Oct 10, 2020 Editorial
Kaieteur News – There is this practice that is extremely dangerous in which the reckless and malicious engage and get away with every time. Calculating people, so-called popular participants in social media post intentionally provocative positions that foster terrible agitations. These, in turn, stir firestorms of like nature with frenzied free-for-all resulting.
The problem is that when the inevitable exposure occurs, the perpetrators beat the hastiest of cowardly retreats. They delete offensive and divisive posts that trace back to them. Posts (later deleted) that were originally intended to disparage and discriminate, deceive and divide, or drive into madness for dangerous ends are unprincipled and unsavoury, and say so much of the authors.
It says that such manufacturers and authors are liars and frauds, cowardly people, who lack the courage of their convictions. In fact, the only conviction harboured is to wound, by any method, and available media channel misused to trash perceived enemies, be they individuals or groups. When posts of positions put in the public, through social media, with much fanfare and following, are deleted, it is the equivalent of a brainless idiot, a certifiable imbecile, shouting ‘fire’ or ‘gun’ in a teeming marketplace, and then quickly disappearing into the massed and agitated mob created on a whim.
Unreconstructed racists and proud bigots do so and succeed; at least, for a time. Revisionists and those with axes to grind do it, and followers who are similarly riotous minded engage in these kinds of posts, only to beat skulking retreat when confronted by the evidence of their handiwork. They hustle to delete that which inflamed and possibly imperiled. Sometimes, even the anonymity of social media is not enough to camouflage identity or output history. It is how a wonderful development, the awesome technology revolution and reach can be mangled and misused for the worst of purposes. That is, to hurt people and to strip them of standing and dignity. It is wrong, no matter how charitably looked at; it is what the technology companies that made this modern way of life possible should be compelled to do something about for the better of all.
The technologies and tech giants are sophisticated enough and deep-pocketed enough, to be able to do something constructive and acceptable, through minimum standards, for all posts. The know-how is present and, so too, are the peoples and skills available, to facilitate confronting the negativity deployed on social media platforms, towards compelling users to adhere to rigorous pre-screening, and in policing what follows.
This is more than about flagging phrases and filtering against a set dictionary of problematic words. It is about continuing efforts at identification from the beginning and detection, through familiarity with the latest slangs and colloquialisms identified and blocked. If things and people can be blocked after the fact, they can be blocked at the inception. And, as for those who are bent on sowing dissension and hatreds, then a platform-wide bar must be the weapon of choice and should suffice to cool the fires that are many times stoked.
Further, laws ought to be enacted that force tech companies and their executives to oversee their universe more comprehensively and robustly. Provisions must be made to set up roadblocks and traps to deter or contain the combustible in the mix. They must be caught before they do damage to others. Intra-group peer pressure can help, though this is a longshot, given our disturbed state. Official and civic sentinels have their hands full but where there is a will there is a way that can be found to guide on overcoming that which seeks to divide ad destroy.
Freedom of speech brings responsibility, requires civility, and powers decency. Some prefer to stay as far as possible from social media, given its capacity for the ugly and the dirty, the unthinkable and the unacceptable. Political correctness works both ways, applies to all. Honest public presences obey the traditional when they share in the mainstream. What is presented in ink, is as good as written in stone. Archives do not lie. It is where social media must be. Deleted posts say much of those who practice deceits. The best is that they are the scum of some despised placed.
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