Despite its plusses there’s a huge concern about social media’s negative aspects, such as hate speech, fear mongering, spreading falsehoods and such-like.
New Zealand was represented at an International conference on this a few years back. They came up with no answers.
That said, one advantage of social media is in revealing how spectacularly stupid some people are. Here’s examples.
My item on this site explaining why our response to coronavirus was totally inappropriate flushed up an extraordinary positive response. That suggested large numbers of folk intuitively felt the lockdown is wrongheaded. I simply produced the evidence.
Nevertheless among the hundreds of endorsements critics emerged, all on specious grounds.
One, a coward hiding behind an anonymous website, reproduced verbatim what I wrote about Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel then wrote, “Bollocks. She said and did no such thing.”
Now that’s easy to do on social media but if this blowhard genuinely believes that then I invite him to contact me to arrange a meeting. Bring $100 in cash and I will bring $1million and it’s all his if he can show what I wrote is bollocks. He won’t come of course as he’ll first probably Google Priti and see I understated what I wrote. Pity he didn’t do so first.
This sort of thing takes me back to the NZ Party days when I regularly received anonymous murder threats in the mail. My no nonsense eldest daughter Frances, then “working” in my office, and contrary to my advice to ignore them, struck up a relationship with the Police and lo and behold, they actually traced two of these brave murder threateners.
They had common denominators. Both were life-long losers in their sixties, never married and living in boarding houses on government pensions. One in Palmerston North and another in Newtown, Wellington. Confronted they were such whimpering wrecks, the Police let them off with warnings. They’ll be dead now and most certainly unmourned but my, how they’d have loved the internet’s social media to express a bravado never present in their miserable pointless lives.
Another critic, Mark Armstrong, who at least had the courage of putting his name to it, for which I respect him, accused me in respect of the lockdown of being wise after the event. Why, he asked didn’t I write this three months ago. Well Mark, it’s a tough one but three months ago the lockdown absurdity hadn’t arisen. That said, on this site way back in February I did write a piece titled “Recession or Depression” about our future economic crisis and pending mass unemployment through loss of our principal export earner, namely tourism.
Still, I won’t brand Mark a screaming goose, albeit I’m helpless to stop others doing so.
Finally, yet again not reading properly what I wrote a “Gary” politely suggested I check out the Swedish death toll. Read what I wrote again Gary. I said “in a year or so” when a vaccine is discovered I expect Sweden will produce the best outcome by simply getting on with life. Essentially their approach is not to destroy the economy but cop the blows up front rather than spread them over a duration.
An open democracy works best with freely expressed opinions debating issues. But its short-comings is it also allows stupidity a voice, a sentiment frequently bemoaned by Hugh Rennie QC when he cops criticism over his flat earth advocacy, notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence. As I reminded him a day ago when he was complaining about this, he can at least console himself with the certain assumption that he’ll have Jacinda on side. Alas, this was not well received, Hugh responding that he sought support from thinkers thus the PM’s open support would be a disastrous blow to his cause’s credibility. Sadly, he’s right on that score.
Your update yesterday was spot on- there is no reason why we couldn’t have managed this in a more measured way without the cost to the country and livelihoods
This suggest the mainstream media aren’t alos of guilty of hate speech, fear mongering, spreading falsehoods under the guise of being news therefore expecting people to assume all the facts are presented or their own editors bias hasn’t been revealed.
I think there is a more sinister unexpected byproduct of social media. As print media dies an accelerating death, the way electronic media now tend to “find” a story is by algorithm. So a website starts to report on what another website is reporting on. And so on and so on. This creates a massive feedback loop which is practically impossible to break. In print media days a cooler and more experienced editor could make a decision to draw a line under a story, or at the very least start to lead some opposition to wrong headed reactions. This has all but vanished now. One of the most disturbing parts of the last few weeks is how little dissent or discussion has been available. Where are the voices of the Press saying “Enough now” ? Where is the Govt. Opposition offering a different point of view? They have been drowned out. If you think I’m overreacting, try replacing the term “Covid-19” with “Jewish Influence” or “Capitalist Wrecker” and see just how menacing the electronic Press now sounds.
Hi Bob, I didn’t always agree with you when I voted for you back then but still allow that you talk a lot of sense.Anyway you wouldn’t be happy if everyone agreed with you would you?
One thing I’ve noticed, while reading online news stories, is the appalling standard of spelling and grammar therein. There are probably three underlying causes: the socialist education system run by screaming harridans, the pressures of a 24 hour a day demand for instant news and the apparent redundancy of human proof readers.
Supporters of The Cindy Lockdown were sold te belief that it would save thousands neh tens of thousands of live sin NZ.
So currently Cindy and fanbois are patting themselves on their respective backs for saving thousands of lives….at the same time slagging off Sweden for not locking down(They conveniently overlook gold standard Taiwan and other SE Asian Countries who didnt rush in to lockdown).
So what about other Countries that went in to lock down early.
Why is nobody talking about Belgium? Who went into lockdown on 18th March when they 1486 cases.
So where is Belgium today 1 month later!
Deaths per Million 419
Tests per million 11,588
So how bad is Sweden ??
Deaths per Million 132
Test per million 7387
Populations similar (10-11 Million)
PS. Look at Belarus as another example of no lockdown.
Read this and laugh at wht their President says about the Virus
Deaths per Million 4!
Tests per million 8,598
Evidently there were many undiagnosed cases of infection in Belgium on the 18th March and/or there has been considerable leakage despite the lock-down, the alternative to these possibilities is that the virus isn’t actually being passed from person to person in Belgium but rather we are seeing spontaneous generation of the virus – it’s mysteriously being created in Belgium outside of the human body.
Having worked in and with ‘the media’ over quite a few decades now, I still can’t see the difference between social and non-social (whatever that is) media. It’s been opinion and sensation since Gutenberg moved some type (phrasing for fun). Truth has mostly been in advertising and rarely in editorial or news.
What matters (and always has) is the veracity of the source. At least with the online (social?) you can immediately riposte “prove it!”
And note that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Gotta take your hat off to Bob, he takes / makes everything personal.
No Punches Pulled , indeed.
I suspect writing under a pseudonym gives people courage they don’t normally have. Writing with a verified name would probably be better (he says writing under a pseudonym). But then one would need to deal with the reason why people are afraid to use their own name. Hate Speech is Political Correctness as law. We have abandoned the honorable quest for truth. Abandoned the field to an intolerant screeching minority. The SJW warriors want to suck your blood, so you shut up and keep your opinion under wraps.
I think we need to go back to the Blog model. Just blogs like this one. Let the bloggers fight it out in the hierarchy of quality. May the best blog win. Gentlemanly, Queensberry rules. The less external links in a blog, the better.
Update on ” The Swedish Solution ”
Every 10th person testing positive is dying. Even in the US it is only 1 in 20.
Over 13000 cases , 1400 dead , only 550 recovered !
Update on ” The Swedish Solution ”
Currently 1 person in 10 diagnosed has died. Even the US is only 1 in 20.
Over 13000 cases , 1400 dead and only 550 declared recovered.
10 million vs. 5 million population . We have 11.
Consolation is , at least my business is doing well , shame about Mum and Dad !
The Covid-19 HOAX can be seen in the way Covid-19 spread.
It spread to the whole world but jumped over the major Chinese cities.
Train travel tells a story about Covid-19.
It is obvious that the story we are being told about the Covid-19 epidemic is very wrong.
Everyday 59 trains (32 bullet trains and 27 normal trains) leave Wuhan for Beijing.
These trains carry between 600 and 1200 passengers.
Let us assume that only 50 passengers on each train travel from Wuhan to Beijing.
So every day 59 * 50 = 2,950 people from Wuhan go to Beijing.
The virus circulated in Wuhan for roughly 40 days before the authorities took action.
Therefore 59 * 50 * 40 = 118,000 people from Wuhan end up in Beijing.
These 118,000 + those arriving by plane + those arriving by automobile, result in 442 confirmed cases of Covid19.
Everyday 155 trains (103 bullet trains and 52 normal trains) leave Wuhan for Changsha (Hunan Province).
Similarly, we have 155 * 50 * 40 = 310,000 people from Wuhan ending up in Changsha.
These 310,000 + those arriving by plane + those arriving by automobile, result in 1,018 confirmed cases of Covid19.
Everyday 127 trains (85 bullet trains and 42 normal trains) leave Wuhan for Zhengzhou (Henan Province).
Similarly, we have 127 * 50 * 40 = 254,000 people from Wuhan ending up in Zhengzhou.
These 254,000 + those arriving by plane + those arriving by automobile, result in 1,273 confirmed cases of Covid19.
And, so on,….
Over the same time period, less than 1000 Chinese from Wuhan arrive in Iran.
These are supposedly responsible for 12,729 confirmed cases by March 16.
Over the same time period, less than 1000 Chinese from Wuhan arrive in Italy.
These are supposedly responsible for 21,157 confirmed cases by March 16.
How is it visitors from Wuhan to major Chinese cities have an almost zero transmission rate?
Yet we are told that visitors from Wuhan to foreign countries have a very high transmission rate.
How can this be?
Good argument john
Because it came from a laboratory