Bitcoin Daily News – 2018-02-16
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Facebook incites violence by allowing false-rumors to circulate. Twitter only recently banned large communities of neo-nazis and white supremacists organizing on the site. Discord continues to be an organizational hub for Nazis and the Alt-Right. Why should a private company have the role of a cultural censor, and how can we redesign our social media to democratize censorship?
To be absolutely clear, censorship serves an important role in social media in stopping verbal and emotional abuse, stalking, toxic content, and hate speech. It can also harm at-risk communities when applied too broadly, as seen in recent well-intentioned U. Censorship within the context of social media is not incompatible with free-speech.
First, Freedom of Speech in the United States is largely regarded to apply to government criticism, political speech, and advocacy of unpopular ideas. These do not traditionally include speech inciting immediate violence, obscenity, or inherently illegal content like child pornography. Being banned from a platform is more akin to exile than to arrest, and leaves the opportunity to form a new community accepting of whatever content was banned.
I think dogecoin ascii art catchers the U. Bill of Rights been written after the genesis of the Internet this would be a non-issue, and we would have a definition for a public commons online.
Regardless, I want to talk about what should berather than what is legally excusable. Corporations have public perceptions dogecoin ascii art catchers effect their valuations. A private corporation, once they have sold me a phone, should not have say over what I can and cannot use that phone to do. The same argument applies to social media. Facebook and Twitter have a vested interest in limiting conversations that reflect poorly on them, but do not otherwise need to engender a healthy community dynamic.
Sites like Reddit that are community-moderated have an advantage here: Their communities are self-policing, both via the main userbase downvoting inappropriate messages until they are hidden, and via appointed moderators directly removing unacceptable posts.
This works well in large subreddits, but since moderators have authority only within their own sub-communities there are still entire subreddits accepting of or dedicated to unacceptable content, and there are no dogecoin ascii art catchers to review private messages or ban users site wide.
A scalable solution will require stronger public powers. Dogecoin ascii art catchers premise is simple: Anyone can run their own miniature social network, and the networks can be linked at will to create a larger community.
Perhaps an improvement, but not a great one. While in theory users could react to censorship by creating a new Mastadon instance and flocking to it, in reality users are concentrated around a handful of large dogecoin ascii art catchers where the community is most vibrant.
A truly self-regulatory social community should place control over censorship of content in the hands of the public, exclusively. When this leads to a Tyranny of the Majority as I have no doubt it wouldthen dogecoin ascii art catchers effected minorities have an incentive to build a new instance of the social network where they can speak openly.
This is not an ideal solution, but is at least a significant improvement over current power dynamics. It may involve a majority-consensus to expel a user from the community. The key is to involve the participants of the community in every stage of decision making, so that they shape their own community standards instead of having them delivered by a corporate benefactor. Care needs to be taken to prevent bots from distorting these systems of governance, and giving a handful of users de-facto censorship authority.
This should be not only compatible, but desirable, for social media companies. Allowing the community to self-rule shifts the responsibility for content control away from the platform provider, and means they no longer need to hire enormous translator and moderator teams to maintain community standards. This is a dogecoin ascii art catchers of when the Dutch secret service knocked on my door just after OHM, what some of the events that lead up to this, our guesses on why they did this and how to create an environment where we can talk about these things instead of keeping silent.
Since the talk was not recorded, the following is my synopsis and thoughts. This post was written about a week after the talk, so some facts may be distorted by poor memory recall. They initially identified themselves as members of the department of the interior, but when asked whether they were part of the secret service, they capitulated. The agents began by offering all-expenses-paid travel to any hackathon or hackerspace.
All the speaker needed to do was write a report about their experience and send it back. A relatively harmless act, but it means they would be an unannounced informant in hacker communities. When the author refused, the agents switched to harder recruitment techniques. They pursued the author at the gym, sat nearby in cafes when the author held meetings for nonprofits, and likely deployed an IMSI catcher to track them at a conference.
Eventually, the author got in contact with other members of the hacker community that had also been approached. Some of them went further through the recruitment process. I have two chief concerns about this. Therefore, there are likely many informants working for the secret service already.
Second, this talk was about the Netherlands - a relatively small country not known for their excessive surveillance regimes like the Five Eyes.
If the Netherlands has a large group of informants spying on hackerspaces and conferences around the globe, then many other countries will as well, not to mention more extreme measures likely taken by countries with more resources. From this, we can conclude there are likely informants in every talk at significant conferences. Every hackerspace with more dogecoin ascii art catchers token attendance is monitored.
Most examples of decentralized organization are contemporary: Older examples of social decentralization tend to be failures: But not dogecoin ascii art catchers leaderless movements are short-lived failures.
One excellent example is Alcoholics Anonymous: An year-old dogecoin ascii art catchers aid institution dedicated to helping alcoholics stay sober. The twelve traditions are reproduced below:.
For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers. An AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers. AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion dogecoin ascii art catchers outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
Anonymity is the spritual foundation dogecoin ascii art catchers all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalitites. The first theme stresses anonymity in an interesting way: Personal power is prone to abuse, both at an inter-personal level see the plethora of sexual abuse cases in the news right nowand at a structural level, where the organization becomes dependent on dogecoin ascii art catchers single individual, and is drawn in to any conflict surrounding the celebrity.
The solution to a rock-star is to kick them out of the organization, and maintain a healthier community without them. AA has gone a step further however, and outlines how to prevent the rise of a rock-star by preventing any personal identification when communicating to the outside world. When you are speaking to the press you are Alcoholics Anonymous, and may not use your name. For further discussion on rock-stars in tech communities, see this article. The single-issue design is an unusual choice.
Many social movements like the Black Panthers stress solidaritythe idea that we should unite many movements to increase participants and pool resources. Dogecoin ascii art catchers is the same principle behind a general strikeand broad, cross-issue activist networks like the Indivisible movement.
However, focusing on a single issue continues the trend of resisting corruption and abuse of power. AA keeps a very strict, simple mission, with no deviations. The last theme, total organizational independence, is also unusual. Organizations that fear external attack, like terrorist cells, may operate in isolation from other cells with little to no higher-level coordination. Avoiding both internal and external hierarchy, however, sacrifices both large-scale coordination and quick decision making.
It is also used by Antifa, where local groups have no contact with one another and rely on collective sentiment to decide on actions. Overall, AA is an interesting introduction to decentralized organizations.
I will revisit these ideas as I learn more. I recently encountered a very neat encoding technique for embedding images into Dogecoin ascii art catchers Response Codeslike so:. A full research paper on the topic can be found herebut the core of the algorithm is actually very simple:.
Dither the image you want to embed, creating a black and white approximation at the appropriate size. Redraw the required control blocks on top in full detail, to make sure scanners identify the presence of the code. Setting the dogecoin ascii art catchers pixel of each cluster of 9 generally lets QR readers get the correct value for the block, and gives you 8 pixels to represent an image with.
Occasionally a block will be misread, but the QR standard includes lots of redundant checksumming blocks to repair damage automatically, so the correct data will almost always be recoverable. I have extended that code so that when a pixel on the original image is transparent the corresponding pixel of the final image is filled in with QR block data instead of dither data. This both makes the code scan dogecoin ascii art catchers reliably and makes it more visually apparent to a casual observer that they are looking at a QR code.
The original researchers take this approach several steps further, and repeatedly perturb the dithered image to get a result that both looks dogecoin ascii art catchers and scans more reliably.
While their enhancements yield a marked improvement in image quality, I wish to dogecoin ascii art catchers the tremendous complexity increase necessarily to implement them. I have long been an opponent of dogecoin ascii art catchers by any authority. Suppression of ideas stifles discussion, and supports corruption, authoritarianism, and antiquated, bigoted ideas.
I have put a lot of thought in to distributed systems, like Tor or FreeNet, that circumvent censorship, or make it dogecoin ascii art catchers to host content that cannot be dogecoin ascii art catchers. However, the recent Charlottesville protests show another side of the issue. Giving the alt-right a prolific voice dogecoin ascii art catchers and in our media has allowed the Nazi ideology to flourish.
Dogecoin ascii art catchers progress of different hosting providers shutting down the Daily Stormer neo-Nazi community site shows how hesitant Corporate America is to censor - whether out of concern for bad PR, loss of revenue, perception of being responsible for the content they facilitate distribution of, or less likely an ideological opposition to censorship.
Ultimately, I still belief in the superiority of decentralized systems. Money-driven corporations like GoDaddy and Cloudflare should not be in the position where they are cultural gatekeepers that decide what content is acceptable and what is not.