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In Response

My response to DB's comment exceeded LJ's 4300 character limit for responses, so I'll post it here:

I realize the "guilt by association" thing is a slippery slope. After all, am I not helping to publicize both Twitter and the terrorists, and the news media who make hay from both of them, by ranting about it?

Really, though, I don't understand it: how can the "terrorists" freely post videos to YouTube and comments to Twitter and get away with it? At the school where I work, the incompetent Department of Education is able to track exactly which laptop is looking at a specific web site. I find it difficult to believe that the "authorities" cannot determine precisely where the Tweets are coming from – and then strategically DROP A BOMB ON THEM! Cut off their communications, cut off their promotions and propaganda, cut off their broadcasting capabilities, and you might stop them from cutting off more heads.

Of course, it's the same with the "black market oil" that these groups are supposedly selling to fund their operations. I can't believe there aren't easily detectable "chemical signatures" in oil that identify exactly where it comes from. Check each barrel. Put the CEOs and Boards of Directors of any company that is caught with "black market" oil into GITMO with the rest of the "suspected terrorists." That'd stop it, quick!

And the weapons? Where do they come from? I can't go out and buy a grenade launcher, and I live in a developed country. Yet somehow these people with nothing living out in the periphery of nowhere manage to come up with anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers and mortars and mines and more automatic rifles than, apparently, the armies of some nations. Where does all that stuff come from? Somebody buys it somewhere. Somebody manufactures it. That stuff is easily identifiable. Find out where it came from. Put the retailers in jail, put the CEOs of the manufacturing companies in jail for treason, if they're from our country, or impose 100% sanctions against the countries they're from.

It's a money and power thing, and I feel moneyless and powerless. I'm one of the nobodys whose head would get cut off, and world leaders would issue yet another "condemnation of this barbaric act."

"We strongly condemn this action." How many times have we seen this rhetoric in the news stories? Yet the "bad guys" keep getting stronger, keep killing more people, and keep taking over more territory.

Perhaps I'm simplistic in my thinking, but to me it seems like these groups could be extinguished in a matter of weeks if the supplies and money were cut off at the source and the communication and propaganda channels were blacked out.

To an extent I feel sorry for Twitter and YouTube. I'm sure when the companies were founded, they had no intention of providing a mouthpiece for terror. But now that the riff-raff are moving in, well, "there goes the neighborhood." How do you get 'em out, without limiting the "free speech" capabilities on which the services are built? But... is gloating about crimes a legitimate form of free speech? At the very least, Twitter should block those accounts.

My real issue isn't so much that the Bad Guys are using Twitter. My issue is that they're getting away with it. Track the tweets, find 'em, and take 'em out. Really, is it that hard?

"Well, they're using an innocent proxy server blah blah blah." Those proxies and intermediaries are part of the chain. Take 'em all out.

Of course, my fullest contempt is reserved for the news media, including, following the lead of their American counterparts, the BBC, who base many of their "news" stories on Twitter posts, and who quote liberally from Twitter posts in their news stories.

And there we go: by reading BBC news stories that liberally quote Twitter, I'm supporting the BBC, I'm supporting Twitter, and I'm supporting the terrorists. I could go bury my head in the sand instead, but then I'd be one of those who "looked the other way."

Of course, now I more fully understand those oft-derided citizens of
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My response to DB's comment exceeded LJ's 4300 character limit for responses, so I'll post it here:

I realize the "guilt by association" thing is a slippery slope. After all, am I not helping to publicize both Twitter and the terrorists, and the news media who make hay from both of them, by ranting about it?

Really, though, I don't understand it: how can the "terrorists" freely post videos to YouTube and comments to Twitter and get away with it? At the school where I work, the incompetent Department of Education is able to track exactly which laptop is looking at a specific web site. I find it difficult to believe that the "authorities" cannot determine precisely where the Tweets are coming from – and then strategically <i>DROP A BOMB ON THEM!</i> Cut off their communications, cut off their promotions and propaganda, cut off their broadcasting capabilities, and you might stop them from cutting off more heads.

Of course, it's the same with the "black market oil" that these groups are supposedly selling to fund their operations. I can't believe there aren't easily detectable "chemical signatures" in oil that identify exactly where it comes from. Check each barrel. Put the CEOs and Boards of Directors of any company that is caught with "black market" oil into GITMO with the rest of the "suspected terrorists." That'd stop it, quick!

And the weapons? Where do they come from? I can't go out and buy a grenade launcher, and I live in a developed country. Yet somehow these people with <i>nothing</i> living out in the periphery of nowhere manage to come up with anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers and mortars and mines and more automatic rifles than, apparently, the armies of some nations. Where does all that stuff come from? Somebody buys it somewhere. Somebody manufactures it. That stuff is easily identifiable. Find out where it came from. Put the retailers in jail, put the CEOs of the manufacturing companies in jail for treason, if they're from our country, or impose 100% sanctions against the countries they're from.

It's a money and power thing, and I feel moneyless and powerless. I'm one of the nobodys whose head would get cut off, and world leaders would issue yet another "condemnation of this barbaric act."

"We strongly condemn this action." How many times have we seen this rhetoric in the news stories? Yet the "bad guys" keep getting stronger, keep killing more people, and keep taking over more territory.

Perhaps I'm simplistic in my thinking, but to me it seems like these groups could be extinguished in a matter of weeks if the supplies and money were cut off at the source and the communication and propaganda channels were blacked out.

To an extent I feel sorry for Twitter and YouTube. I'm sure when the companies were founded, they had no intention of providing a mouthpiece for terror. But now that the riff-raff are moving in, well, "there goes the neighborhood." How do you get 'em out, without limiting the "free speech" capabilities on which the services are built? But... is gloating about crimes a legitimate form of free speech? At the very least, Twitter should block those accounts.

My real issue isn't so much that the Bad Guys are <i>using</i> Twitter. My issue is that they're <i>getting away with it</i>. Track the tweets, find 'em, and take 'em out. Really, is it that hard?

"Well, they're using an innocent proxy server blah blah blah." Those proxies and intermediaries are part of the chain. Take 'em all out.

Of course, my fullest contempt is reserved for the news media, including, following the lead of their American counterparts, the BBC, who base many of their "news" stories on Twitter posts, and who quote liberally from Twitter posts in their news stories.

And there we go: by reading BBC news stories that liberally quote Twitter, I'm supporting the BBC, I'm supporting Twitter, and I'm supporting the terrorists. I could go bury my head in the sand instead, but then I'd be one of those who "looked the other way."

Of course, now I more fully understand those oft-derided citizens of <apply: godwins_law="Godwins_Law"> Germany who failed to protest when their "neighbors" were disappearing. It's a gradual process. It's insidious. And for all practical purposes, there's nothing that a single person can do to stop it.

And it doesn't matter. Twitter is already becoming less effective. Twitter is adjusting how they calculate and display user activity, <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/04/27/rip-twitters-timeline-views-what-metric-will-replace-it/" target="_blank">says this recent article</a>. I like the line, "Some Twitter insiders believe this doesn't take into account the non-users exposed to Twitter content elsewhere." Yeah, like in the major news media articles that quote tweets and insert screencaps of actual Twitter posts. I suspect the bottom line is that despite having more users, those users are less active. They're paying less attention. It's beginning to seem like the only people "using" Twitter are advertisers... and terrorists. The general public is starting to care less and less. Nobody talks about Twitter where I work anymore. They're all into instant-messaging their personal circle of friends. I don't know if this is a "local thing," or if the days of "public social networking" are in decline.

Oh, and, one more inflammatory knee-jerk comment before I go: cell phones. They have GPS. Somebody pays the bill. Who pays for the terrorists' phones? Find that person and blow them up. Triangulate and track down each terrorist cell phone and drop a bomb there. Oh, but what about the innocent people around them? If people realize they're likely to get blown up if they're friends with IS or Boko Haram militants, they might stop being friends with IS or Boko Haram militants. The extremists kill us for "associating" with the wrong culture/religion/country/people. Fair's fair -- target their cell phones with bombs, and take out the people paying for the phone service. Oh, and hold VISA and Mastercard responsible for terrorism-related charges on the cards they issue. Cut off their lines of credit.

Srsly, aren't these simple, practical steps?

Okay, I gotta go clear the Cyrillic spam out of my email inbox now.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
dblume
Jun. 4th, 2015 11:43 am (UTC)
Excerpt: "Pro tip: When you are at war, posting selfies from a secret military base is probably not the wisest course of action. It doesn't help when you brag about all of the fantastic command and control capabilities of this new base. And it really doesn't help when you include location tags, so that your post comes complete with latitude and longitude."

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+YonatanZunger/posts/RffQM3Qh3j5
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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