Category: twitter

BBC Radio 4 – Four Thought, Other People’s Stories:

Lunchtime listen for you guys, Dr Anna Derrig was on our show this week, but she goes in depth into the ethics of life writing in this episode of Four Thought. Well worth a listen if you’re going to write your life story.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

Does anyone want to hear a story???:

What is truth is an oft asked question, especially online. This is a cool article digging into the plethora of made up stuff on Twitter, you should check it out 🙂

In his 1999 statement of principles known as the “Minnesota Declaration,” Werner Herzog gave an explanation of his theory of “ecstatic truth”. Cinema Verité, Herzog tells us, deals only with “superficial truth, the truth of accountants.” “One well-known representative of Cinema Verité declared publicly that truth can be easily found by taking a camera and trying to be honest. He resembles the night watchman at the Supreme Court who resents the amount of written law and legal procedures. ‘For me,’ he says, ‘there should be only one single law: the bad guys should go to jail.’”

In this, Herzog says, such realism “confounds facts and truth”: “Facts create norms, and truth illumination.” But luckily, against the realists, “There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.” In his work (most notably, his documentaries), Herzog seeks this “ecstatic truth”: to reflect reality not how it is on the surface, but how it is on a deep level, beyond the façade of what we merely perceive.

Of course this is difficult, and can go wrong — it can stray into a sort of dishonesty that it is impossible to even contest by means of verification. But when it works, it can tell us something we are unable to reach by means of engagement with surface reality alone — the essential truth, for instance, of engaging with British politics being like a posh teenager disinterestedly daring you to drink a big bucket of vomit and piss.

“Life in the oceans must be sheer hell,” Herzog concludes. “A vast, merciless hell of permanent and immediate danger. So much of a hell that during evolution some species — including man — crawled, fled onto some small continents of solid land, where the Lessons of Darkness continue.”

This what bothers me about those fake viral Twitter stories. They lack anything like ecstatic truth; they don’t reflect or reveal any reality deeper than what they describe. In this, they have only facts — and of course, as it turns out, they don’t even have that. If the stories had never posed as true, they would not have gone viral in the slightest. Like A Million Little Pieces or the hoax misery memoirs of JT Leroy, these stories need — regardless of any other formal accomplishments — to pose as true in order to make an impact on their audience. (Once you realize it’s not true, the Morris thread is literally just a guy saying: “Oh, and then this happened! And then hero (who I’ve made up) outwitted the drug dealers — wow! And he got away with it! Juh? How cool!”). Likewise, the Didn’t Happen lads seem determined to reduce all truth to mere facts, completely blind to the possibility that there could be more to the world than that — they don’t care about ecstatic truth at all.

The internet is causing more and more fake things to leak into our consciousness every day. But this is only really a problem if the fakes don’t contribute anything to our understanding of the world. We need to stop asking: is this true? We must instead ask: supposing this is true… what is its truth worth?

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

A cautionary tale about social media privacy:

A woman secretly photographed on a flight to Dallas has released a statement about how she has been shamed and harassed since a fictional romance about her went viral on social media.

Parts of a conversation she had with a fellow passenger on 3 July was overheard by actress and comedian Rosey Blair and her boyfriend, who documented their interpretation of it as an unfolding romance which became known online as #PlaneBae.

But the woman says she has been hounded and doxxed – internet terminology for revealing someone’s personal information without their consent.

“I did not ask for and do not seek attention. #PlaneBae is not a romance – it is a digital-age cautionary tale about privacy, identity, ethics and consent,” she said in a statement given to Business Insider by her lawyer.

Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 4 – Cameo

The Digital Human – Series 17 – Science Fiction Jammie Bums – BBC Sounds:

Digihuman back again on Monday guys, and we’ve got a little clip to wet your appetite. I’m just happy the phrase ‘science fiction jammie bums’ is on the radio 🙂

Listen to the full show HERE on Monday

Jered Threatin: “I Turned an Empty Room into an International Headline” | MetalSucks:

“What is Fake News? I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion. #Marketing #Psychology#SocialMedia #FakeNews #Threatin #BreakingTheWorld #MusicIndustry@NBCNews @BBCNews @JoeRogan @RollingStone @billboard

OMG! Don’t we all feel like assholes now*? JERED THREATIN DID IT ALL TO TEACH US A LESSON ABOUT FAKE NEWS!!! He’s not a failed musician-turned-con artist, he’s a brilliant social critic!!! How did we not understand this all along?!?!?!

Look, I suppose it’s possible that Jered has pulled some genius Andy Kaufman-level performance art stunt here**. It’s also possible Axl Rose is going to call me later today and offer me a million dollars to be his official biographer. It seems improbable, but it’s not impossible.

Meanwhile, this morning’s article sent off a landslide of new sources contacting MetalSucks. Expect this story to somehow get even more bizarre in the next few days.

*Probably still smaller, less stinky assholes than a guy who sent out a graphic of his own quote, though.
**Although I’m not sure what the lesson/point would be; this doesn’t teach us anything about Fake News because it’s not Fake News — the fact that someone was able to trick so many other people using social media is an amazing, very much of-the-moment story. If he taught anyone a “lesson,” it’s the venues I guess? Maybe the lesson here is simply that people who unironically use the term ‘Fake News’ are generally full of Real Shit.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Jered Threatin: “I Turned an Empty Room into an International Headline” | MetalSucks:

“What is Fake News? I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion. #Marketing #Psychology#SocialMedia #FakeNews #Threatin #BreakingTheWorld #MusicIndustry@NBCNews @BBCNews @JoeRogan @RollingStone @billboard

OMG! Don’t we all feel like assholes now*? JERED THREATIN DID IT ALL TO TEACH US A LESSON ABOUT FAKE NEWS!!! He’s not a failed musician-turned-con artist, he’s a brilliant social critic!!! How did we not understand this all along?!?!?!

Look, I suppose it’s possible that Jered has pulled some genius Andy Kaufman-level performance art stunt here**. It’s also possible Axl Rose is going to call me later today and offer me a million dollars to be his official biographer. It seems improbable, but it’s not impossible.

Meanwhile, this morning’s article sent off a landslide of new sources contacting MetalSucks. Expect this story to somehow get even more bizarre in the next few days.

*Probably still smaller, less stinky assholes than a guy who sent out a graphic of his own quote, though.
**Although I’m not sure what the lesson/point would be; this doesn’t teach us anything about Fake News because it’s not Fake News — the fact that someone was able to trick so many other people using social media is an amazing, very much of-the-moment story. If he taught anyone a “lesson,” it’s the venues I guess? Maybe the lesson here is simply that people who unironically use the term ‘Fake News’ are generally full of Real Shit.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Scientists Who Selfie:

Seriously though guys, scientists have the best selfies. I never get to pose with snapping turtles in my day to day job… argh, I made a wrong choice somewhere!!!

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Why Iranian women are wearing white on Wednesdays:

A new social media campaign against a law which forces women to wear a headscarf is gaining momentum in Iran.

Using the hashtag #whitewednesdays, citizens have been posting pictures and videos of themselves wearing white headscarves or pieces of white clothing as symbols of protest.

The idea is the brainchild of Masih Alinejad, founder of My Stealthy Freedom, an online movement opposed to the mandatory dress code.

Before the 1979 Islamic revolution many Iranian women wore Western-style outfits, including miniskirts and short-sleeved tops, but this all changed when the late Ayatollah Khomeini came to power.

Women were not only forced to cover their hair in line with a strict interpretation of Islamic law on modesty, but also to stop using make-up and to start wearing knee-length manteaus. More than 100,000 women and men took to the streets to protest against the law in 1979, and opposition to it has never gone away.

Digital Human, Series 13. Episode 1 – Resist.

Why You Should Think Twice Before Shaming Anyone on Social Media:

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Shaming, it seems, has become a core competency of the Internet, and it’s one that can destroy both lives and livelihoods. But the question of who’s responsible for the destruction — the person engaging in the behavior or the person revealing it — depends on whom you ask. At its best, social media has given a voice to the disenfranchised, allowing them to bypass the gatekeepers of power and publicize injustices that might otherwise remain invisible. At its worst, it’s a weapon of mass reputation destruction, capable of amplifying slander, bullying, and casual idiocy on a scale never before possible.

The fundamental problem is that many shamers, like Richards, don’t fully grasp the power of the medium. It’s a problem that lots of us need to reckon with: There are millions of Twitter accounts with more than 1,000 followers, and millions on Facebook with more than 500 friends. The owners of those accounts might think they’re just regular people, whispering to a small social circle. But in fact they’re talking through megaphones that can easily be turned up to a volume the entire world can hear.

Increasingly, our failure to grasp our online power has become a liability — personally, professionally, and morally. We need to think twice before we unleash it.

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 6 – Shame

Digital Human, Series 12, Episode 6 – Shame