Give the racists a voice on YouTube
Friday, 8 March 2019
By Sam Volkering
- The ignorance platform
- Be more like Springfield
It was a sad day when I woke up and checked my Twitter feed.
Nothing to do with Australia being in a ‘per capita recession’. Nothing to do with Manchester United (somehow) beating Paris Saint-Germain away to make it through the Champions League. Nothing to do with the abnormally sad Neighbours episode that was one of the top trending topics on Twitter.
No, what was sad was that my colleague and wonderful editor of The Rum Rebellion, Greg Canavan, had decided to quit Twitter.
Greg had only been with us in the Twittersphere since November 2018. It was a short lived attendance. Here’s what he had to say,
‘Hey everyone, I’m shutting down this Twitter contraption. Was my first foray into social media. But not my scene. As far as I can tell, truth and facts don’t reside here. I’ll continue the search elsewhere, and report back in the Rum Rebellion. Thanks for following. Greg’
I can understand what he means. Twitter is…well…challenging at the best of times. It is one of those social platforms where you literally get any and all kinds of people. The good, the bad and the downright repulsive.
As I noted in a farewell reply to Greg on Twitter, ‘You know what ‘they’ say…never let the truth get in the way of a good tweet. #bringGregbacktoTwitter’.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 200.23 points, or 0.78%.
The S&P 500 lost 22.52 points, or 0.81%.
In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 index finished down 15.82 points, or 0.48%.
Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 fell 38.45%, and Germany’s DAX lost 69.83 points, or 0.60%.
In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 is down 414.03 points, or 1.93%. China’s CSI 300 is down 2.87%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 is down 58.20 points, or 0.93%.
On the commodities markets, West Texas Intermediate crude oil is US$560.27 per barrel. Brent crude is US$65.79 per barrel.
Turning to gold, the yellow metal is trading for US$1,287.14 (AU$1,836.57) per troy ounce. Silver is US$15.03 (AU$21.45) per troy ounce.
One bitcoin is worth US$3,862.11.
The Aussie dollar is worth 70.07 US cents.
The Ignorance platform
I have plenty of respect for Greg’s call to leave Twitter. I’ve considered the same thing a few times before. You can find yourself ‘down the Twitter-rabbit hole’ from time to time, just riffing through endless tweets about seemingly endless subjects.
But for me it’s not necessarily about the lies and misinformation on Twitter. As I’ve said before, it’s important to cultivate your Twitter feed in the right way. You can use it as a handy resource to find yourself down areas of research that you might otherwise have missed.
It can be a handy forum to uncover an alternative view on something you’re interested in, giving you a more informed and holistic view.
But sometimes it can absolutely make your blood boil.
Having said that, it’s no different to other social platforms, namely Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Some of the utter tripe, flat out lies and misinformation is astonishing. LinkedIn is one of the worst offenders. It’s become like a hybrid ‘Professional’ Tinder-come-Myspace monster.
But these platforms have a big problem. Well if you listen to conformist, political correctness apologists, these platforms have a big problem.
Here in the UK, the government has just released a report about the conduct on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. The ‘Cairncross review’ believes that the integrity of news reporting and the blurred line between advertising is under threat.
‘The Cairncross Review called for codes of conduct to govern commercial relationships between the Silicon Valley giants and news publishers that would be overseen by a regulator with enforcement powers.’
Chiming in with his own view on things, the deputy leader of the opposition, Tom Watson said,
‘As long as tech giants continue to completely dominate the market it’s difficult to see how a sustainable financial footing for journalism can be achieved.’
A lot of this anti-social media pandering is because of nutjobs like Tommy Robinson, Alex Jones and of course, Trump’s war on ‘fake news’.
But those are the headline grabbers. You can work your way around these social platforms and find all kinds of racists, bigots, xenophobes…and worse, politicians.
The answer however isn’t to restrict, to constrain and to regulate these platforms. Those ‘solutions’ are actually everything that’s wrong with these platforms.
The answer to the question of how to quell and quash the kind of behaviour society doesn’t accept is to make these platforms freer and more open — letting anyone and everyone say whatever the hell they want.
Are you a racist? Then have at it on YouTube. Got some xenophobic views? Tweet to your heart’s content. If you have anything to say, then say it however you want on any platform you want.
The only way to stop these people from the kinds of views you don’t agree with is to not pay them any attention.
Be more like Springfield
Episode 134 of The Simpsons is titled ‘Treehouse of Horror VI’. It’s the sixth instalment of their annual ‘Treehouse of Horror’ specials they do around Halloween.
Each of the ‘Treehouse’ episodes over the years contains three short, separate segments. In ‘Treehouse VI’ the first segment is titled ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores’.
In the episode, Homer wants to get a ‘Colossal Donut’ from Lard Lad Donuts. But he’s disappointed to learn the ‘colossal donut’ doesn’t exist. Instead he plots to steal the giant ‘colossal donut’ from the 50 foot Lard Lad statue.
In stealing this giant donut, during a magic thunderstorm, the Lard Lad giant statue and other advertising statues come to life to terrorise Springfield.
In trying to figure out how to stop these giant, 50 foot advertising statues, Springfield are told by an advertising executive to just ignore the statues as attention is what motivates them.
So the residents of Springfield just ignore the destructive giant statues and stop looking at them. By doing this, the statues lose their power and become lifeless once again.
We could all learn a lesson from Springfield in this case.
The people who get a platform to voice their views should be allowed to do so. They can do it on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. The real problem is idiots paying them any attention and giving them the light of day.
You can choose to not watch their video. You can choose to ignore their rambling rants. And if enough people cease to pay them attention, then they also become powerless and lifeless.
The issue isn’t the people and what they say. The issue is that people must clearly agree with them because they’re still around and becoming more vocal. Then the mainstream media continue to pander to their idiocy, adding fuel to the fire.
It’s a simple solution. Don’t like it, don’t watch it. Just like you’re free to ignore what I have to say, and if you don’t like it, read someone else’s stuff. I don’t care, if what I say is important and relevant enough, people will listen. If it’s utter tripe, then I’ll be out of a job pretty quick.
That’s the only way forward with social media, to fling the doors open and let the fools have their say. Let them scream from the rooftops. It will fall on deaf ears. If it doesn’t, then that’s a reflection of society, feeble government, and the way in which people raise their kids.
Don’t regulate, liberate. It’s the only way forward.