The term ‘crisis actor’ has been in the news a lot lately, because conspiracy theorists have accused survivors of the Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, of being actors—people paid to pretend they witnessed a horrible tragedy that actually never happened and was instead staged by the government in order to garner the political will necessary to ban guns.
To be clear, there is no evidence this is actually the case. Conspiracy theorists have questioned the legitimacy of people who lived through a horrific shooting—watched their friends and classmates slaughtered—in an attempt to harass and silence their political activism.
It wasn’t until relatively recently that conspiracy theorists were audacious enough to suggest that terrorist attacks and mass shootings actually didn’t happen at all.
A good backgrounder on the origins of the horseshit “Crisis Actor” conspiracies.
Semi-regular reminder that false-flaggers are scum.
THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS WAS A LIE
Years of outbursts from hate group after hate group have forced these companies to realize that the laissez-faire attitude they’ve leaned on for so long doesn’t actually work, but rather, makes the entire thing rot from the inside. But the fact that platforms won’t fully commit to managing the content that people spew on these platforms leaves a vacuum of confusion and hypotheticals, which generally (like all things nowadays) lead to conspiracies and misinformation.
In all this time, no company has actually tried totally depriving bad ideas of oxygen. Trust me, this is a sentence I never thought I’d say, but in times like these, Twitter (and the tech world as a whole, really) could learn a thing or two from Medium.
One of the multitude of problems Twitter is currently facing is that they just can’t make up their mind about what they want their platform to be.
I recently copped a 7-day account suspension for calling Dinesh D’Souza a cunt and a piece of shit (more on that episode later). Plenty of people replied telling him to go fuck himself, Ron Perlman quoted him calling him a piece of shit multiple times and suggesting it would be best if D’Souza disappeared himself, CPAC (seriously) called D’Souza’s comments “indefensible”, and D’Souza eventually deleted his tweet and apologised.
For some reason though, I’m still in the time-out corner.
The truth is, Twitter has no real expected standard of behaviour. They’re happy to put me in time out for using the word “cunt” while simultaneously leaving this disgusting tweet up on their platform…
JIHAD BARBIE! ISIS Ken sold separately. https://t.co/hamJVpAoLc
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) November 14, 2017
… in spite of the fact Coulter’s tweet blatantly violates Twitter’s Hateful conduct policy, and calling someone a “cunt” definitively doesn’t.
Twitter, you are pretty broken for a lot of reasons, but one thing you might want to focus on is the quality of the content of some of the biggest voices on your platform. And if Speech (capital “S”) really is your North Star, maybe don’t haphazardly hand out suspensions to passionate, long-time users for using “bad words”. You silly cunts.
In Edo Japan, Artists Captured Whales Like Never Before
The whaling industry was an important economic force in both the United States and Japan, but each society captured the subject matter very differently in art.
When an online news outlet goes out of business, its archives can disappear as well. The new battle over journalism’s digital legacy.
Is It Possible to Game the Apple Podcast Charts? | Discover the Best Podcasts | Discover Pods
Is it possible to manipulate or hack the Apple Podcast charts to make a given podcast appear in the top 10? We look into the evidence where this may have happened.
‘I’m Just More Afraid of Climate Change Than I Am of Prison’
How a group of five activists called the Valve Turners decided to fight global warming by doing whatever it takes.
“Just an Ass-Backward Tech Company”: How Twitter Lost the Internet War
Twitter faces more challenges than most technology companies: ISIS terrorists, trolls, bots, and Donald Trump. But its last line of defense, the company’s head of trust and safety, Del Harvey, isn’t making things easier.
I Watched All 629 Episodes of The Simpsons in a Month. Here’s What I Learned.
The show hates Lisa. Before I explain what I mean, let’s back up for a second…
Lost wreckage of ‘British Roswell’ flying saucer discovered in Science Museum
“One of the museum staff tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was aware that ‘bits of a flying saucer’ had been kept in a cigarette tin in the museum group store for decades.”
The Best SpaceX Conspiracies About the Falcon Heavy Launch
Did Elon Musk pull off the perfect murder? And other things conspiracy theorists are wondering.
The Life-Changing Magic of Shane Warne’s Instagram
Unfollow all those teen memelords and let the spin king take over your feed.
The numbers don’t lie: Dogs are the internet’s favorite animal
As the internet has changed, so have its animal habits.
The Follower Factory
Everyone wants to be popular online. Some even pay for it. Inside social media’s black market.
The Mapping of Massacres
Place names can be damning evidence of colonial history. On a map of Australia, you’ll see Murderers Flat, Massacre Inlet, Haunted Creek, and Slaughterhouse Gully.
No evidence to support link between violent video games and behaviour – News and events, The University of York
Researchers at the University of York have found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent.
Are Aliens Plentiful, But We’re Just Missing Them? – Starts With A Bang! – Medium
If the Fermi Paradox is the question of “where is everyone,” the answer is, “not within 40 light years of us,” which doesn’t tell us very much about intelligent life in the Universe at all.
‘Low Confidence’: there’s no DNA test for culture
You can’t understand the history of colonisation via DNA results, or even the history of your own family.
An Anthropologist Explains Why We Want to Eat Tide Pods
But it’s not uncommon to make candy colorful, even blue, in order to attract children. That association never really goes away, even for adults.
Do you work more than 39 hours a week? Your job could be killing you
Long hours, stress and physical inactivity are bad for our wellbeing – yet we’re working harder than ever. Isn’t it time we fought back?
How to see a memory
Every memory leaves its own imprint in the brain, and researchers are starting to work out what one looks like.
American Democracy Is an Easy Target
The more likely threat that America faces is of a variety of smaller attacks on specific aspects of democratic knowledge, each aimed at particular ends, but accumulating to create massive overall damage.
From CES: The sea is alive with cheap, powerful robots — and that will be dangerous
It remains to be seen how non-state actors will incorporate commercial robots into their operations. But the low cost means that if there is a nefarious purpose for underwater cameras, it won’t be that hard for someone to figure it out.
Facebook may not be the Right Market for Publishers, but it is for Facebook
It has been almost a week since Facebook told publishers that they were no longer a key element of its future strategy, and the outburst of articles about this has been … eh… interesting to read.
The Man Trying to Fix Mount Everest’s Towering Poop Problem
Volunteer engineers and architects want to solve Mount Everest’s most unsolvable problem: its landfills of human waste.
During Trump’s first year in office, the rate of far-right murders surged
White supremacist murders doubled last year.
How Black Flag, Bad Brains, and More Reclaimed Punk from White Supremacists
Nazi Punks Fuck Off: An oral history of fighting back against Nazis.
Here’s why 60 percent of the world’s saiga antelopes were wiped out in 2015
In May 2015, researchers in central Kazakhstan witnessed something really strange: thousands of saiga antelopes began acting a bit weird, becoming unbalanced, and then just plopping on the ground within a few hours – dead.
People Keep Seeing the Mothman in Chicago
What Amitrano saw that night was one of 55 reported Chicago-area sightings of a flying humanoid in 2017.
How Will Air Traffic Control Work When We Have Drones and Flying Cars Everywhere?
We need to figure this out so we can have drones deliver burritos.
Why American medicine still runs on fax machines
75% of US medical communication happens by fax machine. What year is it?
The Long, Strange History of Street Fighter and Hip-Hop
Capcom’s signature fighting game franchise has had a decades long relationship with rap music and culture – for surprising reasons.
A Radical New Scheme to Prevent Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise
Researchers speculate that planes could periodically spray a clear gas into the high atmosphere that would prevent some sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface, cooling the globe.
My Joke Cryptocurrency Hit $2 Billion and Something Is Very Wrong
I feel it is shortsighted to mistake this explosive growth as being sustainable — in fact, I feel 2017 was arguably the worst year for cryptocurrencies yet. To understand why, let’s revisit what I learned from the currency I created as a joke.
The 2017 Bird Photographer of the Year has been announced | DesignFaves
So the 2017 Bird Photographer of the Year award is a thing and its winner was recently announced.
How Scripto, the App That Stephen Colbert Helped Build, Became a Fixture of Late-Night Comedy News
First conceived at “The Colbert Report,” in 2010, the TV-production tool has had an unusual rise.
Saving China’s Memories from the Trash, One Kodak at a Time
Thomas Sauvin has been on a tireless mission to rescue and revive the millions of 35 mm negatives floating around Beijing’s black market recycling plants.
The DA the Police Chief and the Mayor have endorsed the notion that you abandon your privacy when you set your trash out on the curb. So we figured they wouldn’t mind too much if we took a peek at theirs. Boy, were we wrong
Amazon Is Thriving Thanks to Taxpayer Dollars
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a net worth of about $100 billion. Take that down to $99.5 billion and nobody working at any Amazon facility in America would need assistance to eat.
It’s OK That Kendrick Lamar Didn’t Ether Donald Trump on Live TV
Seeing Kendrick rip Donald Trump would’ve been amazing. But, he didn’t and that burden shouldn’t fall on him.
Why dolphins are deep thinkers
Dolphins can also use tools to solve problems. Scientists have observed a dolphin coaxing a reluctant moray eel out of its crevice by killing a scorpion fish and using its spiny body to poke at the eel.
Why Mickey Mouse’s 1998 copyright extension probably won’t happen again
On January 1, 2019, every book, film, and song published in 1923 will fall out of copyright protection—something that hasn’t happened in 40 years.
A Knockoff Roomba Forever Changed My Life
Mainly, people want to know, “Is the Roomba good?” to which I say, always, “HIS NAME IS DEEBOT, and, yes.”
A video game that doesn’t click until you let go of the controller — and your need to win
It turns out that you — the named person you consider yourself, with hands and a brainful of electricity, the individual who profoundly wants absolute control over this existence and moreover to win — is utterly dispensable. In fact, the game plays better when you’re not running it.
Why is Will Smith trying to be the next Jake Paul?
“Oh and click subscribe ‘cause Imma be makin’ hot content.”
New Zealand creates special refugee visa for Pacific islanders affected by climate change
As some Pacific countries prepare to relocate entire communities, New Zealand’s newly-elected Labor-led coalition government has become the first country in the world to introduce a climate refugee scheme.
Australian Birds “Intentionally” Light Their Prey on Fire
A new study suggests that certain species of birds in Australia have figured out a way to spread fires in order to terrify – and eventually eat – their prey.
It Snowed in the Sahara and the Photos Are Breathtaking
Look, I know we cover a lot of the bad types of weather here. Wildfires, droughts, extreme cold, hurricanes. But allow me to make it up to you with some Good Weather. Snow in Sahara? Yes, please.
Google’s Latest Search: What Happened to Its Bikes?
Google built a massive business organizing the world’s information, but it’s struggling to keep track of the bikes it provides for employees to get around its giant headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Local residents tend to ride off with them.
Opinion | Is Your Child Lying to You? Thatâ??s Good
Kids who know how to deceive are smarter and better adjusted.
Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection — ProPublica
Waste removal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. On the darkened streets of New York City, it’s a race for survival.
How So Many Researchers Found a 20-Year-Old Chip Flaw At Once
The uncanny coincidences among the Meltdown and Spectre discoveries raise questions about “bug collisions”—and the safety of the NSA’s hidden vulnerability collection.