK gesture is a secret, white supremacist masonic sign...

...on the same website, at the same time....
 
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FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
I was wondering when this would break

Tom Watson demands answers about alleged Russian Brexit plot

I suggest it is simply not sustainable to suggest that the Brexit referendum was not interfered with. The US presidential election was, the French election was attempted to. BREXIT would have been far too tempting a policy target for the Russians.

I don't care which way you voted, but simply that your vote was in a fair and properly run event.

I think anyone would have to admit, the policy chaos in the UK is desirable from a Russian point of view. As is the de-stablising influence in the EU. it is not that Russian has a policy preference, just a weaker set of enemies.

Now, this must not be used as a tool to beat each other side with.

I for one would like to know the truth, or the nearest to it that we can have.
I really can't see what point you're trying to make.

Any Western democracy is vulnerable to well-resourced lobby groups and influencers, whether foreign or domestic, it goes with being an open society. Whatever the Russians were up to, so was everyone else, whatever side they supported and, in some instances, regardless of how impartial they honestly thought they were being - like those putting together the news bulletins. I'm pretty sure that Brexiteers viewed the BBC as pro-Remain but I had a very senior Remain campaigner chew my ear about how the BBC was presenting Brexiteer points as having the same validity as Remainer counter-points (his words).

The EU has a significant slush fund for propaganda purposes and I don't believe for one moment that their formidable lobbying capability was not deployed during the Referendum and has not been deployed to destabilise the UK's position during the Brexit negotiations - in fact any former UK employees of the EU are contractually in danger of forfeiting their pensions if they don't make the appropriate pro-EU noises when required. In other news, Soros is on record as helping to fund the continuing Remain campaign.

Nor is it simply a Brexit thing. Part of the reason the UK got flooded with Wahhabist nutjobs preaching their garbage was because of a desire not to offend Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, when was the last time you saw a Hollywood blockbuster suggest anything other than Man-Made Global Warming was a nailed-on reality?

The bottom line is that you can tell me something but I don't have to believe it. Of course our society has moved in the direction of punishing dissenters, socially and professionally, which removes one of the most important lines of defence against spouters of b0llocks, but we're being hit from all directions and will continue to be as long as communications and access to information is global.
 
It says all you need to know about social media, (and current US politics) that 4 Chan; the internet's ground zero for trolling and malicious pranks, has:

1) Convinced Trump supporters of a deep state conspiracy against the president, called "Q Anon", and has led Republican conspiraloons on a wild goose chase all over America.

2) Convinced Democrat supporters that the OK gesture is a secret, white supremacist masonic sign...

...on the same website, at the same time....
erm...

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
But yes, 4Chan is a bit special...
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
@halo_jones - saw this and thought of this thread:

What Clausewitz Can Teach Us About War on Social Media
Military Tactics in the Age of Facebook
By P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking

http://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https%3A//www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2018-10-04/what-clausewitz-can-teach-us-about-war-social-media%3Fcid%3Dsoc-fb-rdr
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https://www.foreignaffairs.com/modal_forms/nojs/email/1123057
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/modal_forms/nojs/save/1123057
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/print/1123057

A half century ago, two computers at UCLA and Stanford were linked together into the first computer network. It was called ARPANET, after the military research lab that funded it. In the years since then, the network of networks that grew out of that lab has developed into the Internet, the nervous system of modern commerce and communication.
With the rise of social media over the last decade, the Internet has changed to allow all of us to become individual collectors and sharers of information. As a result, it has also become something else: a battlefield where information itself is weaponized. The online world is now just as indispensable to governments, militaries, activists, and spies as it is to advertisers and shoppers. And whether the goal is to win an election or a battle, or just to sell an album, everyone uses the same tactics.

This new kind of warfare takes all forms, from battlefield footage on YouTube to a plague of Nazi-sympathizing cartoon frogs. It can seem like a fundamental break with the past. And in some ways—the digital terrain on which the war is fought, the need to grab attention rather than material resources, and the extraordinary power of a few people—it is. Yet not everything about it is new. Efforts to shape how the enemy thinks, to control the flow of information, and to win wars while avoiding actual fighting have been around for centuries. Indeed, the best place to start if you want to understand the weaponization of social media is with the past.


ON DIGITAL WAR
The Prussian military strategist Carl von Clausewitz was born in 1780, some 200 years before the invention of the Internet, but he would have implicitly understood almost everything it is doing to the world today. Raised in Enlightenment Europe, Clausewitz enlisted in the Prussian army at the age of 12. A decade later, when Napoleon unleashed war across Europe and launched a new age of nationalism, Clausewitz decided to dedicate his life to studying war.


(article coninues - registration required)
 
Singer is the author of LikeWar

Books

Another heading rapidly to my list of books on the table to read.
 
So it should read, "Inside the British Army's not very secret information warfare machine".
Clickbait.

The Internet version of **** me boots turning into **** off slippers when you get her home.
 
Well fich me with a fish-fork

Facebook documents seized by UK Parliament

Parliament sent out the Serjeant-at-Arms to enforce a demand for documents.

For a legal geek, there must be a fascinating bit about the powers of the Serjeant - probably written on parchment somewhere.


In another exceptional move, parliament sent a serjeant at arms to his hotel with a final warning and a two-hour deadline to comply with its order. When the software firm founder failed to do so, it’s understood he was escorted to parliament. He was told he risked fines and even imprisonment if he didn’t hand over the documents.
Parliament seizes cache of Facebook internal papers

I love the mental image of some facebook dude confronted by the archiac office-holder saying, "i'll be having these now". "Oh no you won't", says Facebook man. "I think you shall accompany me to Parliament".

Facebook man must have thought he'd walked out of the TARDIS into a hostile reception on Gallifrey.

The-Invasion-of-Time-Part-1.jpg

I hope that the Serjeant was dressed in full rig and carrying his sword.

I had to search for powers, which appear to be based on common law and largely unqualified. According to Erskine May, quoted in a select committe report 0

When a committee decides to summon a witness formally, the witness is summoned to attend the committee by an order signed by the chairman. Failure to attend a committee when formally summoned is a contempt and if a witness fails to appear, when summoned in this manner, his conduct is reported to the House… If he still neglects to appear, he will be dealt with as in other cases of disobedience.
Disobey parliament, get locked up.... Still, at least we have moved on from cutting people's heads off on Whitehall. It would upset the Downing Street cat.
 
@Boumer, I wait expectantly for someone to honestly raise the point that anyone who was or is, politically influenced in a vote primary by Facebook or any other media... Is probably not smart enough to handle shoes that fasten with Velcro.
 
@Boumer, I wait expectantly for someone to honestly raise the point that anyone who was or is, politically influenced in a vote primary by Facebook or any other media... Is probably not smart enough to handle shoes that fasten with Velcro.
Thing is being able to do one's shoes is not a qualifier to vote, being over 18 and having an address is.

Once upon a time, a rather odd chap came up with this definition

"The Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will".

Problem was it was Alistair Crowley talking about "magick", fast forward a century and we have the new occult science of data-mining.
 
For loss of a better place to put it, I urge all readers interested in the on-line world to read this essay.

Principles for a More Informed Exceptional Access Debate

You may remember Dr Ian Levy is Technical Director of the National Security Cyber Centre (an arm of GCHQ).

This is quite interesting

In a world of encrypted services, a potential solution could be to go back a few decades. It’s relatively easy for a service provider to silently add a law enforcement participant to a group chat or call. The service provider usually controls the identity system and so really decides who’s who and which devices are involved - they’re usually involved in introducing the parties to a chat or call. You end up with everything still being end-to-end encrypted, but there’s an extra ‘end’ on this particular communication. This sort of solution seems to be no more intrusive than the virtual crocodile clips that our democratically elected representatives and judiciary authorise today in traditional voice intercept solutions and certainly doesn’t give any government power they shouldn’t have.

We’re not talking about weakening encryption or defeating the end-to-end nature of the service. In a solution like this, we’re normally talking about suppressing a notification on a target’s device, and only on the device of the target and possibly those they communicate with. That’s a very different proposition to discuss and you don’t even have to touch the encryption.
(My emphasis is on the italics and bold bit)

This seems to me to build on the concept of Equipment Interference as defined at s5 Investigatory Powers Act 2016, which is the power to do cool things to things that go "ping" (I paraphrase).

It seemed to many at the time, that the thrust of the act was that frankly encryption was too good - so it would appear to be more practicable (both on a technical and tradecraft level) to attack the device rather than the encryption.

Now this seems to confirm this, and switch the burden to lawful access to data to the service provider.

Which appears to me to be a problem..... (A) What if Facetube doesn't want to hand the data over?, (B) What if huawei are running everything?*

Wise to remember General Hayden's rather blunt quote on such a company

God did not make enough briefing slides on Huawei to convince me that having them involved in our critical communications infrastructure was going to be okay.
Ex-CIA chief accuses Huawei of industrial espionage


TL; DR -

Platforms and server providers seem to be the mechanism of choice to defeat end to end encryption which will be ever more the norm.

*NZ become another country to block their access this week, I seem to recall UK Plc do not appear to be doing this?
 
Did anyone listen to Thought for the Day this morning on Radio4?
If not then I would urge Arrsers to find it an hear Professor Roger Scruton's thoughts on PC., thought crime, phobias, witch hunts and how to deal with them. It was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise cold, dank climate.
 

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