Friday, 16 May 2014

Online "Harassment"

After noticing a Wired article titled "Curbing Online Abuse Isn’t Impossible. Here’s Where We Start," I decided to comment.

The relevance of "online" harassment to the Singularity pertains to how cyberspace and freedom are vital parts of our intelligent future. I'm interested in sociological intelligence shaping our social structures thereby creating greater or lesser freedom, which means either more or less fertile ground for intelligence. The problem people often desire to reduce our freedom to make the civilization excessively safe.

In May 2014 there were calls to have "trigger warnings" at the front of all classic books if the content could possibly trigger unease or distress.  

At the beginning of June 2014 CNN wrote about making bullying illegal. There are already laws to deal with bullying but it seems they want extra laws. The problem is laws are often misapplied. So, online harassment.

There is never any excuse for harassment. I also think "women" could benefit from adopting a more robust "laddish" attitude. I'm sure if the majority of "guys" received such threats or insults they would laugh then reply: "LOL, f-off d***." The laddish outlook would forget about the insult instantly, thus merely deleting or ignoring any other messages without any concern.

The issue with harassment and insults online is mere words. Some people will claim discussion of these issues should be avoided because the discussion contains trauma triggers, but I think we shouldn't hide or ban talk or knives or cars regarding knife or car crash victims. The avoidance of trigger words is a good example of censorship, a diminution of freedom regarding the mere free usage of civil language.

Some people could mistakenly think my wording is sexist but I assure you I'd use similar wording if the issue was men complaining about being harassed. There are already laws in place to deal with threats of assault, sexual or otherwise, which is good. Laws are already extant to deal with actual violence. The issue with extra laws, excessive regulation, stringent control of social behaviour, is the unintended consequences.

Terrorism laws were not designed to stop people taking photographs or lawfully protesting, but terrorism laws are misapplied in this way. Some people argue David Miranda should not have been arrested under terror laws.

Consider the issue of preventing harassment. One blogger Tweeted a poster criticising the UKIP, which entailed a visit from the police. The Guardian commented on this UKIP issue, then put the issue into a wider context regarding how prevention of harassment is abused to censor journalists. Bold emphasis added:

"Gareth Davies, a reporter on the Croydon Advertiser, sent two emails and made a personal approach to a convicted fraudster in whom he was interested. The reply came not from the fraudster but from three Met police detectives who travelled to the Advertiser offices to serve Mr Davies with a prevention of harassment notice. The newspaper has demanded the notice be lifted so it can resume a legitimate investigation. The Met has, thus far, failed to comply."

Bullies are looking for a reaction, a weakness, thus via becoming upset via mere words you play into their hands. Victim blaming is wrong thus please don't think this is my point. The point is you don't need to see yourself as a victim. How would a man respond if a woman threatened to rape him? I think many men would laugh, unless the threat was credible. Being ballsy should not depend upon having a pair or testicles. I think women could benefit from F-U brash laughter at idiots, there is no reason for women to conform to the delicate wall-flower fragile-feelings, easily hurt, stereotype.

I identify as neutrois with feminine leanings, but this does not mean some aspects of supposed "masculinity" are worthless.

I think social laws, greater regimentation, greater control over social or anti-social behaviours is appealing for people desiring an overly protected world, but I would prefer to have greater freedom while suffering so-called "harassment" from d****. We risk turning cyberspace into an open-prison, similar to the real-world, where if you look at someone in the wrong way, or merely raise your voice, there is a danger you will be accused of harassment.

A while ago I was civilly Tweeting questions to a prominent advocate of the digital world, the person in question refused to give an answer thus in a Paxman type style I repeated "Answer the question," which sadly entailed being accused of "harassment." Creating a very strict, heavily-policed world can seem appealing but you are actually creating a blueprint for tyranny.

I think the Iron Lady could be a good role model. The lady's not for turning.

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