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posted by janrinok on Friday August 30 2019, @12:08PM   Printer-friendly

Mike Masnick, usually editor for Techdirt, has written an essay on a technological approach to preserving free speech online in spite of the direction things have been heading in regards to locked-in platforms. He proposes moving back to an Internet where protocols dominate.

This article proposes an entirely different approach—one that might seem counterintuitive but might actually provide for a workable plan that enables more free speech, while minimizing the impact of trolling, hateful speech, and large-scale disinformation efforts. As a bonus, it also might help the users of these platforms regain control of their privacy. And to top it all off, it could even provide an entirely new revenue stream for these platforms.

That approach: build protocols, not platforms.

To be clear, this is an approach that would bring us back to the way the internet used to be. The early internet involved many different protocols—instructions and standards that anyone could then use to build a compatible interface. Email used SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Chat was done over IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Usenet served as a distributed discussion system using NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol). The World Wide Web itself was its own protocol: HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP.

In the past few decades, however, rather than building new protocols, the internet has grown up around controlled platforms that are privately owned. These can function in ways that appear similar to the earlier protocols, but they are controlled by a single entity. This has happened for a variety of reasons. Obviously, a single entity controlling a platform can then profit off of it. In addition, having a single entity can often mean that new features, upgrades, bug fixes, and the like can be rolled out much more quickly, in ways that would increase the user base.

Earlier on SN:
Re-decentralizing the World-Wide Web (2019)
Decentralized Sharing (2014)


Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Freeman on Friday August 30 2019, @03:18PM (12 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Friday August 30 2019, @03:18PM (#887780) Journal

    TL;DR

    Try, not using "words" like "facegag", "rddoot", and "twoottar". Then, I might be inclined to read most of your post.

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +3  
       Insightful=3, Informative=1, Overrated=1, Total=5
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @03:56PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @03:56PM (#887796)

    Try, not using "words" like "facegag", "rddoot", and "twoottar". Then, I might be inclined to read most of your post.

    I'm not a fan of any of these platforms (in fact, my stress levels have plunged and my life improved vastly since I stopped using most of them), nor am I particularly a fan of cutsy derogatory misnames for such entities, but to dismiss the content of what was actually an interesting and on-point post for that reason is even sillier.

    You may not like the presentation, but to dismiss facts and an interesting (and quite valid) argument because you don't like how it's dressed up doesn't hurt the messenger. It just hurts you, because if you do that you never consider important viewpoints, and thus limit your own ability to correlate data, think through, and draw conclusions on a subject that might more closely triangulate reality.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @06:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @06:31PM (#887852)

      It was very hard to read. Speak thine enemy’s name or some such?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @07:15PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @07:15PM (#887881)

      The presentation is part of the message. Using derogatory misnomers hurts your message in multiple ways. It increases the mental effort your reader has to go through to decipher what you are saying, if they actually get that far. Using it early on also makes it look like immature trolling or reactionary ranting, neither of which is usually informative or insightful, before getting to the meat of the argument. It also speaks to motive as pettiness, and that is also not a sign of a well-thought-out writing. Combine the above with conspiracy theories about the government, and you've just made yourself that much easier to dismiss as inane ramblings before the opportunity to inform.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01 2019, @03:28AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01 2019, @03:28AM (#888383)

        The presentation is part of the message. Using derogatory misnomers hurts your message in multiple ways. It increases the mental effort your reader has to go through to decipher what you are saying, if they actually get that far.

        That's subjective. You never know what stupid thing or choice of words will set off some fragile snowflake and increase the mental effort they must expend to read your post. Worrying about it is a waste of time.

        and you've just made yourself that much easier to dismiss as inane ramblings before the opportunity to inform.

        Maybe that says more about the critical thinking skills of the reader than anything else.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01 2019, @05:37AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01 2019, @05:37AM (#888400)

          Two scientists know for a fact that the world is going to end and has the evidence to prove it. One tells you calmly, on television as part of an international broadcast shown simultaneously around the world. The other tells you while running down the sidewalk of a public park while screaming at the top of his lungs. Which do you listen to and which do you dismiss as just another mentally-ill individual after the first few sentences?

    • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Saturday August 31 2019, @09:14AM (1 child)

      by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Saturday August 31 2019, @09:14AM (#888163) Journal

      Thanks for saying this.

      I use it as a form of protest and to call attention to how often we say them, that this is marketing, brainwashing in a way.

      What FB, R, T, I, are, are essentially like phone service now. Do you have ATT or Verizon, are you on FB or minds.com. It used to be about who owned the train tracks. This argument is absolutely critical to the understanding of american history, maybe to understanding government itself, it is not trivial or just about the company FB.

      These basic functionalities are undeniably core to the wants, needs and desires of humans on computer networks. The internet started out respecting this, the backbones are basically operated like common carrier and level 3 or sprint lines, who cares, it's all getting copied to the same underground bases for later analysis by our overlords.

      But we now live in several layers of abstraction on top of that, and in this very in your face user layer, some companies are running the same monopolization tricks but on digital steroids. FB is paradigmatic, it's like the standard oil or drew, fisk and gould of our time, except this new thing now has the ability to mass manipulate the population on a second to second basis, and this is all exercised covertly through algorithms and intentional backdoors in convoluted javascript.

      I think we should protest this, if it were 1890 I might be holding a sign blocking the railroad tracks. I think it is a crisis for humanity, and so I am pushing the envelope a little to be loud and clear about where I stand.

      Check out my response to the guy who *just can't stand* to consider my ideas because I don't want to see the word FB 8 times in my comment, I go into it some there too.

      You may notice a pattern in the responses to my comments, I frequently get early completely dismissive comments and incorrect troll moddings...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31 2019, @06:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31 2019, @06:58PM (#888287)

        You may notice a pattern in the responses to my comments, I frequently get early completely dismissive comments and incorrect troll moddings...

        If you keep getting the same response to your comments, maybe, just maybe, part of the problem is how you write the comments, not their content.

        This response seems somewhat disingenuous as well. You say you do it purposefully as protest of the names. Yet, your own comment lets many of them sail by unadulterated. The reason why, I suspect, is because at that point of your writing, you were more concerned about making your overarching point. However, protest is the point, so why not fix them or double check? The natural explanation seems to be that you don't actually care about the "name protest" or to draw attention to how they are used, but to take cheap and immature shots at the name. Otherwise, you would have done so in the first place.

  • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Saturday August 31 2019, @08:30AM (4 children)

    by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Saturday August 31 2019, @08:30AM (#888158) Journal

    This is a form of protest and a refusal to assist these companies in their marketing that is now bordering on brainwashing.

    Also, I have worked in the threat intelligence industry, briefly, so you should be aware that nearly every brand name has a private NSA-like network scanning all clearnet content for their brand. Companies like faceb hire actual private spies to harass and follow their opponents around in public. Criticizing any company beyond a certain size is an actual risk of covert violence against you. Pass it on.

    These words are just words I hear way too often, it is also damaging to the psyche and a form of brainwashing to constantly repeat a brand name, any brand name really.

    At this point these main brand names of the (a)social media are so core to our language that it leads easily to the argument that now that this technology exists and everyone uses it to the point we are sick of hearing the word, these institutions not just with a public responsibilty but a core role in human governance. At the moment this has been realized by the elites who already have tons of power and money and 13 year old girls on their yachts, so they are taking advantage of everyone, horrifically, through things like cambridge analytica.

    Did you predict cambridge analysitica? Did you predict the iphone backdoor situation? Did you predict google was tracking people with android maps who opted out of tracking?

    I predicted all of those things. No medals have yet been awarded. But should you not have predicted those things, that means you are living in a delusion where you can trust people you cannot.

    And *those very people* are aided when you repeat their idiotic non-word brandnames over and over and over again.

    If you are unable to come to any of these realizations on your own, then you are in sore shape indeed.

    Language is morphable, humans change language as they use it, it is a sign of intelligence and creativity. Facegag I find appropriate because for most people who use the platform, it essentially shuts down your ability to broadcast. It's a gamed/rigged algorithm that is weaponized against people who anti-capitalist and anti-zionist, among other things. In many cases it is essentially mercenary, it is now a known fact that if you went to a party with Zuckerborg and he liked you, he might have given you access to *everyone* on facegag's private messages.

    Conformity on the other hand can be a sign of multiple things, but I can tell you after ten years of being on reddit, a government or corporate schill agent does exactly what you did, pick out *the one thing* that is most original or unexpected and then point to this one thing and use it to dismiss the entire argument, especially as top response comment, as a way to poison all other reactions to what has been posted.

    If you were not aware of that, glad to inform you, but in every way your post is anti-intellectual and dismissive prior to any real consideration, and if this isn't intentional, then you have a lot of reading to do before you catch up. My website might help. You might want to also try contributing more, running around and nitpicking other peoples' informed and carefully thought out comments essentially by throwing turds is well, makes you look like a turd.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday September 02 2019, @04:00PM (3 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday September 02 2019, @04:00PM (#888862) Journal

      American Psychological Association on brainwashing
      Main article: APA Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control

      In 1983, the American Psychological Association (APA) asked Singer to chair a taskforce called the APA Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC) to investigate whether brainwashing or coercive persuasion did indeed play a role in recruitment by NRMs. [75] It came to the following conclusion:[76]

              Cults and large group awareness trainings have generated considerable controversy because of their widespread use of deceptive and indirect techniques of persuasion and control. These techniques can compromise individual freedom, and their use has resulted in serious harm to thousands of individuals and families. This report reviews the literature on this subject, proposes a new way of conceptualizing influence techniques, explores the ethical ramifications of deceptive and indirect techniques of persuasion and control, and makes recommendations addressing the problems described in the report.

      On 11 May 1987, the APA's Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) rejected the DIMPAC report because the report "lacks the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary for APA imprimatur", and concluded that "after much consideration, BSERP does not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking a position on this issue."[77]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwashing [wikipedia.org]

      I was going to say something about the need for constant repetition of a phrase or word, being needed. Then, I decided to google Brainwashing. Apparently, the APA doesn't even have a position on the topic. Which seems kinda weird to me, for something that would be extremely bad. Unless, it's a load of hogwash, as they say.

      Even, if brainwashing is a thing. Using the names, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. to refer to the entities you're talking about. Shouldn't be detrimental to your cause, if you're protesting specific grievances you have regarding the aforementioned entities. In contrast, your position will be more informative and less outrage speak.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Tuesday September 03 2019, @04:20AM (2 children)

        by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Tuesday September 03 2019, @04:20AM (#889109) Journal

        I have a lower english standard for forum language. I would not do the same in something that was professional or academic. I note your critique, I won't dismiss it but it does still seem like you don't get why I think it's important. Have you ever heard of culture jamming? adbusters?

        Repeating something over and over, or integrating a brandname as an integral part of your language to describe present reality, is giving that real estate of your mind over to someone else.

        Kleenex and Qtips are too other instances where they have managed this, in ways that I'm not particularly upset about but as a trend and with core components of the internet, it is a bad thing that should be resisted.

        It is also a protest, are you not protesting the facething? They betrayed all of their users in ways that would curdle the blood of any inhabitant of the 1990's but inhabitants of 2019 seem to be totally unphased and getting hit by vehicles while looking down at their phones using exactly the things that have been demonstrated over and over to simply provide their entire life as a series of datapoints to bizarro datamining entities with subsidiaries that make candy crush knockoffs.

        Are we living in the same world? Do you really care that it weakens my argument or are you just trying to enforce a social norms? Does it really bother you to read that and are you really going to say in the big picture, that is something you want to mention? Are you sure this is the element of my carefully considered mini essay you think it's most important to discuss?

        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday September 03 2019, @02:24PM (1 child)

          by Freeman (732) on Tuesday September 03 2019, @02:24PM (#889190) Journal

          Having a recognized brand can be helpful, especially when considering what to buy. Sure, you can buy the off-brand version, but generally the on-brand version will have an image they're trying to uphold. Thus, will likely be of a consistent quality.

          Facebook, specifically, is furthering a dystopian agenda. Tracking everyone and everything all the time. Sure, they're "just" doing it for the money, but the technology will be and likely already has been abused. I avoided Facebook like the plague, until I realized, they already had all of my information. So, yes, I do have a Facebook account, that I almost never use. There should be some kind of privacy controls that will keep them in check, but that seems to be a lost cause. The right to privacy is built into our laws. Unfortunately unlike a lot of "with a computer" crimes. Our rights to privacy are being trampled on and it seems as though, no one is fighting for it. We're only free, so far as we are willing to fight to stay that way.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
          • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Tuesday September 03 2019, @03:01PM

            by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Tuesday September 03 2019, @03:01PM (#889201) Journal

            Speak for yourself.

            I am showing you how to revolt in a way it will be noticed with just your keyboard and you are basically spitting in my face telling me there is nothing that can be done because you can't think of anything.

            Let that sink in once you realize what that says about you.