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  • Debate

    Things to debate to.

    5 articles in this category

      Google down votes - a touchy subject

      Yesterday I noticed a Tweet from YouTube about them testing to hide the down vote feature. It is not surprising that Google test that considering the absolute dislike bombing happening in recent years. I tweeted that that sounded like a good thing because down votes are a negative action and nothing good comes out of it. O boy, did people take offense to that!!
      I have stepped into some nasty areas on Twitter where people go ballistic, but I was not prepared for the absolute mayhem that followed something as, in my eyes, trivial as the dislike function on YouTube. The very fact that YouTube was even testing to hide, not the dislike button, but the count of dislikes, sent people into a self justified rage. Here is the tweet:
      So what about this is causing people to react so negative to this change? Well, that is a bit difficult to find out because as you can imagine when people want to defend a negative behavior they have a hard time explaining it. Like most trolls they stoop to insults and proclaiming that you are wrong, but without any arguments. That is what trolls do after all and I suspect that is one of the aspects why some people don't like this. Trolls like their hammers after all.
      Things are not simple...
      As always things are not quite as easy or one dimensional. I did get a few arguments, from people who know how to actually formulate them, that made sense. For example the lack of functional reporting system that actually have any effect or that removing the dislike count will increase toxic comments. Both very valid and accurate arguments in my opinion.
      Most however stooped down to name-calling and I even found someone who actually was prejudice towards Sweden. Apparently we are too Open-minded and Progressive to be able to form logical discussions. Not quite sure if that is an actual insult or just someone who had a bad day trying to make the insult. I ended up banning quite a few people that were just mad and impossible to talk to in their affected state. It seems to be a common practice on Twitter these days if you want to talk to rational people.
      Why are people so upset though? Let us break down the logic why there is a down vote and what it is used for, according to the people that responded. The dislike button is a relic from the old rating system. A long time ago YouTube had a star rating system, like so many other services back in the day. With the rise of voting features, like for the now dead Digg platform, YouTube changed the rating to an up and down vote feature back in 2010. The reasoning was that the star rating was not using the 2,3 and 4 ratings much, which explains a bit of what we now see. In 2019 YouTube said in an interview that they are looking into ways to combat the dislike mobs that seem to be growing in frequency lately.
      What do people use it for (according to Twitter)?
      One content creator said it was "invaluable" for learning what content was appreciated. To warn people of malicious content such as scams or honeypots To "hurt" people (yes, really) that deserved it As a warning to content creators before unsubscribing Visualize quality of the video Now, there are some good points here, especially when considering not trusting the report system. It is also clear that people are using it in a lazy way, so it does act as a form of honey trap that does prevent some toxic comments. It fits well with the short attention span of today's young, but again that is not the full picture of course.
      You want to hate, admit it!
      There is another aspect to why people want to keep the dislike, even if most are too coward, or ignorant, to admit it: They like the power it provides. Some people just love to have the power to shut down people they don't like or just hit them with their virtual long finger of disdain.
      These are the people that will join others that descend upon a creator to flood their content with dislikes and toxic comments. We have seen it with celebrities and companies that attracted the wrath of cancel culture. It gives them a sense of belonging and purpose while at the same time make them feel in control for once in their lives.
      In a world where most people, especially young people, feel that they have no control and no power this is nothing to take lightly. I noticed that several people expressed feeling "muffled" or having the freedom of expression removed if the dislike button was removed or the count hidden. That is of course not true, but an important thing to consider when trying to understand the strong reactions.
      So what should YouTube do?
      Unfortunately I don't think there is much they can do at this point. Removing the dislike button would not stop the problem. As some of the people who actually showed an ability to carry a conversation pointed out, haters will hate and removing the dislike button would only lead to more hate elsewhere. It is a valid point and one I share, unfortunately.
      Some things that YouTube might do to make the dislike mobs less problematic for the content creators:
      Use AI to detect large aggregation of dislikes with low video interaction. This can be used to temporarily disable the dislike button, or to hide the count. It can also trigger a flag for YouTube to manually review the situation. Use BigData analysis to detect users with disproportional amounts of dislikes versus video interaction. This can be used to block/ban accounts that are prone to trolling temporarily and then long term. Add function to disable all dislikes for all videos. This should ease a potential flood from a dislike mob by quickly turn on or off dislikes for a period of time. Add function to disable dislikes per video. Same as above, but for individual videos to counter specific attacks. Improve report functionality. This should not be a fire and forget process. It should be followed up as legal claims are and many reports should bury the video for a short period of time. False reports should result in warnings and consequently a ban. Add easy functions to administrate videos in the front end to disable functions with ease. Make it easy to enable/disable functions per video would make it faster and easier to respond to dislike mobs. Add a more rigorous validation process to force people to identify themselves. This increase the threshold to make accounts, which should lead to less offensive behavior. Probably would have negative side effects though, so it is a very aggressive approach. Force a certain degree of video interaction before you can vote. It was suggested by one user and it does not seem to be a very bad suggestion, except that it might again trigger people into comments instead. Overall this has been an interesting experience into a world of complex social behavior that is more nuanced than first perceived. That is usually the case when you dig deep enough and it feels that for a day I got to dig slightly into this sub-culture and it was a pretty good experience.
      Except for the nutcases of course, but I am used to those by now on Twitter ūüôā

      Deleting Destiny 2 - I can't play it anymore

      After several years of playing Destiny 2 I uninstalled it this week. For months, I have had a bad taste in my mouth from playing Destiny 2, not because the game is bad, but because of decisions made by Bungie. This combined with a toxic and malevolent community that harass and engage in cancel culture make me sick to my stomach to touch the game.
      My feelings of unease started to grow bigger in June 2020 with the announcement of in game support for Black Life Matters. I do not think politics should be included into a game, unless it is a part of the games setting. While I have nothing against BLM per se, I do have strong opinions on people that would cause physical, mental and financial harm to anyone. I also have a strong aversion against anyone spreading hate, especially to police officers that risk their lives to protect others.
      So BLM is not a cause I support, even if I strongly support anyone who stand up against racism. The real one, not the fake "I don't like you" racism thrown around by arrogant children with an inflated ego with their heart and minds set to destroy anyone that don't like what they like. I believe individuals always comes first, not groups.
      Soon after I witnessed one of the most atrocious assassination of character I have ever seen online. SayNoToRage, a popular streamer for Destiny 2 was ambushed by several people in a coordinated attack with the sole purpose of hurting him and his career. The accusations against him were ridiculous, and I am someone who take accusations of sexual misconduct very seriously. After reviewing the so-called evidence for months my conclusion is that these women not only seem to be vile beings that abuse the disgust most people feel for sexual predators to fabricate a narrative that when broken down is so ridiculous that it actually ruin things for actual victims of sexual harassment.
      I was appalled and disgusted.
      To make this even worse, Bungie, the company behind Destiny 2, decided it was a good idea to get in on the harassment as well. One of the community managers called DeeJ publicly announced that based on the greatly exaggerated stories from the women accusing SayNoToRage Bungie would ban him from any future guest list.
      https://
      I don't know Deej and he might be a decent guy in person, but he has been the voice to promote BLM and here encouraging cancel culture by publicly endorse the claims. Even though there are absolutely no legal case to support any of the claims made by these individuals. In fact the only legal action ever taken back when the first woman expressed her discomfort was dismissed due to the fact that it was not a case of sexual harassment. So Deej is here showing that like many of the people that sit on their moral high horses he is just another prejudiced asshole that gleefully sit behind the mob and cheer on as they burn people on the proverbial cross.
      The coordinated attack and the mass outcry, partially promoted by Bungie and spearheaded by the despicable Twitch streamer DrLupo eventually led to SayNoToRage loosing his Twitch channel. Again, with no proof of misconduct other than the greatly exaggerated stories from a group of women that seem to have had their own personal agenda. Now, Twitch is a platform that is a cesspool to begin with that bend to the will of the mob no matter who they hurt. You would think that with multiple suicides directly connected to their platform they might want to enforce actual laws, but apparently it is more important to cater to the fragile five-year-olds with anger issues that are offended by anything and everyone depends on their daily mood.
      It's like high school drama, but with a far more serious consequences. Like all stories like that people do not even consider intent, but it is all about the feelings of a potentially ruffled feather and the fear that the angry mob will turn on you next.
      Bungie at this point showed what a disgusting company they are.
      As the game started to deteriorate with what I feel were bad design decisions I started to lose interest. PVP was changed from skill based match making to connections based match making, which for me made the experience complete and utter garbage. I often teamed up with one exceptionally good player and 3-4 really bad ones, making the experience more about engaging groups of 3-5 solo as the rest of the team ran around like bats from hell. Most games ended in mercy to the point where I am sure lobby balancing was no longer turned on.
      Sunsetting weapons in a game that is built around collecting gear was the next straw. Let us be honest, Destiny 2 is not a game of loot, because you rarely get any, it is about collecting it by grinding endless hours. Usually you have to grind in a specific way, using weapons you don't like to get a weapon you probably will never use anyway because you have to use a predefined set for the next weapon chase anyway. It is just a hamster wheel where Bungie let me rent items for a limited period of time. If I put in the endless grind to get the item in the first place that is.
      The very core of the game was for me now completely gone.
      The final drop came when Bungie banned SayNoToRage about a month ago. That would be nine months after the coordinated attack.
      No conversation. No warning. Just Developer Banned.
      I know that Bungie has the legal right to terminate anyone because they state so in their TOS, but such blatant disregard for due process and with absolutely no respect for people that have promoted their game for many years... Words can not describe the rage I feel for such abuse of power. It is utterly and completely disgusting, and it makes me sick to my stomach that a company would destroy people based on hearsay and "feelings".
      Well, my feeling is that Bungie is a terrible company that should be ashamed of themselves. They don't feel shame I am sure, because up on their high horses where feelings are the only thing that matters, people mean nothing to them. Only groups and only the groups that give them good feelings to support and that they themselves approve of. Women are of course more important than men and anyone of any shade other than pink matters more than pinkish white. So if you are white and a man, then you can be cancelled at any time by companies like Bungie at the mere mention of any form of perceivable offense. Based solely on what an individual "feels" you did wrong. Intent be damned.
      Law and Order means nothing to companies like Bungie, or the individuals that still spread lies and exaggerations of the story these women has told. Meanwhile, women that are being sexually assaulted are not taken seriously, which allow predators and assholes to roam free.
      Shame on you Bungie. Shame on those of you that choose Twitter to punish people you feel wronged by instead of doing it the correct, legal way. Your feelings do NOT mean you are right. Other people have feelings to you selfish pricks and intent matters, even if you choose not to accept that because it is inconvenient.
      So I am done with Bungie and I regret almost every second I spent playing Destiny 2. Only the time I spent with members of my former clan have any redeeming thoughts in my mind right now. That is what I will remember from these years, not the vile and disgusting behaviors of cowardly and jealous Destiny streamers and not the disgusting approval of cancel culture and disregards for human lives by Bungie.
       
      I am sorry if this comes off as harsh and negative, but bullying hits a special nerve in me and I will oppose it fiercely to prevent more people taking their lives. If you think that I should listen to the women that made claims of sexual harassment, then trust me I have. Feel free to look into the claims yourself and if you disagree with me, then that is your right.
      I don't even think these women meant to accuse SayNoToRage with sexual harassment, just that he was "creepy", but it has since escalated with words like predator and even rapist. Words never spoken by the women themselves as far as I can tell, but by small and insecure individuals trying to impress others like them by being meaner and more "defenders of human virtues" (which is asshole talk for bigger bullies btw).
      I am just sick of these online bullies and especially companies that weaponize it to appease the masses...

      Is USA a Democratic country - and should it be?

      As a Swedish citizen I tend to look at the USA elections with morbid fascination. While we have our own issues with politics the USA seem to go all in and for months the country go into a state of near war like frenzy. While it seem obvious from the outside that the election process in the USA is a strange process that appear promoting corruption, one question always comes up for me: is the USA really a democratic country?
      Why would I have this question? Well, there are a few reasons why I wonder just how democratic the USA really is and to what level you can actually claim to be a democratic country. I know this is a touchy subject for some Americans and I rarely write about politics, but I write this because for every election this question is getting louder and louder around the globe.
      As I do not claim to be a political expert take this with a grain of salt. It is just my reflections based on my limited understanding of the complex presidential election process in the USA.
      Indirect voting system
      The USA is not a direct democracy, meaning that the people do not vote for a party or a president directly. They instead employ an indirect elector process where a group of people do the actual election for president and vice president.  This group is referred to as the United States Electoral College and while the presidential electors mostly vote according to the popular vote of their state, they are not obligated to. If someone cast their vote differently they are referred to as a faithless elector. In fact there has been incidents where presidential electors
      While a federal constitutional republic is technically a democracy, I can't help feeling that if you can't really trust that your vote will actually count towards the desired outcome, then how democratic is that system really? In fairness this has not been used more than 165 times in the history of the USA, but it does happen. 33 states have laws against faithless electors, though the laws in half of these jurisdictions have no enforcement mechanism. In 2016 there were 4 faithless electors.
      The Plurality System
      The plurality system, or the winner takes all system, is common in the USA. What it means is that only the winner of a certain district count. This means that all votes that is not made on the winning candidate are lost and essentially useless. Because of this system there will be as few candidates as possible to avoid dilution of votes. As a result the people have very limited choices for whom they can vote for.
      Not only will this make voting less appealing if the candidates are few and not to your liking, it can also lead to a situation where a presidential candidate loose even if the majority of the people vote for that person.
      The Design of voting districts
      This is something I did not know existed, but apparently it is the right of the ruling party to redefine the boundaries of voting districts between presidential elections. This even has its own name: Gerrymandering. What it means is that the ruling party redefine voting districts in a way that have the potential to give the best outcome in  presidential election. This to me is a very bad way to manipulate the outcome of an election by rigging it beforehand to tip the scales in your favor?
      This also have the potential to make it more difficult to know what district you are in and where to go to vote.
      Making voting difficult
      If designing the districts add a barrier and the plurality system make it less likely that you will vote the design of the vote itself and how information on voting is managed may be worse yet. Back in 2010 there was a big debate over the design of the Florida ballot and how it might have caused people to vote for the wrong candidate. This led to a guideline for better designs of ballots, but it is not enforced as they are just guidelines.


      There has been quite a few issues where legal and illegal methods of voter suppression have prevented people from voting, misinformation is used to make it harder to vote and so on. In This election we see quite a few concerns over mail-in ballots for example. Overall it seems that the fear of voter frauds seem a bit strange considering that there are almost no confirmed cases for that in the USA? To me, it seems that the risk of manipulation and corruption is a far greater threat than voter fraud?
      Conclusions
      Considering the way people's votes are managed, the risk of manipulation through the design of districts, information and the ballots themselves is it fair to say that the USA are not a democratic country? I am not sure to be honest, but I do think that the people in the USA deserve better. I think a good start would be to scrap the United States Electoral College and use a direct voting system so all votes count equally. Then make it as easy as possible to vote and I think many of the issues currently in the USA can be mitigated if not completely fixed?
      In the end however this is not up to me to judge or demand a change for. It is up to the people of the USA if they are happy with the current system or if they want to see it changed.
       
      I leave you with a presentation by Mike Monteiro who is slightly more critical than I am. This is from 2017 at a Swedish event called from business to buttons that I attended.
      Mike Monteiro
       

      Disney+ is drip feeding content to keep you as a paying customer

      Nothing make my skin crawl as deceit and greed and Disney is pretty good at that. Their release of Disney plus in Sweden probably takes the cake however and I instantly cancelled my subscription when I realised that they are drip feeding old content, just to make me stay as a paying customer longer.
      As Disney plus finally arrived in Sweden I was happy to jump in to enjoy the Mandalorian and season 7 of the Clone Wars. I paid for the monthly subscription because like many other services they don't have enough content for me to remain a constant subscriber. Instead I cycle the services to get the most out of them.
      If you are unfamiliar with the Mandalorian, then you should know that it was released in November 2019 and season 1 was concluded in December 2019. So it is a 9 month old series with the season 2 releasing on October 30th. Even if content sometimes, for some weird reason, is realease differently in different parts of the world I was not expecting to see only 2 episodes available!

      Not only are they not releasing the full 8 episodes of the 9 month old Mandalorian series, they are releasing one episode each week. The same is true for Clone Wars and it is an obvious attempt to keep people subscribing to their service for at least 2 months. It's such a bad way to treat new customers that have waited almost a year for Disney plus to even be available.
      I see absolutely no reason to pay for old content only to get 1-2 episodes of old content. I am pretty sure we will not see season 2 of the Mandaorian anytime soon either.
      This is such a douchebag move from Disney and it pissed me off to the point where I will just skip their content, or pay for a month next year to get access to season 1 and 2 and then cancel again.
      That is a solid way to treat potential customers.

      Cancel Culture is very real - the inquisition has returned

      Not a day goes by it feels like, without another angry mob lash out at someone online over an allegation or perceived misbehaviour.  People loose their income, their relations and some even take their own lives. The Cancel Culture has gone beyond cyber bullying and gone full inquisition. Burn the witch!
      To say that the Internet these days are hazardous to venture is an understatement. The social injustice mobs are everywhere and it seems any reference to race or incorrectness gain the response of blind hate with little to no reason. Sebastian Stan for example are under fire because his girlfriend posted a picture of her in Kimono going out for asian night. It's not even Sebastian Stan doing anythin wrong, but the mob want his head because of something his girlfriend did 2 years ago.
      Seriously, if clothes piss you off, then there is a whole fashion industry to be mad at...

      Ellen Degeneres is getting flailed over allegations of being a terrible person and J.K Rowling is called the transworld Voldemort because she has an opinion that is considered transphobic. Now why would you get upset over the fact that Ellen Degeneres alledgedly treat people poorly and unless you are a trans person why would J.K Rawlins poorly worded attemtps to explain her view on transgender issues offend you?
      You have literally thousands of people in management and leadership positions that are absolute assholes and I bet there are far worse things out there than Ellen Degeneres. That is if the allegations are even true, because as far as I know there are no formal claims of misconduct yet and even if there is, she has not been convicted of any wrong doing. You might want to wait for that before you light your torches.
      J.K Rawlins misguided view of transgender people is unfortunate, but how will burning her on the cross for heresy change things? Misguided and misinformed people need to be educated, not cancelled or having their lives threatened. If other people have opinions that you do not agree with then you discuss the matter with hem. You do not grab the pitchfork and put on your red robes of blind mindless  hatred.

      There are countless others as well like SayNoToRage that was accused for harassment by several women. Harassments that never was filed or investigated, but instead was spread around the community as being "true". Once made public by a tweet of all things the angry mob climbed on their high horses to crucify him, with no evidence or due process.
      While it may not be the direct cause of his suicide, the twitch streamer known as Reckless faced hate in his chat daily and he even begged the viewers to stop telling him to kill himself before he took his own life. Byron Daniel Bernstein as was his actual name died on July 2nd 2020 and was mourned by thousands online. He was only 31 years old.
       
      Stop Hating and start thinking
      I know the Internet is a place where hateful people roam free and trolls take out every frustration their actual lives subject them to, but please don't join them in their hate. People will do and say awful things. People will accuse others of wrong doing just to be mean or because they are hurt and they want revenge. This is why we have laws and processes to protect people from being falsely accused and to put those that break the laws in jail.
      Taking the law in your own hands and form lynch mobs online is not the answer. Reacting as if someone comitted murder and should burn by the hand of the inquisition because they have a different opinion than your own is not justice. It is madness and fanatisism. Although it is hard to conceive for many, you are not obligated to post every opinion and thought that you have online. It is fine to think or even say that you think someone is doing something you do not approve of.  You do not need to go online and publish it for the world to endure.
      If you are hurting because of things in your life, then ask for help instead of making things worse by hurting others. You can not counter hate and anger with hate and anger, it will only feed the negative spiral.  Just because no one hold you accountable for the hate you spread does not mean you are not responsible for the outcome. Proclaiming that you just expressed your own opinion becomes hollow when you express it to be read by thousands to whom you are considered a person of importance.
      You do not stop harassment by harassing others and trying to avoid being harassed by doing it first. That is how the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazis was created.
      Do good, not evil.
      ...and take off those damn robes and start thinking for yourself.
       
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