Irresponsible Communications?

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Irresponsible Communications?

Postby uninfinite on April 27th, 2016, 12:34 pm 

Today, a Muslim Labour MP, Naz Shah was suspended from the Labour Party for anti-semitic comments she made on social media before she was elected. Later, on LBC talk radio - there were a number of Jewish people who phoned in to comment on the issue, saying there's been a steady increase in the rise of anti-semitism in recent years. I don't know if that's true - and it's not the point of this post.

The point I wanted to make was that had Naz Shah's comments been made in virtually any other format than social media - they would have disappeared. Spoken words carried off on the breeze, even today's newsprint is tomorrow's chip papers. But put it on social media and it is permanent and infinitely reproducible. And this is exactly what's happened with Naz Shah's comments. They have been reproduced and commented on, inviting further comments, and those comments reproduced and so on - thus contributing to the apparent prevalence of anti-semitism, when what we began with were one woman's views.

It seems to me, society is yet to fully realize the internet is an echo chamber - where a meme has the potential to multiply exponentially, and feeding back into society, may even effect real world manifestations of itself - thereby multiplying again and again. The question is how do we cope with the fact?

To begin with, if we suppose that there are two broad approaches possible; legislative and attitudinal, we can begin to break the issue down. Could we legislate against irresponsible communications in the same way we do against malicious communications? And who would be the judge of what is irresponsible? What effect would this have on free speech? And is that a price worth paying?

Or alternatively, in recognition of the fact that we've created this perfect breeding environment for memes - many of which are unfriendly to society, might we be best served to grow up a bit - and not brand anything so controversial it cannot and should not be committed to social media for all eternity, for all the world to see? And in doing so, might not we encourage people to be less hysterical, less strident and more responsible in the views they express?
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Re: Irresponsible Communications?

Postby Watson on April 27th, 2016, 5:25 pm 

The truth is no one should put any opinions on SM no matter how firming they feel about it. There is every possibility the such opinions are premature, uninformed or the result of changeable conditions. It is very likely that opinions can change over time, yet the words can be plucked from SM and presented out of context, as if they were spoken today representing a current position.
There are enough examples of people getting embarrassed at the very least, or worse, from what they posted PUBLICLY. Shouldn't that be enough reason to self-edit before pressing submit?
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Re: Irresponsible Communications?

Postby vivian maxine on April 28th, 2016, 9:10 am 

And much like the game played in grade schools and parties, the last person to repeat what the first person said has it totally different from how it started out.

You are right, the internet is not a place to say much, if anything at all. And it is definitely not a public confessional as some have made it. The most hazardous are the social media. Will they ever learn? Probably not.
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Re: Irresponsible Communications?

Postby Eclogite on April 28th, 2016, 9:57 am 

Watson » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:25 pm wrote:The truth is no one should put any opinions on SM no matter how firming they feel about it. There is every possibility the such opinions are premature, uninformed or the result of changeable conditions. It is very likely that opinions can change over time, yet the words can be plucked from SM and presented out of context, as if they were spoken today representing a current position.
There are enough examples of people getting embarrassed at the very least, or worse, from what they posted PUBLICLY. Shouldn't that be enough reason to self-edit before pressing submit?
But surely Watson, you have just expressed an opinion. Are you limiting the set of social media to exclude forums? Or, do you just like to live dangerously?
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Re: Irresponsible Communications?

Postby BadgerJelly on April 28th, 2016, 10:06 am 

With freedom of speech comes responibility of how th many idiots listening may interpret or cherry pick what you say. Politics will alays be this way.

Of course the everlasting solution is to learn, teach and hope your judgement is good enough not to cause unreasonable conflict.

I certainly believe if large media organisations took more responsibility the world would be a more peaceful and understanding place. People online tend to talk about what they saw on CNN or BBC, or what they read in such and such a newspaper. I don't blame the the internet. I blame the the large organisations that, meaningfully or not, dictate the topic of the day across the internet.
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