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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.
Today: Buffalo and Big Tech
• Democracy Now! from Tuesday, May 17, 2022, hosted by Amy Goodman - featuring Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change
• How the Buffalo massacre is part of US tradition (The Guardian, May 18, 2022), by Brandi Collins-Dexter, senior research fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center: “Throughout history, we’ve seen how people defined as white react when they believe there is a threat to their way of life, whether KKK members running for school boards in the 1920s or the resurgence of the Confederate flag in the 1950s. We see what happens when the conspirators are the people in power who perceive a loss of power.” ... “this history of anti-Blackness – this othering – we see [in] the Buffalo massacre is deeply embedded in an American tradition of defining Black people as a stranger in our own land.”
• Collins-Dexter, continued: “The modern iteration of the ‘great replacement theory’ stems from Barack Obama’s election and the toxic reactions to the first Black president and what that meant for white people in the US. That combined with the rise of big tech platforms and sites like Telegram, information overload online, data voids and context collapse that we see in pockets of the internet where people are living in these Petri dishes. ... the news cycle can’t keep up, people can’t keep up and we can’t fully make sense of it.”
- -> re “data voids and context collapse,” see the decline of local news, replaced by internet feeds
- -> from How 4chan’s toxic culture helped radicalize Buffalo shooting suspect (The Guardian, May 18, 2022): "Besides Buffalo, both 4chan and 8chan have become politically significant forces in the US. Both boards helped form and foster QAnon, the far-right myth that Donald Trump is combating a cult of elite leftist pedophiles. The boards played a central role in constructing the lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump, which inspired the deadly Capitol riot on 6 January 2021." (The Guardian, May 18, 2022)
• A new generation of white supremacist killer: shedding blood with internet winks, memes and livestreams (LA Times, May 15, 2022): “Now you have this new ironic world of killers,” said J.J. MacNab, a fellow at George Washington University’s program on extremism. “It’s a different world — just a constant flow of bad statistics, bad memes, bad lies about the people they want to hate.… That’s the 4chan way: You say things that are outrageous that you don’t necessarily believe — and over time you come to believe.” (See also YouTube and conspiracies like flat earth, as covered in Kelly Weill's "Off the Edge", interview from February).
• LA Times, continued... the murderer in Buffalo “lauded in his manifesto the perpetrators of racially motivated massacres in the U.S. – including [the killing of] nine Black parishioners at a church in Charleston, S.C., and [the targeting of] Latinos and immigrants at a Walmart in El Paso.”
• NYS Attorney General Letitia James (May 18, 2022): “My office is launching investigations into the social media companies that the Buffalo shooter used to plan, promote, and stream his terror attack. We are investigating Twitch, 4chan, 8chan, and Discord, among others, all platforms that the shooter used to amplify this attack.”
• It’s time we hold Big Tech accountable (Op-ed, Dallas Morning News, Linda Harper-Brown, Dan Flynn and Jodie Laubenberg): One bill “aimed at holding Big Tech — Google, Amazon, Meta and Apple — accountable for their unrivaled market power” is “the bipartisan American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which would prevent Big Tech from abusing its gatekeeper status to stifle competition and empower our nation’s adversaries.”
• GoFundMe for DJ Bryce, who was injured in a motorbike accident last month
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