Social Media, Self Harm And Teenagers – Causation Matters Rather

Demos tells us that teens who fiddle with social media for three hours or more a day are more likely to self harm. Also, that girls are more likely to do so than boys. Well, OK, interesting observation. But we know what’s coming next, don’t we, this being Demos and all. Someone must do something! Likely, the social media firms will have to do something. Which isn’t something that follows from the observation at all:

Teenagers who spend three or more hours a day on social media are twice as likely to self-harm, according to one of the most comprehensive studies ever of tech’s impact on children’s mental health.

See More

Not Producing Evidence Means Your Rape Case Is Dropped – And?

We have a complaint here that an allegation of rape should move forward to a charge of rape without the complainant having to provide the evidence asked for. The correct answer to this being, and?

My sexual assault case was dropped because I wouldn’t hand over my phone

If you’re asked to produce evidence then don’t produce it then why should your allegation go forward?

Eventually my case was dropped because I refused to give the government access to the entire contents of my mobile phone.

See More

So, Child Grooming Online’s Not Much Of An Issue Then

We can return to mistakes made as teenagers being just that, mistakes made as teenagers that we then learn from. This being what childhood is of course, the process of making mistakes so that we know not to do that again.

Which is the correct answer to this news from the NSPCC:

More than 200,000 secondary school children may have been groomed online, research suggests. A survey carried out on behalf of children’s charity the NSPCC found that around 4% of young people aged 11 to 17 questioned had sent, received or been asked to send sexual content to an adult when using various sites and apps.

See More

Supply And Demand In The Love Island House

If you are not familiar with the reality show Love Island it is a simple closed economy experiment. Here being in one half of a viable breeding pair (“coupled up”) at critical time points is the key to continuing in the show. The ultimate objective is post show economic success through internet stardom and vast product endorsement revenue.

At each critical time point existing couplings are neutralised and either males or females take it in turns to select their partner for the next round.…

See More

Why Shouldn’t Facebook, Social Networks, Allow People To Post Slurring Nancy Pelosi Videos?

We’re really getting to see what this claim about fake news on social media is all about. The definition of fake here is stuff that the people complaining don’t want you to see.

Sure, this video of Nancy Pelosi slurring is fake and pretty obviously so. But taking the piss out of politicians is one of those things we are not just allowed to do in a democracy but which should be encouraged. And the calls for Facebook et al to be censoring this sort of stuff is worrying for what comes next:

The country’s social media giants are taking heat for videos circulating on their platforms that have been altered to show Speaker Nancy Pelosi slurring her words — the latest incident in a roiling debate over what content companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube should allow on their platforms.

See More

Shutting Social Media Increases, Not Decreases, Disinformation Spread

Not that we should consider this much of a surprise. If social media is shut down then this increases, not decreases, the swirl of rumour and counter rumour that is disinformation. If people can’t talk to each other en masse then we do indeed see a rise in groupthink that is. Which is consistent with what we know about crowds and information anyway – the wisdom of the crowds only works if all have their say.

See More

Dear Rape Survivors – You’ve Made An Allegation, Therefore You Are On Trial

The police are now being instructed to ask for access to mobile phones and social media history when processing a claim of rape or sexual assault. This is, obviously enough, so that they can trawl through such records for evidence of how the complainant and the accused interacted – if they did at all – before and or after the alleged offence.

Note that it is not required to hand over such. Only that it will be asked for and used if given.…

See More

Carole Cadwalladr’s Ted Talk Delusion About Social Media And Democracy

Carole Cadwalladr has been banging on for a year now about how Facebook – with useful assists from Twitter and other social media firms – has been gutting our democracy. The problem is that there’s a basic delusion at the centre of the argument itself. Democracy isn’t what Cadwalladr seems to think it is, some method of getting to an answer she approves of. Rather, it’s the inchoate mass of us, the Demos, deciding what we’d like to happen.…

See More

It’s Not Just Social Media Stoking Violence

There’s a current meme floating through the political classes that social media is newly and uniquely responsible for stoking up the mob and causing real world violence. For this reason Sri Lanka has closed down Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram while investigations into the perpetrators of yesterday’s bombings continue. Make up your own mind on that. The general thought here is that rumours have always existed and that preventing facts from being disseminated isn’t the way to deal with them.…

See More

We Look Forward To That New Internet Built By Feminists, People Of Color And The LGBTQ

Mike Monteiro has a very strange complaint about the internet – that it’s been built by a bunch of young, cis- and hetero- white men. It therefore doesn’t take care of the concerns of all of those who aren’t male, young, cis- and hetero-. This is, of course, an outrage, we should burn it all down and start again.

This is also all the most ghastly tosh. Pinterest isn’t produced by a team greatly any different than any other tech company or site.…

See More