Has the internet been more destructive than helpful?

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DeathFlowerKing
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23 Nov 2022, 10:43 pm

It just seems to me that the internet has been destructive to society lately especially here in the US where we are constantly being bombarded with propaganda and misinformation everywhere you look. Some of it comes from our enemies overseas, some of it comes from our own country. And it's all clearly designed to destroy morale and make Americans not trust each other and create this sense of paranoia.

I like to think of the "World Wide Web" as a giant spider web that traps the world and eventually a giant spider will come to devour our world while it is entangled in a mess of lies and misinformation. :skull:


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lostonearth35
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23 Nov 2022, 10:47 pm

I'd be dead of boredom if it wasn't for the internet.



DeathFlowerKing
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23 Nov 2022, 10:50 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
I'd be dead of boredom if it wasn't for the internet.



I find the internet good for some things like staying in touch with friends and online shopping.

But how can one ignore all the crazy lies, misinformation, propaganda, trolling, and death threats on social media?


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Fnord
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23 Nov 2022, 10:51 pm

The Internet is only a tool.  The people who use it can be more destructive than helpful.  Internet users have only as much influence over you as you allow them to have -- do not let them do your thinking for you.


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DeathFlowerKing
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23 Nov 2022, 10:57 pm

Fnord wrote:
The Internet is only a tool.  The people who use it can be more destructive than helpful.  Internet users have only as much influence over you as you allow them to have -- do not let them do your thinking for you.



The problem is by now we know that the majority of people DO seem to let the internet do their thinking for them. People are gullible and have no self-control and there are plenty of psychopaths out there who take advantage of that.

I'm in favor of regulating the internet, just like guns. Not banning these things completely, but something has to be done to protect irresponsible humans from themselves.

That's just my opinion though. :|


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Fnord
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23 Nov 2022, 11:28 pm

DeathFlowerKing wrote:
Fnord wrote:
The Internet is only a tool.  The people who use it can be more destructive than helpful.  Internet users have only as much influence over you as you allow them to have -- do not let them do your thinking for you.
The problem is by now we know that the majority of people DO seem to let the internet do their thinking for them. People are gullible and have no self-control and there are plenty of psychopaths out there who take advantage of that. . .
Well, it sure sucks to be them, doesn't it?

Let us start getting rid of the evangelicals begging their followers to empty their bank accounts so that the preacher can buy another jet, mansion, or yacht; the people selling 'miracle' procedures that do nothing but suck up the savings of desperate sufferers; and the politicians directing their followers to engage in insurrection because they lost an election.

I think all that would go a long way toward cleaning up the Internet.


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DeathFlowerKing
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23 Nov 2022, 11:34 pm

Fnord wrote:
DeathFlowerKing wrote:
Fnord wrote:
The Internet is only a tool.  The people who use it can be more destructive than helpful.  Internet users have only as much influence over you as you allow them to have -- do not let them do your thinking for you.
The problem is by now we know that the majority of people DO seem to let the internet do their thinking for them. People are gullible and have no self-control and there are plenty of psychopaths out there who take advantage of that. . .
Well, it sure sucks to be them, doesn't it?

Let us start getting rid of the evangelicals begging their followers to empty their bank accounts so that the preacher can buy another jet, mansion, or yacht; the people selling 'miracle' procedures that do nothing but suck up the savings of desperate sufferers; and the politicians directing their followers to engage in insurrection because they lost an election.

I think all that would go a long way toward cleaning up the Internet.


And all of that is why I don't trust people in power.


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ToughDiamond
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24 Nov 2022, 1:22 pm

DeathFlowerKing wrote:
But how can one ignore all the crazy lies, misinformation, propaganda, trolling, and death threats on social media?

I often have to remind myself that those things exist. I hate dishonesty enough to have very effective ad blockers and suchlike utilities, and to steer clear of the more obvious cesspits of tommyrot, so I hardly ever see any of the crap. I also have an uncommonly strong sense of "sez you," i.e. deep skepticism about anything I hear or read, and lies usually bounce off me like water off a duck's back. To me it's so obvious that one pretty much has to be that way, that I can't quite take on board the notion that BS could possibly work. So when I hear about hate speech or whatever, it's hard for me to immediately see any danger in it, and I just think "so what? If he's denying the Holocaust, they'll surely just laugh at him won't they?"

So to answer your question, that's how I can ignore it all. But in so doing I'm probably making a grievous mistake. It's hard to fix it because I feel I don't respect others enough, and I strive to put that right, but I don't know how to respect the gullible, so maybe part of the problem is that I credit them with more sense than they actually have, in order to see them as respectable. I also kind of hate them because I get the government and environment they deserve.

I don't know how to measure the overall harm or good that the Web does. In my case it seems to help me more than hinder me. I can find out what a whole range of people say about practically any subject, much faster than referring to books. I can communicate with people easily, rapidly and cheaply. I can buy (and sell, in theory) more or less anything I want to. So it saves me loads of time and tedious work. Though one very unfortunate downside to all that convenience is that I hardly have to get off my butt, which threatens to have adverse health consequences in the realm of exercise, eyesight, RSI, fresh air, etc.



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24 Nov 2022, 4:48 pm

My biggest issue is the bots in certain websites. You set up a profile, make a post, and the feedback and direct messages come from mostly bots. The worst ones are ones that pretend to be lonely horny women to promote some sort of dating scam.


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ToughDiamond
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24 Nov 2022, 6:08 pm

Aspiegaming wrote:
My biggest issue is the bots in certain websites. You set up a profile, make a post, and the feedback and direct messages come from mostly bots. The worst ones are ones that pretend to be lonely horny women to promote some sort of dating scam.

If it's not too personal a question, which websites are doing that? The only social media website I use is Facebook, and I've got the settings very restricted so that only Facebook Friends can communicate with me. I get the odd rare unsolicited message on Skype, which are probably scams like the one you mention, but I only look at messages from my friends.

To kill unsolicited Facebook ads I normally use a free browser plugin called Social Fixer, but Facebook killed it, so until it's resurrected I'm using F.Block Sponsored (for Chrome browser) and BlockZilla (for Firefox) - BlockZilla is only 14-day shareware but Social Fixer's new incarnation is already in beta, so there's every hope I won't need BlockZilla after it's expired. Anyway, as a result I don't see any rubbish on Facebook. Social Fixer has a user-designed filter feature which I use to zap offensive Christian Right propaganda that some of my otherwise nice Deep South friends have a nasty habit of posting. I wouldn't use Twitter because of the awful way its new owner is treating his workforce. Don't know about Reddit. I've toyed with the idea of joining that if it's not too awful. Don't know of any other social media websites. WrongPlanet is of course OK without any messing. So overall my Web experience is quite cloistered and pure.



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24 Nov 2022, 8:28 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
Aspiegaming wrote:
My biggest issue is the bots in certain websites. You set up a profile, make a post, and the feedback and direct messages come from mostly bots. The worst ones are ones that pretend to be lonely horny women to promote some sort of dating scam.

If it's not too personal a question, which websites are doing that? The only social media website I use is Facebook, and I've got the settings very restricted so that only Facebook Friends can communicate with me. I get the odd rare unsolicited message on Skype, which are probably scams like the one you mention, but I only look at messages from my friends.

To kill unsolicited Facebook ads I normally use a free browser plugin called Social Fixer, but Facebook killed it, so until it's resurrected I'm using F.Block Sponsored (for Chrome browser) and BlockZilla (for Firefox) - BlockZilla is only 14-day shareware but Social Fixer's new incarnation is already in beta, so there's every hope I won't need BlockZilla after it's expired. Anyway, as a result I don't see any rubbish on Facebook. Social Fixer has a user-designed filter feature which I use to zap offensive Christian Right propaganda that some of my otherwise nice Deep South friends have a nasty habit of posting. I wouldn't use Twitter because of the awful way its new owner is treating his workforce. Don't know about Reddit. I've toyed with the idea of joining that if it's not too awful. Don't know of any other social media websites. WrongPlanet is of course OK without any messing. So overall my Web experience is quite cloistered and pure.


They can be found on YouTube, Twitch, Discord, the Steam community, etc. They may not be traditional social media sites, but they still count if it means you can interact with other commenters. I hated that all my feedback came from bots. It got so bad for me that I had to lock down the comment section for three days after each video upload. I got tired of blocking them. It's like that "Eggman Announcement", they've got seventy alternate accounts for every one that gets blocked.


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Fnord
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24 Nov 2022, 8:38 pm

Aspiegaming wrote:
They can be found on YouTube, Twitch, Discord, the Steam community, et cetera . . .
Then the solution is to avoid websites like YouTube, Twitch, Discord, the Steam community, et cetera.  At least, do not let them do your thinking for you.


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DeathFlowerKing
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24 Nov 2022, 8:41 pm

I mostly use YouTube for listening to music these days. I try to ignore the weird conspiracy videos and the comments.


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Aspiegaming
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24 Nov 2022, 8:49 pm

Fnord wrote:
Aspiegaming wrote:
They can be found on YouTube, Twitch, Discord, the Steam community, et cetera . . .
Then the solution is to avoid websites like YouTube, Twitch, Discord, the Steam community, et cetera.  At least, do not let them do your thinking for you.


Impossible. I do my Let's Plays on YouTube and watch indie animations, listen to music like game soundtracks, YouTube Poops (basically they're like digital graffiti on intellectual properties), other gamers' Let's Plays, etc. I'm an active Steam user. Sometimes I browse discussion forums to see what everyone is talking about regarding what games I'm playing (maybe they need help with a game). The OBS discord is the only place I can get help if I'm having problems with OBS software. I don't care about Twitch.


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If my darkness or eccentricness offends you, I don't really care.

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DeathFlowerKing
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24 Nov 2022, 8:52 pm

One thing is for sure, I refuse to use tiktok. I find it extremly hypocritical of Americans to criticize the CCP for Taiwan and Xinjiang and yet millions are using a sketchy app like this from Beijing.


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24 Nov 2022, 9:25 pm

DeathFlowerKing wrote:
One thing is for sure, I refuse to use tiktok. I find it extremly hypocritical of Americans to criticize the CCP for Taiwan and Xinjiang and yet millions are using a sketchy app like this from Beijing.


I hate their ads.


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I am sick, and in so being I am the healthy one.

I know what I hate in life and I love the fact that I hate these things in life.

If my darkness or eccentricness offends you, I don't really care.

I will not apologize for being me.