November 15, 2020 at 11:28 am #197526NorthumbironParticipantOffline
Registered On: January 3, 2014
This is going to run for a while…
“Keir Starmer’s shadow ministers are calling for financial and criminal penalties for social media companies that fail to censor posts promoting anti-vaccination content, which they note is rampant on those platforms.”
That particular path through the woods is fraught with danger and pitfalls. I’m generally in favour of limiting the output from whacko groups but if put on the spot I’d say censorship is generally a bad thing.
As you know I’m anti religion so don’t want to see any of that crap clogging up the airwaves, but there’s a huge difference between peaceful worshippers and raging fundamentalists.
I was in Newcastle city centre just before the latest lockdown restrictions and there was a peaceful protest by anti-vaxxers. So if social media can be censored but not this, what’s the point?
Really am in two minds about this one.
(BTW I’m pro-vaccination)November 15, 2020 at 11:53 am #197528HeathParticipantOffline
Registered On: August 5, 2017
I was also a bit concerned when I heard this story this morning. Not sure that Labour should be promoting censorship when we have a right wing Government in power.
Hope this is just Labour putting a bit of pressure on the Tories who said they were going to do something to control social media companies, and haven’t.
I’m usually against all forms of censorship, however the ease with which whack jobs can gain a following is getting out of control.November 15, 2020 at 12:19 pm #197530billpuntonsghostParticipantOffline
Registered On: January 4, 2014
The totalitarian state is starting to take shape before our very eyes.
Cashless society on the list,censorship of wacko ideas as NI puts it( that trust in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation for example)will all be censored ,no vaccine injection-no travel will be on the list,a slow process so we suddenly wake up and are in 1984.November 15, 2020 at 12:38 pm #197531NorthumbironParticipantOffline
Registered On: January 3, 2014
Have you seen Richard Clay’s 21st Century mythologies Bill? It’s available on BBC iplayer. Interesting take on the cashless society argument.November 15, 2020 at 12:54 pm #197533HeathParticipantOffline
Registered On: August 5, 2017
The past few years have flipped from people having a desire to know the truth to people taking pride in deliberately denying the truth.
We used to call it lying, and it was a sackable offence or a scandal if you were caught out not telling the truth. An ability to lie when everyone knows you are lying is now seen as a highly desirable skill.November 15, 2020 at 1:39 pm #197537
Given the proliferation of anti-vaccination arguments causing damage in recent years, which has led to the resurgence of some preventable diseases, and the need to return to normality after pandemic (and vaccination is the best way for it), I’d say there is a strong argument for prosecuting the proponents for spreading life threatening conspiracies and preventing them from gaining a foothold.
Of course it won’t be a panacea; they will try other means and we shouldn’t be able to stop them shouting like a lunatic in the streets or whatever. However, making it more difficult on sites shouldn’t be off limits. Much of the traditional media wouldn’t now publish anti-vaxxer nonsense, it would violate their standards, and there is nothing wrong with that. Many people get their news through social media now. Surely they should be held accountable for what they allow as a result? If the cranks want their websites to promote rubbish they should be free to set them up, but I am not sure whether we shouldn’t have standards for social media outlets over their dissemination of conspiracies given the dangers they pose and how much they have already affected society.
Are we really free if the news being shared and touted as true by social media is a load of bunkum which distorts our minds?November 15, 2020 at 2:53 pm #197540
I’m a bit concerned about how they would censor anti-Vax content. Where would they draw the line between discusions over legitimate concerns and conspiracy theorist nonsense? In some cases it will be obvious but not all. I know a few people who have said they won’t be taking it but only because I’ve asked. They wouldn’t suggest what anyone else would do. It’s a personal choice. I’ve explained why I think they should get it and we leave it there.
I’m not anti-vax but wouldn’t say I was pro-vax either, as in I believe people should have the freedom to choose. I wouldn’t actively promote people being vaccinated though I think it may be wise for them to do so, particularly the most vulnerable. I understand scepticism about a vaccine that has been rushed through, and whether some unknown and potentially life threatening side effect might materialise in the future, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.November 15, 2020 at 3:04 pm #197543
I suppose there are obvious cases where unsubstantiated tin hatted mania should be held to account. Some prolific and influential celebrities in particular, like Ian Brown and Matt Johnson, are prime examples of consistent anti-vax rhetoric. The thing is, people are going to agree with them openly if they’re that way inclined and others, like me, who think they’re talking out their backsides in the name of self interest and egomania will either ignore them or tell them what they think. I’m not sure censorship is wise in this case, maybe it is?November 15, 2020 at 3:06 pm #197544
I hope it would discriminate between concerns over rushed vaccine worries and conspiracy theories, which are all nonsense.
The problem with ignoring vaccinations is that it can impact others who don’t share your views, which is why I am more sympathetic to toughness. If anti-vaxxer nonsense only impacted those who believed then I’d be more sympathetic to letting them put themselves at risk, but it doesn’t. The effectiveness of vaccines is beyond question and there are a lot out to attack the vaccine regarding coronavirus, not from a position of knowledgeable scepticism, but conspiracies and paranoia about Bill Gates, autism, mind control and superstition.
We should be able to discriminate between legitimate concerns and the load of rubbish prevalent. We do so with hate speech and provocative speech. Neo-Nazis are at risk, but few other political ideologies are. We can deal with the blurs between right and far-right, surely we can here.November 15, 2020 at 3:09 pm #197546
I agree BRI. Makes sense.November 15, 2020 at 3:27 pm #197547
You are right to be sceptical, I should add, though. We need to bear in mind the fine line between acceptable standards for social media and outright closure. I think we need to treat social media outlets more like news organisations in this matter, since they are essentially news disseminators now.
However, I wouldn’t want it where even cranks can’t set up web pages or publish work on their own accord. I am just uncertain over the health of allowing social media to spread nonsense. Not just on this, but all sorts of conspiracies too. I fear that the propagation of such is harming civil life, as can be seen as many seem to believe that the US election was illegitimate based on conspiracies from cranks.
It’s true that there are other means, but this is one way of mitigation, maybe.November 15, 2020 at 4:18 pm #197556Iron-aweParticipantOffline
Registered On: June 21, 2017
Surely it’s about regulation, the Labour speaker on Andrew Marr was saying that compared to journalism the regulation of social media platforms is virtually non existent. It’s about time it was looked at, look how Trump uses it to spread his poison.November 15, 2020 at 4:35 pm #197557
Totally agree. It’s needed looking at for a very long time. It’s how they implement it that concerns me, if it stifles legitimate concerns.
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