What the fuck?! Even Archive.org ?!

53 réponses [Dernière contribution]
PsychicEcho
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A rejoint: 04/05/2020

Apparently even the Wayback machine is being censored.

They seem to be censoring the shit out of everything during this election, and even editing people's content.

--Welcome to the Apocalypse

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

What else to expect from monopolistic communication platforms and media?

PsychicEcho
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A rejoint: 04/05/2020

We need a platform for mass collaboration. I wonder how the Pursuance project is doing. *Salute* Commander X.

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

What do you mean by "mass collaboration"?

It seems that anything intended to resist censorship has to be decentralized and/or federated. We are already witnessing the single point of failure network failure, not caused by some random attackers or natural disaster but predictably by the powerful players.

PsychicEcho
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A rejoint: 04/05/2020

I mean a way for many people to organize together to achieve goals. There is much potential energy in the populations that lay dormant. If there was a platform that made it easier to get involved, to organize and assign tasks and such...

https://pursuanceproject.org/index.html

This is the most hopeful of such platforms that I am aware of. But I don't know much about how federation and decentralization works, or how it could be made easy to use for non-techies.

My concern is that the citizens under this US-empire will too often be rendered idle because they feel alone and afraid and don't know what to do, all the while their civil liberties are eroded.

Magic Banana

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A rejoint: 07/24/2010

See https://mobilizon.org/en/

It is federated.

PsychicEcho
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A rejoint: 04/05/2020

Heh, I was just looking at that last night.

GNUser
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A rejoint: 07/17/2013

Why do you say Archive is being censored? Did something happened that I missed?

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

Maybe this:

https://blog.archive.org/2020/10/30/fact-checks-and-context-for-wayback-machine-pages

Not everyone agrees about the respective definitions of "fact checking" and "censorship", and on the relationship between the two, but who's checking the fact checkers? Also, what ultimately happens to the flagged content?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> Maybe this:

> https://blog.archive.org/2020/10/30/fact-checks-and-context-for-wayback-machine-pages

Those aren't examples of censorship, though. If anything, it's the opposite of censorship. The original web pages may have been taken down, but archive.org *didn't* take down their archived copies, allowing people to *circumvent* censorship and read what the web pages had to say. All archive.org did was provide links to opposing information, but that's not censorship either. Again, it's the opposite: free speech. Arguing that archive.org shouldn't be allowed do to this, or that they shouldn't be allowed to clarify that they do not endorse a particular viewpoint, is an argument *for* censorship. I wish that more platforms took this approach, instead *actually* performing censorship by deleting content entirely.

> who's checking the fact checkers?

Each other, or anyone else who wants to. Fact checkers are human and sometimes wrong, and don't always agree with each other. Anyone can read a fact check for themselves, check out the sources cited, and if they have reason to disagree, such as contradicatory evidence from a reliable source, then they can go ahead and disagree. Unfortunately, some people are so sensitive that they feel personally wronged when someone else contradicts their beliefs, and since "Someone dared to disagree with me!" is a complaint that doesn't get a lot of sympathy, they call it "censorship" even when it is not. If this is indeed archive.org's supposed censorship, then it seems that's what's happening here. However, the OP didn't specify what the censorship was. Maybe archive.org is also deleting certain pages, something they normally only do when a site owner chooses to opt out of having their site archived.

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

To be clear: I was not arguing for or against what archive.org does to its content. I had a feeling that the OP was referring to that post, so the link might answer GNUser's questions. I have found no other primary source about that, and none at all about "editing people's content", but then of course I might have missed them.

About what archive.org does, I do not think free speech is crucially about systematically flagging content according to fact checkers. And yes, I think the question of who is checking the fact checkers is not a minor concern. I check facts myself, usually by crossing diverging sources and if I find none I prefer to leave the question open. I would not let unknown people from unknown background do it for me, in fact I would not let anyone do it for me, maybe even less people I know to hold similar views to mine. Maybe that is why I do not understand the need for archive.org to echo the self-appointed fact checkers. That said, if people do not like it, they should take it into their own hands: the more duplicated it gets and the more safely the internet will be archived.

> Anyone can read a fact check for themselves, check out the sources cited, and if they have reason to disagree, such as contradicatory evidence from a reliable source, then they can go ahead and disagree.

What is the usefulness of fact checkers then? Since they are indeed humans and have limited resources, what facts should they focus on, for instance? I am not sure this is about being allowed to disagree, fact checkers themselves have their own bias about which facts should be checked, a choice which by definition is made before anything has been checked and hence ultimately has to rely on some sort of arbitrary personal preferences. The power it gives them goes relatively unchecked. The more people blindly believe or relay their conclusions, the more it is so.

What about the huge amount of incremental discrepancies which flow in the media and in the rumour hungry crowd on a permanent basis and which cannot be checked because there are simply too many of them? The average hoaxes can only be swallowed by a fringe margin which will never accept any contradiction anyway, as you point out, so any resource spent debunking them seems to be a waste. Similarly, only a huge and sustained effort could displace the various damning collective myths at play, so fact checkers will never be able to do that most useful but monstrous job.

> If anything, it's the opposite of censorship. The original web pages may have been taken down, but archive.org *didn't* take down their archived copies, allowing people to *circumvent* censorship and read what the web pages had to say.

I have to say that this seems convoluted to me. The opposite of censorship is no censorship. This cannot be the opposite of censorship but only some intermediate step somewhere between no censorship and censorship. Flagging content is obviously modifying content and censorship begins with flagging, so it is arguably not a step away from censorship. The question of whether it will be a first step towards censorship or not remains open, I cannot read the future. Since this is the Troll Lounge, I might play the devil's advocate and say I do not see why that intermediate step should be taken, except to allow the next one, though this would be imputing motives without evidence, which even the devil's advocate might not dare.

EDIT: tried to make last paragraph clearer.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> To be clear: I was not arguing for or against what archive.org does to its content.

I know, and my comments weren't directed at you.

> What is the usefulness of fact checkers then?

Fact checkers do tedious work like tracing information back to its origin, verifying sources, and finding the original context of quotes. Assuming it is a real fact check (it has become common to slap the phrase "fact check" on non-fact-based articles), the fact checker will provide detailed documentation and links to their sources. Checking these sources and verifying that the fact checker is portraying them correctly takes *way* less time than doing all that leg work yourself. You probably wouldn't similarly question the usefulness of programmers just because you found a bug in someone else's program, as it is way easier to find and report or even fix a bug than to write the program from scratch yourself.

> fact checkers themselves have their own bias about which facts should be checked

Certainly, and that should affect how you do or don't extrapolate general conclusions from their specific claims. For example, say politician A says B, and a fact checker show that B is misleading. You read the fact checkers analysis, check their sources, and determine that the fact checker is correct. It is reasonable to conclude that A was being misleading. But suppose that the same website finds that three other statements by A were false or misleading, but only finds one false or misleading statement by another politician C. Even if the fact checker is correct in all cases, it would not be safe to conclude based on this that politician A is less honest in general than politician C, because you don't know how many statements by either politician *weren't* investigated by this fact checker. Similarly, two news sources might cover different stories due to their different biases, but that does not have anything to do with their accuracy. Both sources might be very accurate, or both might be very inaccurate, or they might each have different degrees of accuracy. "Bias" has become a dirty word though, and conflated with inaccuracy. Since everyone is biased, that allows people to dismiss anything they don't want to hear based on "bias" alone rather than whether or not the information is accurate.

> It cannot be the opposite of censorship but only some intermediary step.

Allowing people access to the an article that has been censored by another platform is indeed the opposite of censorship. It's censorship circumvention. Since the norm among other platforms is to delete the content entirely, I don't see this as an intermediary step toward censorship, but a step in the other direction. The alternative is doing nothing at all, which seems to be what you are advocating:

> Maybe that is why I do not understand the need for archive.org to echo the self-appointed fact checkers.
> I might play the devil's advocate and say I do not see why that step should be taken, except to allow the next one
> The question of whether it will be a first step or not remains open, I cannot read the future.

but I don't think you are considering the actual reasons that such steps are taken, and what changes have taken place in society that have resulted in these steps apparently being taken more often now than in the past. Such considerations are necessary in order to understand why this is happening now and where it may go in the future depending on what actions are taken in the present.

First, this debate has become even more common in the last several months due to COVID misinformation. There has certainly been some room for investigation and debate regarding the specifics of COVID, especially back during the early months of the pandemic during which scientists did not yet know much about the virus and were making educated guesses based on similar viruses. However, the resulting differences of opinion are not generally what platforms have been taking down. With the caveat that fact checkers aren't perfect and make mistakes, virtually every time that I have looked into a censored COVID claim, that claim has been batshit nuts, completely without merit, and something that would cause deaths if a large number of people believed it. And unfortunately, a lot of people *do* believe COVID misinformation, and the United States has a massive death count due to the impact that has had on public health precautions. In a more extreme example, a of group of people who believe this crap plotted to kidnap the governor of Michigan. Fortunately they were unsuccessful, but unfortunately now their own lives are ruined, all because they got radicalized by some bullshit propaganda. Bad actors have hijacked online platforms and using this to cause real-world harm. For an even more extreme example outside of the US/COVID situation, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_WhatsApp_lynchings

So there is a real problem, and online platforms, especially YouTube and Facebook, are complicit. This recent push against misinformation isn't an attempt by, say YouTube, to silence political opposition (if it were, then privacy-advocates and anti-capitalists would be the ones targeted). They don't even want to have to do it, because it costs them advertising revenue. They are doing it because there is a real problem that they are afraid of getting punished for or regulated because of it if they don't make it look like they are doing something about it. Is their "solution" the right one? No, in my opinion. I actually agree that censorship is bad, and that even adding links to fact checks is not an ideal solution. For one, censorship tends to actually backfire via the Streisand Effect. For example, those "Plandemic" videos from a few months back got talked even more after they were taken off of YouTube, and allowed proponents to push a narrative of "they don't want you to see this" rather than actually try to defend the videos on their own merits. It can also be a slippery slope, as the same censorship mechanisms can be used to remove accurate information for other reasons, and indeed Twitter has already done this in the case of BlueLeaks. Note though that Twitter has not claimed that BlueLeaks is inaccurate, only that it violates their policies. Fact checking wouldn't be very effective here, because the accuracy of the information is not in dispute. This is one reason I consider censorship worse than fact checking. Censorship is equally effective against anything, whereas fact checking is generally more effective against things that are demonstrably false. But again, I acknowledge that neither is ideal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

So why does this debate seem relatively new? If you had a personal wiki, and I added a bunch of prominently featured pages that you strongly disagreed with, I don't think anyone would argue that you'd be infringing my right to free speech by removing them. And if you didn't even remove them, but merely added some comments or links with your own perspective, and I complained and demanded that you leave my opinions up on your website without context and you are not allowed to dissent, I think it would be clear who is trying to censor whom. But when it's a large, centralized platform rather than a small website, the situation feels different, and rightfully so. A large, centralized platform has much more power, especially when they gain such a large marketshare that it becomes difficult to reach new audiences without going through them. This cuts both ways: it means that when the platform removes content it has a larger impact on discourse than a small website, but it also means that if misinformation dominates a platform then it has the potential to do more damage than in some small corner of the Internet. So one underlying problem is simply that these platforms are too big and too centralized. This is why I advocate federated platforms like Mastodon and Peertube. Each instance can decide for themselves what content is and is not acceptable, rather than a single set up rules imposed from the top down. As long as no one instance becomes too dominant, no one group has too much power over public perception.

The other issue is that the removal of content is only the tail end of the story, and misses the underlying system that caused that content to go viral in the first place. Far from censoring far-right conspiracy theories, platforms like YouTube and Facebook actually amplify such content through their algorithms. This is probably not a conscious decision, it just happens that this content gets a lot of clicks and captures a lot of eyeballs, so the algorithm recommends it to people more often than other kinds of content. This obviously benefits the political interests who exploit it to spread their propoganda, and it benefits the creators of the content who monetize it, but the platform itself also benefits. Their income is from advertising, and they make a shit ton of money off the suckers who watch those videos and join those groups. Conspiracy theories used to be confined to fringe subcultures and small corners of the Internet, so there was never a need to for drastic measures like censorship or fact checking. It could be this way again if platforms chagned the algorithm to be less biased in favor of right wing (mostly) extremism, but they would lose so much advertising revenue that they never would. Instead, they let this content keep rising to the top, until something reaches the top that is so objectional that it would ruin the platforms reputation and/or potentially lead to regulation if they left it up, and *then* they take it down, after having profited from it, and by which point taking it down only gives it more attention.

> About what archive.org does, I do not think free speech is crucially about systematically flagging content according to fact checkers.

Archive.org is in a unique position, in that they don't decide what is on these platforms. They are just backing it up for historical reasons. If centralized platforms weren't too greedy to change their algorithms, or better yet if they weren't so large and centralized in the first place, then this would not be an issue. Some of that content would still exist, but it wouldn't be causing substantial social damage and danger in a way that warrants intervention. It's not in archive.org's power to fix that though. If a platform uses censorship as a bandaid rather than fixing the underlying problem, archive.org can't force them to fix the underlying problem. They can either (a) use the same bandaid and remove the content, (b) do nothing and risk people dying or getting fucked over as a result or the website forcing them to do (a) (if Medium wanted they could force archive.org to take the page down entirely) (c) use a different, less extreme bandaid, that keeps the content accessible. Given these choices, I think (c) is the best compromise. It doesn't fix the underlying problem, but the source of that problem is YouTube/Facebook/Medium/Twitter/etc, not archive.org.

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

As much as I would like to, I'm afraid that answering your post point by point would double its length, so I'll try to sum up my current view:

I might need to do more research about fact checkers in the US but until now I have been able to do my own fact checking and even to successfully warn people against jumping to conclusions from what they could read in the press or in "social media". Success meaning here that the aforementioned conclusions proved to be wrong, according to the very people who had jumped to them. We surely do not need fact checkers to develop facts in the same way as we need programmers to develop software, though I would agree that I find much less bugs in the software I currently use than I find unchecked bias in the information I get.

> Allowing people access to an article that has been censored by another platform is indeed the opposite of censorship.

I still disagree with this, but maybe it is only a matter of wording.

> It's censorship circumvention.

I could agree with this, though. :)

I might still disagree, because it feels a bit far-fetched to argue that flagging content becomes the opposite of censorship whenever the said content has already been censored elsewhere. But again, my main point is not about censorship or even the supposed "slippery slope" from flagging to censorship. I am not sure whether archive.org is the right place to do fact checking but I am not in charge of their policy, so I can only link to their own post. I agree it is also a very centralized way of keeping track of things and archiving, so it bears all the limitations of this networking structure. What could anyone do if archive.org actually started randomly erasing content, or was taken down by you-name-them?

"The purpose of whistle-blowing is to expose secret and wrongful acts by those in power in order to enable reform. A key purpose of journalism is to provide an adversarial check on those who wield the greatest power by shining a light on what they do in the dark, and informing the public about those acts." -- Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian, 15th June 2013, p.51.

What is the key purpose of fact checkers? To provide an adversarial check on those who peddle conspiracy theories in the dark, in order to shed light on these nutcases and amplify the noise? Or to provide a fig leaf to journalists while they spend their time cheerleading for those in power and the consensual version of facts? Or both? I also find anything that amplify the noise potentially harmful and since everything is a matter of balance, I feel that giving increasing power to fact checkers bears more risks than potential benefits.

You mention Covid-19. A number of people of a higher order of magnitude died and are still dying because of the complete and permanent failure of the media and their fact checkers to take warmongers to account. I can only conclude that fact checking is simply not working.

Finally, two examples:

1. Do you think this should have been fact checked and the content of the quotation in the OP flagged for being subject to discussion or contested, in order to avoid having users of this forum join their nearby neo-nazi club en masse:

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/i-want-again-be-prophet-today ?

2. About the covid-19 antibody test: "In a population where the prevalence of infection is 5%, a test with 95% specificity and 95% sensitivity will return the same number of false positives as true positives, making any individual result no more useful than the flip of a coin."

How you think fact checkers would flag this?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I might still disagree, because it feels a bit far-fetched to argue that flagging content becomes the opposite of censorship whenever the said content has already been censored elsewhere.

I think I was a little unclear here. Archive.org is doing two things: First, they are hosting content that has been censored elsewhere. Doing this is the opposite of censorship in that it allows people to circumvent the censorship that has already taken place. Second, they are exercising their own right to free speech by adding additional information to avoid appearing to endorse the information they are archiving. This is the opposite of censorship in another sense, in that if they were somehow forced to remove the fact checking then *that* would be a form of censorship.

> I am not sure whether archive.org is the right place to do fact checking but I am not in charge of their policy

It seems like they link to external sources, rather than do fact checking themselves. Ideally even this would not be necessary, but we've reached a point in this crisis where it seems to be the only way they could continue to host the content in good conscience.

> What could anyone do if archive.org actually started randomly erasing content, or was taken down by you-name-them?

I supposed people could create partial mirrors of archive.org content that interests them in case it is ever taken down. This does happen, usually when a website requests that their site be removed from the Wayback Machine. I think the reason for this is usually copyright or business interests.

> What is the key purpose of fact checkers? To provide an adversarial check on those who peddle conspiracy theories in the dark, in order to shed light on these nutcases and amplify the noise? Or to provide a fig leaf to journalists while they spend their time cheerleading for those in power and the consensual version of facts?

Sites like Snopes were around for a long time before fact checking became a heated and politicized topic. The purpose, at least originally, was to save people time by doing the kind of legwork I described in my previous post. It has only been in the last five years or so that the role of fact checkers has been elevated to address a crisis, which is the mass disinformation machines that big tech has created and corporations and political actors have exploited.

> and since everything is a matter of balance, I feel that giving increasing power to fact checkers bears more risks than potential benefits.

If everything is a matter of balance, consider who would gain power if we got rid of the fact checkers: The political interests with the most clickbaity content and/or the most money to spend on ads would have free reign to make people believe whatever they want. The increase in fact checking is a bandaid though, not a solution. Some solutions might be (a) for the government to pass legistalation that gives platforms like Facebook and YouTube a certain period of time to modify their algorithms according to certain content neutrality guidelines and publish the source code to prove that they have done so, (b) break those companies up so that content recommendation algorithms and advertising branches are separate companies, whith strict rules on how they are allowed to coordinate, so that the interests of advertisers do not drive the design of the algorithms, (c) perhaps even nationalize those companies, free the source code, and make the services public utilities. When your town is in crisis because buildings are constantly urupting into flames, the appropriate response is to figure out why all the fires are starting and fix that problem, not to complain that the fire marshall has too much power now.

> A number of people of a higher order of magnitude died and are still dying because of the complete and permanent failure of the media and their fact checkers to take warmongers to account. I can only conclude that fact checking is simply not working.

This is true, but that doesn't mean that fact checking doesn't work. It means that not enough fact checking occurs when it comes to claims by the intelligence community.

> Do you think this should have been fact checked and the content of the quotation in the OP flagged for being subject to discussion or contested, in order to avoid having users of this forum join their nearby neo-nazi club:

That post certainly goes against our community guidelines, and if this forum were actively moderated then that post would probably have been deleted. However, a thread in the Trisquel forum's Troll Lounge does not exactly have a wide reach, Trisquel's forum does not have algorithms that boost such content to susceptible users, and that kind of post is relatively rare rather than part of a larger pattern, so I don't think intervention is especially urgent.

> The purpose of whistle-blowing is to expose secret and wrongful acts by those in power in order to enable reform. A key purpose of journalism is to provide an adversarial check on those who wield the greatest power by shining a light on what they do in the dark, and informing the public about those acts." -- Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian, 15th June 2013, p.51.

Making up or spreading conspiracy theories in order to gain advertising revenue and/or political power is not whistle-blowing. Ironically, I have seen endless complaints about the censorship of such conspiracy theories, but very few complaints about the censorship of BlueLeaks, which *does* shine a light on abuses of power, as covered in Glenn Greenwald's own paper: https://theintercept.com/collections/blueleaks/

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

> as covered in Glenn Greenwald's own paper

Former own paper, as it appears:

"Glenn Greenwald Leaves The Intercept, Claiming He Was Censored."

This seems to be endless. I do not think "whistle blowing" is referring to conspiracy theories either but if anyone does, fact checkers will not help anyway.

EDIT: in fact, conspiracy theories are arguably the opposite of whistle blowing. They create noise and fury around a non existent fantasy which completely drowns out the ground work of people like Glenn Greenwald.

I am not taking your point about not enough fact checking. There are simply not enough people to care about facts, so at best fact checkers are talking to the void, at worst they are preaching to their respective choir audience and reinforcing their beliefs.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> in fact, conspiracy theories are arguably the opposite of whistle blowing. They create noise and fury around a non existent fantasy which completely drowns out the ground work of people like Glenn Greenwald.

I agree, and it tends to create a false dichotomy between the conspiracy theorists and the establishment, making many people feel like they have to be on one side or the other, rather than critiquing both.

> There are simply not enough people to care about facts, so at best fact checkers are talking to the void, at worst they are preaching to their respective choir audience and reinforcing their beliefs.

I think you're likely right, at least when it comes to many fact checkers and readers these days. Mere contradiction withoutan alternative narrative that addresses the core of *why* people believe certain things (conspiracy theories are often a way of explaining a feeling many people have but don't understand, and that feeling is often rooted in something else that is actually true about the world) rarely changes anyone's mind, and now even the phrase "fact check" has become so heated that if you call something a "fact check" rather than just writing a well-sourced article that investigates the origin and veracity of a claim, it comes across as condescending. But in that case, what's the problem? If fact checkers have little influence or ability to change people's mind, then how much power do they really have? Doesn't that make what archive.org has done a harmless way of distancing themselves from the content of a web page while still providing access to those who want to see it? If fact checking has no real effect on society, then it's a non-issue, in which case complaining about it just diverts attention from things that are real issues.

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

> If fact checking has no real effect on society, then it's a non-issue, in which case complaining about it just diverts attention from things that are real issues.

"Preaching to their respective choir audience and reinforcing their beliefs" does have very real effects on society, if only to maintain and push further the artificial dichotomies which benefit the powerful, and in turn effectively diverting attention from the real issue.

That said, I agree that posting in the Troll Lounge has little chance of changing anything. :)

I would still like to thank you for your input, opportunities for such discussions are only too rare in this time of generalized attention deficit where anything longer than two or three lines get skipped.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I would still like to thank you for your input, opportunities for such discussions are only too rare in this time of generalized attention deficit where anything longer than two or three lines get skipped.

Yes, I've been pleasantly surprised at how this conversation is going. Normally an online conversation about this topic does not go anywhere. This is playing out more like an offline discussion, in that we seem to be clarifying our thoughts and finding a bit more common ground as it progresses.

> "Preaching to their respective choir audience and reinforcing their beliefs" does have very real effects on society, if only to maintain and push further the artificial dichotomies which benefit the powerful, and in turn effectively diverting attention from the real issue.

Sure, and maybe the current wave of "fact checking" contributes to this. I'd argue that so does a backlash in the form of "These fact checkers are trying to silence the truth!" as opposed to "Damn, what is it about social media platforms has gone so horribly wrong that they have resorted to hiring fact checkers at all?" I think you are right that fact checking is likely unhelpful and maybe even counterproductive, but:

(1) It does not smell like state or corporate propaganda, which tends to appeal to fear, force, or nationalism rather than truth, and tends to either attack the source of the information via FUD or character assassination, or fearmonger about the effects of the information, rather than challenge the veracity of the information itself. If you are trying to keep information from spreading, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to the content of the information with articles that examine that information point by point, or even acknowledge that truth matters at all. Instead you focus on the source of the information (e.g. "It was hacked!" or "So-and-so is a traitor") or the effects of the information (e.g. "It endangers our troops/law enforcement!" or "Russia/China are loving this!"). That's why Snowden delayed revealing his identity: He knew that as soon as he did the media would pivot from covering the information he was leaking and make the story about him. I keep bringing up BlueLeaks, because it is a recent example that has occured during the "fact check" wave. If fact checking were a propoganda tool, it easily could have been used against BlueLeaks. Instead while Twitter was slapping "fact checks" on Trump tweets while continuing to boost them to as large an audience as possible, they silently took down any links associated with BlueLeaks, and when asked to comment did not say "It is misinformation" (attacking the content) but rather "It was hacked" (attacking the origin).

(2) If it is propaganda, it has been utterly ineffective. If anything, it has drawn more attention to the content getting fact checked. There are Americans who still treat COVID like a hoax, and we have the death rate to show for it. Normie kids on TikTok and normie boomers on Facebook believe in Pizzagate now. A group of Qanon believers got arrested on their way to make an armed attack against a Pennsylvania voting center. Two Qanon believers were just elected to Congress. Compare that to the vast majority of Americans who have never seen the Apache Helicopter tape, who are either unaware of what Snowden revealed or think it's not a problem, who can't even name the countries that US has recently bombed, or who believe law enforcement is generally honest and exists to protect and serve the public. When the govt decides to supress information, it does a hell of a good job. This is something else.

(3) Treating fact checking as the problem/threat implies that there is nothing wrong with allowing misinformation to spread and that the solution is to do nothing, but this misinformation is the epitome of "Preaching to their respective choir audience and reinforcing their beliefs," and framing fact checking as censorship is part of the strategy of those spreading it. Again, propagandists want to draw attention away from the truth and get people to focus on other things like imagined enemies ("*They* don't want you to see this!") or threats ("Fact checking is an attack on our free speech!")

(4) Fact checkers are a small, largely symbolic bandaid over a much bigger underlying problem: The power of big tech and the out-of-control disinformation machines they have plugged everyone into. The tide of public opinion is turning against big tech, and if we manage to keep the focus on corporate power, the influence of advertisers, and the nature of those secret algorithms, maybe those machines can be reigned in or shut down, or maybe we can at least get people to adopt federated, non-corporate alternatives like PeerTube and Mastodon. If instead we allow the focus to be shifted to "Those poor right wing extremists that the algorithms consistently favor aren't allowed 100% unchecked reign over what everyone else sees or hears! Oh the censorship!" then that diverts attention from the underlying forces at work, lets big tech off the hook for the full scope of what they have created, and drives people to platforms like Gab and Bitchute that are just as cynical, corporate, and greedy, and in practice just as centralized.

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

I realize I might not have explicitly acknowledged some of your points, mostly because I was trying to make mine clearer as the discussion went on. It does not mean that I was rejecting yours, though.

I cannot help feeling that you have had and are still having hard times with followers of various destructive ideologies which have been trying more or less hard to disguise themselves behind conspiracy theories (I do not like this expression, because in fact these are not theories but hypotheses, at best) in an attempt to take advantage of the current state of our information systems and of the actual despair many people feel, in my opinion because of the advanced state of destruction of our social and economic systems. Some of this destruction has been deliberate, by the large corporations, some of it just happened because change is permanent, but people might miss the actual causes and take comfort in these fancy stories. They will thus resort to any kind of argument in order to reject the conclusion of whatever fact checking they might be confronted with, and conflate it with censorship.

I am only guessing, so I might be wrong about that. But if not, I have been more fortunate and my main source of worry has been from the way people tend to be spoon-fed their views by mass media in a very old and too well known way which only reinforces their beliefs and butter up to them (the French expression I am trying to translate here literally says "to pet following the hair growth pattern"). The (mainstream) media has always been known to serve the agenda of the economic and political powers that be, and for their cosy relationship with the intelligence community, including providing cover. These sheep-like people do not need fact checkers, they will always read what they want to read and hear what they want to hear anyway.

Conversely, I also know people who believe some crazy versions of things which have been fed to them as supposedly insider info, but this is still a fringe phenomenon on this side of the Atlantic. The fact checking I have come across was partly about the most eccentric of these stories, which I am sure nobody actually believed in (but maybe the joke was simply lost on the fact checkers), and partly about minor details or choice of words which were so meaningless that they must have been picked either for convenience (after all, these fact checkers are paid to fill some space) or because they did not involve any of the actual mismanagement which should be urgently addressed. This did not look at all like a faithful effort to tackle the big lies of the time about war and national self-righteousness or to debunk the big myths about who actually benefits from such and such economic policies for instance.

I might have completely underestimated the power of technology in the current state of affairs, though. I am currently living in a rather remote area and have to feed the wood stove all day long to keep warm, so this might have blurred my perception of how algorithms have come to shape our society. Also, I have deserted all centralized, profit-centered information and communication monopolistic entities for some time now so I am somehow looking at this from afar. If things are actually as bleak as you describe them, and I see no reason not to believe you, then social inertia will only make them worse until something gives way.

I think we agree about these, although of course choice of words might vary:

1) Fact checking is not a disease, it is a symptom of the complete failure of the media to adapt to the last waves of information technologies, and more generally to provide quality investigative journalism. Creating an army of Glenn Greenwald clones could be a cure, but he is not a sheep so this might prove perilous. I am sure there are other Glenn Greenwalds in minor media outlets and maybe this is where redemption might come from. For now, he has just been censored, most probably with the "hacked material" label, by the same people who censor conspiracy theories. Where is the outcry?

2) We are all biased and the only way to overcome our bias is to confront our views with other people's views and especially people who hold different views. At some point, differences of view eventually boil down to personal values and preferences, and this is why voting systems exist. Not everything can be sorted by debate but everything should be debatable. Shallow beliefs cannot resist debate. Facts should be systematically checked during the debate by the very people who are debating.

3) The big players are so big that they can buy anything, fact checkers and all. "Nationalize those companies, free the source code, and make the services public utilities" seems indeed the only way out (but sounds so much out of fashion - because yes, somehow politics is very much about fashion - that only a major catastrophic event might make it possible, and I do not want to be calling for yet another catastrophic event). Circumventing them through autonomous (federated or decentralized) information system seems utopian given the general preparedness of the masses.

Why is it I always come to the same conclusion about the evil that consumerism is? No obsession for consumption, no advertising revenues, no biased algorithms, no need to waste resources on debunking fancy fairy tales with smoking dragons. Less wars, more life. Unfortunately, people are more interested in consumption than in facts.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I cannot help feeling that you have had and are still having hard times with followers of various destructive ideologies which have been trying more or less hard to disguise themselves behind conspiracy theories (I do not like this expression, because in fact these are not theories but hypotheses, at best) in an attempt to take advantage of the current state of our information systems and of the actual despair many people feel, in my opinion because of the advanced state of destruction of our social and economic systems.

> I have been more fortunate and my main source of worry has been from the way people tend to be spoon-fed their views by mass media in a very old and too well known way which only reinforces their beliefs and butter up to them (the French expression I am trying to translate here literally says "to pet following the hair growth pattern"). The (mainstream) media has always been known to serve the agenda of the economic and political powers that be, and for their cosy relationship with the intelligence community, including providing cover.

I'm actually quite concerned about both. I probably seem to you like I care more about the former, because that's what I've been focusing on in this discussion based on where it seems you are coming from. I could tell early on in the conversation that you need no convincing to be skeptical of mainstream media and the intelligence community. If I were talking to someone who blindly trusts the intelligence community and neoliberal media while not understanding how people can buy into far right conspiracy theories, I would remind them of the "WMDs in Iraq" conspiracy theory that was made up by the intelligence community, spread by major news outlets, and used as the pretense for a war that most now recognized as a mistake but only a handful of people criticized at the time.

> I might have completely underestimated the power of technology in the current state of affairs, though. I am currently living in a rather remote area and have to feed the wood stove all day long to keep warm, so this might have blurred my perception of how algorithms have come to shape our society. Also, I have deserted all centralized, profit-centered information and communication monopolistic entities for some time now so I am somehow looking at this from afar.

I personally am no longer on those centralized platforms either, but I follow what's happening with them in a "know your enemy" type of way, and I believe that it really has gotten that bad. I also share your concerns about traditional media. Those are old problems that still exist and you are right to be concerned about them. These new problems are ones that logically followed from the old ones. Tech monopolies were not created by cryptofascists. They were created by neoliberal technocrats. And although social media platforms have amplified cryptofascist propaganda, the reason that this propaganda is seductive to so many of the people it reaches that it provides a narrative to explain the problems in their lives, problems that exist due to the failures of neoliberalism. It divides the working class: You get some people who falsely believe that fascism will provide a solution to their problems, and you get others who are so (rightfully) scared of fascism that they (wrongly) look to neoliberals as saviors rather than enemies. There is no hope of resisting neoliberalism while the working class is divided in this way. In order to solve our old problems, we have to solve our new ones.

> I think we agree about these, although of course choice of words might vary:

I mostly agree. I could take issue with a few details, but this post is already getting too long.

> Why is it I always come to the same conclusion about the evil that consumerism is? No obsession for consumption, no advertising revenues, no biased algorithms, no need to waste resources on debunking fancy fairy tales with smoking dragons. Less wars, more life. Unfortunately, people are most interested in consumption than in facts.

People aren't naturally this way. They were made this way. Humans are at their most useful to capitalists when they work all day until they are too tired to do more than look at ads all evening.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> whistle-blowing

Also, look at what techniques have been used against real whistleblowers like Manning and Snowden: threats, torture, imprisonment, character assassination, accusations of "endagering troops" or "treason" or being "anti-American", etc. Never "fact checking". Fact checking is an appeal to truth, which makes it a poor strategy when whoever you are trying to silence has the truth on their side. Instead they appeal to force or nationalism.

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

That is an interesting argument.

Why has fact checking not been used against the smear campaigns against the real whistle-blowers?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> Why has fact checking not been used against the smear campaigns against the real whistle-blowers?

It has, by leftist media. Not by mainstream or right wing media of course, for the same reasons that mainstream and right wing media don't question warmongers. Right wing media wants war. Mainstream media wants the military and intelligence community to give their journalists access, which only happens if their coverage is favorable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embedded_journalism

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

> "Bias" has become a dirty word though, and conflated with inaccuracy. Since everyone is biased, that allows people to dismiss anything they don't want to hear based on "bias" alone rather than whether or not the information is accurate.

I also agree that "bias" is not a dirty word. It is not something to be eradicated, like poverty or illiteracy, but something to be taken into account, like greed or stupidity.

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

Greenwald does lots of good work. I'm suspicious of him though. He shut down the Snowden archive. He seems to yield to establishment pressures somewhat easily. I get the sense that Edward Snowden feels some resentment towards him.

To be fair though; when you got the biggest superpower in history putting pressure on you, it is hard not submit to some extent.

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

> I get the sense that Edward Snowden feels some resentment towards him.

Sorry, I am going to have to fact check this.

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

By the way, I need to clarify this:

> About the covid-19 antibody test: "In a population where the prevalence of infection is 5%, a test with 95% specificity and 95% sensitivity will return the same number of false positives as true positives, making any individual result no more useful than the flip of a coin."

I was looking for information about antibody tests, and more generally about what we are beginning to know about antibodies in the case of a covid-19 infection. We are beginning to know more, but the contest to the most crazy claim still goes on and a few search results were mentioning a random outcome for the test.

The original quotation is from the FAQ of the MIT medical service [1] which was last updated in May. It is based on a true statistical fact. The wording does not say that the outcome of the test is random, but that it is no more useful than a random test if 5% of the population is actually infected. The probability that an infected person returns a negative test (a false negative) is still very low (5%), so a negative result is quite informative. What a positive test actually tells is that the person has a 50% probability of being infected, which is arguably already news compared to the 5% probability from the general population but of course still undecided. So maybe the original formulation was somewhat unclear and could have been improved, but never fact checked.

Some secondary sources are still writing that tests - any sort of test, including PCR tests - are unreliable and hence useless, based on the original quotation. Given the formulation of the original phrase, I am not sure that fact checkers would have been in a position to correctly flag this content.

[1] https://medical.mit.edu/faqs/faq-testing-covid-19#faq-12

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

It isn't something you will be able to fact check. It is merely an intuition.

It looks like "quarantine camps" are starting to pop up in US-aligned countries. Meanwhile the mainstream media is fueling this fear campaign. Make people afraid and they surrender their freedoms. Surveillance is just the start. Soon they will be controlling our bodies.

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

Needless to say, I will resist to my last breath. They rely on our consent and submission.

This is class-warfare.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

Yes, it is class warfare. While millions have lost their jobs and homes in the worst economy of our lifetimes, the stock market is booming. The rich have stayed rich. Those involved or invested in the tech industry have gotten even richer. Trillions of dollars went into bailing out large corporations, with bipartisan support from politicians. But when the time came to bail out the working class, the politicians just couldn't reach an agreement, so we got nothing. Now people are so desperate for jobs that those lucky enough to return to the jobs they had are doing so at lower wages than before. The resulting increase in economic equality will last for years. But the greatest trick they pulled was convincing a large segment of the working class that although the elites apparently needed trillions of dollars to get them through this crisis, that you don't need anything because the crisis isn't even real.

They knew from the beginning that COVID was serious, and took steps to protect themselves financially and health-wise. But publicly they lied and downplayed it, and formed culture wars around it, so that the working class would go out and die just to keep the gears of their trickle-up wealth machines turning. This propaganda made its way from politicians and Murdoch-owned media to social media, where it spread via algorthims designed to turn users into passive, uncritical consumers.

You said in another thread something like "The good stuff gets taken down from YouTube," so I have some idea of how it spread to you. Did you ever wonder why, if YouTube really doesn't want you to know the "truth," it recommended video after video of it to you in the sidebar? Sure, once the videos got so extreme and so visible they tooks some down in order to save face and pretend that their hands are clean, but only after the damage had been done and they'd profited handsomely off of the people they strung along and fed ads to. The video creators got a cut off the ad revenue too, of course. That's why they did it. (Even if you used an ad blocker or Invidious, the same recommendation algorithm was guiding you along and teaching you thought patterns.)

Does the mainstream media sometimes lie? Hell yeah. The biggest news outlet, Fox, from which a lot of this COVID misinformation originated, is one of the worst, but the less conservative outlets sometimes lie too. That doesn't mean you should be persuaded that the sky isn't blue because the MSM thinks it is. When you find yourself and others questioning basic details of reality and searching for hidden conspiracies rather than challenging blatant and visible abuses and power structures that have shaped our lives for decades, and when your idea of resisting is repeating nonsense you read on the Internet, maybe it's time to consider the possibility that you've been consenting and submitting this whole time.

gaseousness
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 08/25/2020

lol snowden.

the proceeding wouldn't work

"Edward Snowden Made Visiting Lawyers Put Their Phones In His Refrigerator To Avoid Eavesdropping"

dumbphones will still get reception in a fridge.

https://www.businessinsider.com/snowden-lawyers-put-phones-refrigerator-2013-6

lutes
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/04/2020

It's always about what they are not telling you.

The phones were in cocktail shakers, in the fridge.

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

I'll admit that I have a cynical view of the world and its power structure. But I think for good reason. Perhaps I am quick to see the sinister in what is happening.

But I think I deserve more credit than for my understanding to be reduced to an algorithm. Chaosmonk, you are assuming that my thinking is merely a result of YouTube's recommendations. There are many different ways to glean understandings, and many different ways to research.

Sun-Tzu said that war is deception. If this is class-warfare, then we should get comfortable with it.

The elites have been feeling their control slipping for a while now, and they are getting desperate to find ways to retain it. This COVID situation's timing is too suspicious. The US elites have motive, method, opportunity, and it has just the right ring of desperation to fit the time. I believe the virus was engineered in a laboratory. Of course, I could be wrong.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I believe the virus was engineered in a laboratory. Of course, I could be wrong.

So you admit that you don't know, but you are willing to believe it anyway? In that case, how can anyone take anything you believe seriously?

> Perhaps I am quick to see the sinister in what is happening.

Do you see anything sinister about the sources you get your information from? If not, why are you so quick to trust those sources, but so quick to assume sinister intent behind sources that say the opposite? It sounds like you are deciding who is sinister or not based on whether or not they are telling you what you want to hear.

> This COVID situation's timing is too suspicious.

Ok, name a time that COVID could have happened instead that would not have been suspicious. May 2018? December 2016? Let's be real. No matter when it had happened, anyone who really wanted to believe so could come up with reasons to call the timing "suspicious." In order for claims to be meaningful they have to be falsifiable. In other words, don't just say "I believe X." Say something like "I believe X, but would change my mind under conditions Y and Z." If you would not change your mind under any conditions, then you aren't actually thinking for yourself, just believing whatever you want to be believe regardless of what happens.

> Chaosmonk, you are assuming that my thinking is merely a result of YouTube's recommendations. There are many different ways to glean understandings, and many different ways to research.

It is partially a result of YouTube's recommendations. I never said "merely." I'm sure you have other sources, but based on everything you have said so far they either aren't any better or aren't helping. No amount of "research" is going to get you anywhere if the way you process information to form beliefs is malfunctioning.

> I think I deserve more credit than for my understanding to be reduced to an algorithm.

Then earn it. Let's find common ground based in a shared, observable reality. We both believe that there is class warfare happening. We both believe we are on the side of the working class against the elites. And yet we are living in two completely incompatible realities. People who cannot form a shared understanding and consensus cannot unify in resistance. Read the discussion Lutes and I had above. Notice how over the course of the conversation we came to understand each others' perspective, dropped certain assumptions about each other, and found common ground? That can't happen if you just keep repeating stuff you read somewhere just because it feels true to you, never provide any justification, and when anyone tries to understand why you think that way you say "it's just an intuition, there's no way to fact check it (and therefore nothing that would change my mind)."

Lets start with

> It looks like "quarantine camps" are starting to pop up in US-aligned countries.

I have some questions:

(1) From what source did you get this information?
(2) From what source did *that* source get their information?
(3) Spell out the "who/what/where/when/why". i.e. Define "quarantine camp". Where did such things come from (they probably didn't just "pop up" out of nowhere)? Which countries are you talking about? You say "US-aligned". Are there any non-US-aligned countries doing this? Are there any US-aligned countries that arent?
(4)

I'll keep an open mind if you do.

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

I'm not claiming absolute knowledge of events. Sure I fumble around with facts.

I'm not a technical type.

yes I operate on intuition quite a bit. I try to read the signs and souls.

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/quarantine-stations-us.html - USA

http://www.tonvid.com/info.php?video_id=9keqVcx77TA - New Zealand

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> I'm not claiming absolute knowledge of events.

That's okay. No one has absolute knowledge of everything and no one demands that you do.

Thanks for the links.

> https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/quarantine-stations-us.html

This says that the US has 20 quarantine stations. It also says that these quarantine stations have existed since 2007, so they are not related to recent events. It does not say anything about "quarantine camps."

> http://www.tonvid.com/info.php?video_id=9keqVcx77TA

In this video, the prime minister of New Zealand apologizes for allowing two people to enter the country without being tested for COVID, who later turned out to be infected. She promises to be stricter about testing procedures in the future to prevent this from happening again.Any country, US-aligned or not, would be foolish to let people in without being tested for COVID, and not letting them in until they have quarantined for 14 days so that they are no longer contagious. She also does not say anything about "quarantine camps."

Can you link to the source that you originally heard about "quarantine camps" from? These seem like they may be sources that you looked up afterward, which is fine, but I'm interested in the full chain of information.

Side note: NZ has overall done a very good job keeping COVID from spreading in their country. There have been multiple times at which they've gotten their number of cases down to zero and could suspend lockdown procedures. It would be nice if the US had done the same, as we could have had fewer deaths and shorter lockdowns.

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

The New Zealand speech doesn't bother you? People are forced to go into a facility for two weeks and forced to take COVID tests?

This is why it is frightening, because many people will see this as reasonable since they are afraid of the virus. Watch all of our civil liberties disappear because we are afraid of getting a flu. You know how it always goes: once we surrender our freedoms, they never return. This is only establishing a new norm for how people can be treated. "Emergency" powers and measures seem to have a way of sticking around even after the emergency is over. And here is another of my factless intuitions: this "pandemic" state is to be permanent.

https://lbry.tv/@FreedomFighter:a/MANDATORY-COVID-CAMPS-BEGIN:0

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> People are forced to go into a facility for two weeks and forced to take COVID tests?

Which people? Who do you think is is being tested in these facilities? What do you think the situation was before this NZ news, and how do you think the situation is different now?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

I know you said other things. I will respond to them, but first I wnat to make sure I understand everything you're saying.

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

> People are forced to go into a facility for two weeks and forced to take COVID tests?

The current mess seems to be due to people failing to implement or respect strict quarantine measures, systematic testing and protective measures (avoiding close contact, correctly wearing masks, using hand cleaning gel), not to the excess of it.

I tend to agree with chaosmonk about the contrast between people crying foul because the basic measures against a pandemic caused by a previously unknown virus are at last beginning to be seriously implemented and people seemingly content that bombs get dropped in our name without anyone seriously inquiring why, on what purpose and even following which legal process. Or that the same people who are massively laying out workers got massive bonuses and/or wealth boost.

It seems to me that the more people will cry foul and distort the message, the more stricter measures will be necessary. I think more caution should be taken when addressing the seasonal flu, not less caution when addressing a pandemic, if anything. Some people caught covid-19 because someone deemed it appropriate to go for a walk while having what were already known to be the typical symptoms. Some fell sick the very day the first lockdown was implemented and still have sequela eight months later. Yes, emergency situations call for emergency measures. You are free to take whatever risk you want to take for yourself and compete for a Darwin award but endangering other people's life or health because of some vague "factless" intuition is not OK. Unless one is actually calling for a permanent state of anarchy, that is.

In at least two countries the highest elected officials called covid-19 a hoax: the US and Brazil. Look at the current situation there now. In the UK the highest elected official publicly said that herd immunity might be something (merely mentioning it was already irresponsible), in France the health minister said at the time of the first clusters that it is not possible to stop a virus at the border (as if borders cannot be closed, or as if the virus would carry on on foot anyway) and someone from the Education Department also mentioned herd immunity while in official duty. This is the frightening side of things.

> "Emergency" powers and measures seem to have a way of sticking around even after the emergency is over.

What would you have then? Let the weaker die, survival of the fittest? Let us also have the rabies, poliomyelitis, and why not the plague and tuberculosis back, because they all require collective prevention measures to be kept at bay.

You seem to acknowledge the reality of the emergency. If we are able to organize and overcome it, there might be enough survivors to see to it that the emergency measures do not outlive their purpose, based on facts on the ground.

> this "pandemic" state is to be permanent.

Indeed there are reasons to believe that the current crisis did not come out of the blue. Every system produces its own doom. What humankind will be able to make out of it is difficult to guess but the proportion of lucidity and obscurantism to be found in each of us will ultimately determine it.

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

I'm not concerned about which people, or the situation before and after. All I see are these lines being crossed, these precedents being set, and this witch-hunt continuing.

I refuse to see people as vectors for disease rather than as life with dignity. It is too easy to de-humanize people when we are afraid.

To which extent this is a real emergency or a hyped-up flu virus, I can only speculate. But whether this was a result of biological engineering or not, or whether it is a true pandemic or not, the plutocracy will use the situation to clamp down on us to ensure their lasting control.

lutes
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A rejoint: 09/04/2020

Oh my! "China-made thermal imaging cameras"!

You were right all along, we are doomed.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

If you don't know the situation before and after, then how can you know what lines are being crossed?

The people who have to take a COVID test, and if they test positive quarantine until they are no longer contagious, are travelers entering New Zealand. You cannot simply walk into a country legally without agreeing to certain regulations and safety procedures. This was true long before the pandemic. It's true that since the pandemic those regulations and procedures have changed in order to limit the spread of the virus. However, this is not new. Most if not all countries, US-aligned or not, including New Zealand, have been doing this for months now. The change being described in that video is that the existing policy (again, a policy most countries already have) is going to be enforced more consistently to prevent more people with COVID from slipping through the cracks and endagering NZ citizens.

So that LBRY video lied to you about what just happened in NZ. Doesn't that make you at least a little bit angry at them and want avoid falling for their tricks again in the future?

> You know how it always goes: once we surrender our freedoms, they never return.

That has certainly been true with actual losses of freedom, like the privacy lost under the Patriot Act. That's not what's happening here though.

As you know, you do not have the freedom to kill people, because that would infringe on their freedom to live. The freedom to kill is what you are asking for when you demand the right to enter a country while you are infected with COVID. That is a freedom you never had to begin with, so nothing has been taken away. If you read through this,[1] you will see that many countries imposed things like health checks at the border during the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Guess what: Those extra precautions went away after the pandemic was over. History contradicts your assumption about what happens in a situation like this one.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_by_country

> I refuse to see people as vectors for disease rather than as life with dignity

If you truly believe that life has dignity, then you are *really* going down the wrong path. Let's consider what would happen if people listened to you, and all safety precautions were removed. Since you said that you think COVID was created in a lab (let's not get into whether or not that is true right now), that means you at least agree that COVID is a real disease. We've seen what happens when countries go for "herd immunity" and allow the virus to spread: death. If all countries did that like you are demanding, here are some factors that would determine who survives:

* whether you can afford to have supplies delivered to your home so that you can avoid crowded public places
* whether or not you even have a home to self-quarantine in
* how good your health insurance is, assuming you have health insurance at all
* whether your job is one that can be done remotely (like programmer or executive) or one that requires you to go out be surrounded by people (like a worker in the service industry or an Amazon warehouse)

In other words, the richer and more powerful you are, the more likely you are to survive. What you are advocating is genocide against the working class, in the name of a warped view of freedom that eschews all social responsibility or solidarity with your fellow man. There are only three groups of people who advocate for this: (1) wealthy elites who want put as many people back to work as soon as possible so that they can become even wealthier, (2) the media personalities and publishers that they pay to spread propaganda for them, and (3) the suckers who fall for and mindlessly repeat their propaganda.

If you aren't willing to face this, then okay, but don't then go and keep pretending to care about freedom or the dignity of human life while you act as a pawn for people who are trying to destroy both.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

Btw, there have *actual* concentration camps in the United States since before COVID. It recently came out that some women in these camps are being subjected to forced sterilizations.[1] I haven't heard a peep out of any of those who complain in the name of "freedom" about COVID safety measures.

[1] https://theintercept.com/2020/09/17/forced-sterilization-ice-us-history/

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

There can be dignity in death and suffering. Yes, we have been put in a lose-lose situation. You are saying that we should prioritize the nursing of our wounds rather than fighting for higher values.

Yes, I know the world was a nightmare BEFORE covid, and that the USA was already an incarceration state.

There contains truth within lies, and lies within truth.

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> There can be dignity in death and suffering.

There is no dignity in dying or suffering for someone else's stock portfolio.

> You are saying that we should prioritize the nursing of our wounds rather than fighting for higher values.

Lol. What higher values? What is it you want? You don't want to have to wear a mask when you go to the store? You don't want to have to socially distance? You want to be be allowed to bring COVID into New Zealand? That's not freedom. It's childish entitlement. If you were in a burning building, would you evacuate with everyone else, or would you stand there and suffocate to death in the name of your right to decide what room you stand in? Would you cry tyranny when the firefighters intrude without your permission?

> Yes, I know the world was a nightmare BEFORE covid, and that the USA was already an incarceration state.

Then shame on you for whining about things that aren't real problems while knowing about the actual suffering and injustices that are going on. I don't like masks either. They're uncomfortable and they fog up my glasses. I miss drinking at bars without having to worry about social distancing. Travelling is stressful, and while I haven't travelled since COVID I have no doubt that the extra health precautions are inconvenient and add even more stress to the experience (though if I were planning to travel, I would get tested *first* to make sure I don't have COVID and won't need to quarantine at my destination). But to act like those minor inconveniences amount to opression and injustice is offensively out of touch with what's going on in the world.

I'm done with this discussion. The deal was that I would keep an open mind if you did, but all you've done is repeat yourself regardless of what anyone else says. I normally wouldn't have gotten into a discussion like this on the Internet, but I thought I'd see what happens and if there is any hope of discussing such a heated topic constructively in an online forum. My conversation with Lutes went surprisingly well, but it's clear that we're not going to get anywhere. I sincerely hope that you get some help.

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

It's cool.

We agree on most things. Some issues are difficult and easy to get divided on.

Still friends? :)

gaseousness
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 08/25/2020

lol no doubt most of the whistleblowers are fakers to me, hollywood and the mainstream media wouldn't be giving them so much of the spotlight. I saw a video of snowden on joe rogan and seemed like he couldn't keep his eyes of his script.

His comments sound dumb, like he didn't know anything about the app, and appears to love pushing non-free software as well.

gaseousness
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 08/25/2020

lol that whole telegram russia drama = was more relevant to amazon and google domain fronting, which ended up being closed down to censor the masses even more, if i recall correctly

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

I assure you, Snowden is the real deal.

PsychicEcho
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 04/05/2020

Wait, what do you mean by 'faker'? We are all fakers and actors in some way. It comes with simply having an ego.