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 Post subject: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:47 pm 
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I'd like to ask your opinion on the following article:
https://simpleprogrammer.com/most-hated-man-in-tech/

Do you think that these methods have an uncanny resemblance with a specific cult's well-documented history of so called "fair game" harassments and crimes? What do you think, why does the IT sector suffer from such attacks in general?

Cheers,
bzt


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:13 pm 
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Internet hate mobs are similar all over the web. And they look not much different from real-life hate mobs, with the only appreciable difference being that they are unlikely to actually come to your house. They are similar whether the perpetrators are black or white, left or right, young or old, Christian, Muslim, or Hindu, ... Civilization is a blanket over the less savoury aspects of our species, and this blanket is very thin.

But no, the IT sector is not especially prone to the mob mentality. Not more so than any other subsection of society. Although, yes, I do blame the internet for the radicalization. The internet has caused people locally to fracture into ever smaller subgroups. And this fracturing leads to ever more voices being blocked out. It used to be, that you had to at least get along with the people in your pub, but these days, you can spend all day in forums catering to your whims specifically. Add a bit of the filter bubble, and suddenly any amount of disagreement is the worst thing ever. I cannot remember the last political debate where somebody could respectfully dissent without being called a Nazi or a Commie. Strange how it always comes back down to Hitler and Stalin. It's like WW2 never ended.

But what to do about it? The genie won't go back in the bottle, and I don't want it to. The internet has allowed many good things as well, it's just also had this negative side effect. Maybe we need some kind of mandatory exposure therapy? Herd everyone in a room together and get them to speak their mind for an hour without gouging each other's eyes out?

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Thou hast outraged, not insulted me, sir; but for that I ask thee not to beware of Starbuck; thou wouldst but laugh; but let Ahab beware of Ahab; beware of thyself, old man.


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:51 pm 
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bzt wrote:
I'd like to ask your opinion on the following article:

The author immediately concludes that he's being persecuted and never stops to consider that maybe his tweets were so repulsive that most people don't want to be associated with him anymore.

I like the part where the author says "any decent human" would go around insulting others. He's trying to show himself in a positive light, but what he actually shows is a lack of empathy.


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:23 am 
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Unfortunately, the Internet empowers those with a martyr complex. Online forums always have one or two of them. It's just a fact of life.

They are best ignored.


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:29 am 
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Interesting that some people are trying to defend the hate mob right away without considering the circumstances or hearing out both sides. That makes you wonder.

Octocontrabass wrote:
The author immediately concludes that he's being persecuted and never stops to consider that maybe his tweets were so repulsive that most people don't want to be associated with him anymore.
Maybe you have missed the part when the hate mob literally forced pressure on his associates to do so:
Code:
Then they started calling on anyone who was associated with me, telling them to unfollow me and denounce me.
Which is a well-known tactic of the said cult (they promote that crime in the book "Dianetics" as well). The author also did consider that his tweets might were inappropriate, and hence asked his associates which tweet:
Code:
In fact, I specifically said “Can you give me an exact tweet or statement that I made that you consider to be in violation of your code of conduct or principles or anything that shows clear racism or sexism.” Of course, they did not provide even one statement. Instead, they completely caved to the pressure by this angry mob.


And when one of his friends refused, the hate mob turned on him too (even though that friend said nothing wrong on twitter):
Code:
Now Charles is not like me. He’s got about 0% ******* in him. He’s a straight-laced Mormon guy who is pretty much the kindest and nicest guy you’ll ever meet.
But does the social justice mob care? No. What they care about is causing as much pain and destruction as possible, so they turned on him.
How do you defend that action of the hate mob? Should Charles consider too that "his tweets were so repulsive"? He only tweeted this:
Code:
All I ask is that everyone be civil during the discussion


Octocontrabass wrote:
He's trying to show himself in a positive light, but what he actually shows is a lack of empathy.
What makes you think that? He actually wrote
Code:
So, yes, accuse me of assholeness and defending a friend too aggressively, but I’m not sure what followed was a proportionate response.
Accusing someone with "lack of empathy" when that person is actually protecting his friend is just feel stupid.

iansjack wrote:
Unfortunately, the Internet empowers those with a martyr complex. ... They are best ignored.
Why not ignore the hate mob instead? What makes you think that ignoring the victim will stop the hate mob? It definitely won't.


Or we could talk about the RMS case as well, same script, same methods. The hate mob accused him falsely with many things. Actually, anyone can read the original email and see for themselves that what RMS actually wrote was
Code:
Let's presume that was true (I see no reason to disbelieve it)
Code:
instead listen to the women who were harmed
But does the hate mob care about the truth or RMS' feelings? Not at all. Luckily the FSF board isn't made of fools, and after long consideration they put RMS back.

And about his empathy, because it was mentioned before, he wrote
Code:
False accusations -- real or imaginary, against me or against others -- especially anger me. I knew Minsky only distantly, but seeing him unjustly accused made me spring to his defense. I would have done it for anyone.
Which makes it absolutely clear that RMS is a very emphatic man. On the other hand, the actions of the hate mob completely lacks empathy, I would dare to say even inhumane because they never consider the feelings of the victim.


I'd like to close this post with three things to take away.
1) in my country there's a law that says if someone is accused of something and looses their job because of it, that's a crime. Even if the accusation properly verified with investigation and turns out to be true, it must not influence one's career. Which makes the hate mob's doings an actual crime.
2) in my country's law harassing someone to suicide is exactly the same crime as murder, there's absolutely no difference in the judgement. It's just a murder by using a different tool.
3) from the original article,
Quote:
Most of the victims of these angry mobs are not so fortunate. I wonder how many people would be driven to suicide or worse seeing their whole career and future destroyed because of a few unfortunate words they said on Twitter.

Is this really the society we want to live in? Is this really the tech community we want to support and be a part of? Is this really the way to change hearts and minds and to promote diversity?


Cheers,
bzt


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:32 pm 
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bzt wrote:
Maybe you have missed the part when the hate mob literally forced pressure on his associates to do so:

This happens with every internet hate mob. Usually it's ineffective. Why did it work this time?

bzt wrote:
Octocontrabass wrote:
He's trying to show himself in a positive light, but what he actually shows is a lack of empathy.
What makes you think that? He actually wrote

Empathy includes considering how your actions will appear to others. People see your actions, not your intentions. His intention was to defend his friend, his action was to insult people on the internet.

bzt wrote:
Or we could talk about the RMS case as well,

I'd rather not.


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:10 am 
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Octocontrabass wrote:
bzt wrote:
Maybe you have missed the part when the hate mob literally forced pressure on his associates to do so:
This happens with every internet hate mob. Usually it's ineffective. Why did it work this time?
What makes you think that crimes like that is ineffective? The attack was pretty effective on Linus, RMS (both lost their positions, luckily just temporarily), John's friend Aimee, John's associate Charles, John (they lost part of their income, which makes it an organized crime on the hate mob's part). And it didn't work on John, why do you think that? He wrote
Code:
The only reason you are hearing about this one and not some of the others is that both Chuck and I happen to have the financial strength to withstand the attacks without bowing and can still speak up without being completely silenced.
Code:
You don’t hear much from the other side, because people are afraid. I’ve gotten many phone calls, emails, and messages from people saying “I would love to support you publicly, but I’ve got a job and family to worry about. I’m even afraid to like one of your Tweets.”
Have no mistake, threatening people with their lives and livelihood is a clear-cut crime too.

Octocontrabass wrote:
Empathy includes considering how your actions will appear to others. People see your actions, not your intentions. His intention was to defend his friend, his action was to insult people on the internet.
First, how do you think the hate mob's action appear to others? Threatening and insulting people for no good reason? For example, that black lady saying the f word to Charles, who did nothing wrong, how do you think people see that?
Second, his intentions were different, he made that pretty clear
Code:
My plan was simple: Throw grenades at everyone attacking Aimee until the pack of wild animals turned on me instead.
And that's exactly what he did. He didn't "insult people on the internet", I don't know why you think that. Quite the contrary, he hijacked the attention of the ones who where "insulting people on the internet".

Octocontrabass wrote:
bzt wrote:
Or we could talk about the RMS case as well,
I'd rather not.
Any reason for that? Would you mind to elaborate? I'm not asking about RMS, I'm asking about the hate mob actions in his case.

Cheers,
bzt


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:48 pm 
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bzt wrote:
What makes you think that crimes like that is ineffective?

Accusing someone of saying terrible things is only effective if you have evidence of them saying terrible things.

bzt wrote:
Second, his intentions were different, he made that pretty clear

How did his actions make that intention clear?

bzt wrote:
He didn't "insult people on the internet", I don't know why you think that.

Are we looking at the same person?

bzt wrote:
Octocontrabass wrote:
bzt wrote:
Or we could talk about the RMS case as well,
I'd rather not.
Any reason for that? Would you mind to elaborate?

Because this thread isn't about internet hate mobs, it's about perceived victimhood. Actions have consequences. If you say hurtful things, people won't want to associate with you. The internet hate mob is just an excuse: if you're the victim of something beyond your control, you don't have to admit that you could have done better.


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:39 pm 
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Octocontrabass wrote:
bzt wrote:
What makes you think that crimes like that is ineffective?

Accusing someone of saying terrible things is only effective if you have evidence of them saying terrible things.

If only people were smart enough to fact-check. Unfortunately they're not, and they let their biases influence them instead. Haven't you heard of those fake rape allegations that were trendy a few years ago? Many people's lives were ruined.

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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:43 pm 
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mid wrote:
If only people were smart enough to fact-check.

The tweet still exists, in case you're trying to imply that the screenshot might be fake.

Here's the other one.


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:46 pm 
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Octocontrabass wrote:
Help! Someone voiced an opinion I disagree with! Quick, let's get him fired!

Thereby proving part of his first point, BTW. Great job. And people wonder why my sympathies with that mob are so limited.

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Thou hast outraged, not insulted me, sir; but for that I ask thee not to beware of Starbuck; thou wouldst but laugh; but let Ahab beware of Ahab; beware of thyself, old man.


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:38 pm 
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nullplan wrote:
Help! Someone voiced an opinion I disagree with!

Does it count as an opinion when it's factually incorrect?


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:53 am 
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Octocontrabass wrote:
Accusing someone of saying terrible things is only effective if you have evidence of them saying terrible things.
You're missing the whole point. We are talking about people losing their livelihood because of false accusations. John lost his book publisher without evidence. Charles lost things too without evidence. RMS lost his job at FSF without evidence of being sexist. Linus was removed too for saying the truth.

Octocontrabass wrote:
How did his actions make that intention clear?
How not? Did he attack random people? No. He only throwed grenades on people who were hurting his friend Aimee (as he said he would).

Octocontrabass wrote:
Because this thread isn't about internet hate mobs, it's about perceived victimhood.
Whoa, only a member of the hate mob would say that.

First, this thread is called "About a small, but loud group", and it is definitely about the internet hate mob and their crimes.
Second, and most importantly, "perceived" victimhood? John actually lost his income because his publisher was threatened! This isn't "perceived", this makes John an actual victim by the definition of the law.

Octocontrabass wrote:
Actions have consequences.
I would like to see that rich people and companies pay extra high tax on their profits and take responsibility for ruining our planet. Or that members of the hate mob got arrested for the crimes they've done for that matter. Talking freely on the internet isn't a crime. Threatening people IRL is.

Octocontrabass wrote:
If you say hurtful things, people won't want to associate with you.
You deliberately skipping the part where the hate mob threatened and forced pressure on his associates to cut ties. Threatening people is an actual crime as I've said.

Octocontrabass wrote:
The internet hate mob is just an excuse: if you're the victim of something beyond your control, you don't have to admit that you could have done better.
Do you really think that the hate mob couldn't have done better? Do you really think it is okay when a mob committing crimes without consequences?

Cheers,
bzt


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:35 am 
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bzt wrote:
You're missing the whole point. We are talking about people losing their livelihood because of false accusations. John lost his book publisher without evidence.

John is accused of being a bully. There is plenty of evidence for this accusation: the tweets are still visible on his account.

bzt wrote:
How not? Did he attack random people? No. He only throwed grenades on people who were hurting his friend Aimee (as he said he would).

It doesn't matter who he attacked. The problem is that he attacked them in the first place.

bzt wrote:
Whoa, only a member of the hate mob would say that.

Do you have evidence for this claim, or are you falsely accusing me?

bzt wrote:
Second, and most importantly, "perceived" victimhood?

Yes. John said horrible things, and his associates chose to leave him in response to the horrible things he said. John blames the hate mob because it brought attention to the horrible things he said.

bzt wrote:
Talking freely on the internet isn't a crime.

No, it's not, but that doesn't mean you can say anything you want without consequences.

bzt wrote:
You deliberately skipping the part where the hate mob threatened and forced pressure on his associates to cut ties. Threatening people is an actual crime as I've said.

His associates chose to cut ties in response to the things he said, not in response to any threats.

bzt wrote:
Do you really think that the hate mob couldn't have done better?

Of course not. But talking freely on the internet isn't a crime.

bzt wrote:
Do you really think it is okay when a mob committing crimes without consequences?

There are times when it's necessary. But talking freely on the internet isn't a crime.


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 Post subject: Re: About a small, but loud group
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:57 am 
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Octocontrabass wrote:
YES! Yes, yes, yes it does. That is one of the fundamental pillars of freedom of speech, that you don't have to be right. It is impermissible to place the burden of factual correctness on a speaker, because that would place barriers to entry on to any discussion in public discourse, when the purpose of freedom of speech is to ensure that everybody can participate. I mean, what would the end goal be here? That only the educated may speak? The only valid abridgement of the freedom to say wrong things is defamation.

One aspect I see mentioned too little in this whole thing: While we all have the same facts, it is just possible to model the resulting problems differently. When a police officer is causing the death of a black man, you would probably say that the problem is racism. While I would say that the problem is lack of accountability. The police can do whatever they want without fear of reprisal. Sure, in theory they could be prosecuted, but it happens so rarely. Rarer still that the jury returns a guilty verdict. How often do we see internal disciplinary action in lieu of actual criminal punishment? That is where I see the biggest need for action.

See, focusing on racism in this case ignores all the cases where the police act unjustly against anyone who is not in your target demographic. Racism is merely one motivator for abuse of power, but there are so many others. Envy, jealousy, incompetence, retaliation, .... I remember examples for each of these, but you can probably think of some yourself.

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Thou hast outraged, not insulted me, sir; but for that I ask thee not to beware of Starbuck; thou wouldst but laugh; but let Ahab beware of Ahab; beware of thyself, old man.


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