👎 No Filter
Texas anti-censorship law | Internet shut down in Iran is an act of violence | when asteroids attack!
Hello! The Ethereum merge to a proof-of-stake chain is now complete, which means GPUs are finally affordable again. Now is the time to build that gaming PC you’ve been dreaming of!
This week was something I could have done without 👎. Oh look at that, the thumbs down is back. There are plenty of good reasons:
Texas are gunning for a new, scary kind of internet with their strange misguided censorship law.
Protests in Iran are being met with internet shut downs
Take that, asteroid!
😖 I’m trying to moderate some content but someone keeps smacking my hand away??
Right, there’s a reason why last week I forwent the usual Friday post and did a special longer-read about the new Texas censorship law. Communities all over the internet are already doing everything they can to poke holes in it: r/PoliticalHumor now has a rule that says every post must include the sentence ‘Greg Abbott is a little piss baby’. Any posts without the phrase will go against the viewpoint of the subreddit’s users, and therefore will be taken down — leaving them up would break the Texas law. That’s what we’re dealing with here.
Furthermore, people who edit Wikipedia pages are now asking ‘so… can I still edit Wikipedia pages?’ The answer is: yes, but as long as you’re happy with the government in Texas having a say. Or umm as long as… the page doesn’t appear in Texas? Orrrrr — who the shit knows. This is the stupidest internet law I’ve ever seen.
But, unfortunately, this law does have the power to make for a different kind of internet. The kind that angry, mindless, ‘free speech’ supporters say that they are fighting against; where online communities don’t have a say in the content that floods their channels, and some outside authoritarian force has ultimate control over who gets to say what. It’s so ironic that the people behind this law think that is what the internet is like now. It isn’t, but it sure will be if they get their way!
If properly enforced, this law will make it so that your favourite Discord server about making and playing video games could very easily be inundated with posts about enlarging your penis, and no one will have the power to do anything about it. The people making this law clearly have no idea about the dark, putrid swathes of content that are being suppressed by current mechanisms — e.g. videos of people getting murdered, and child pornography. But okay fine! Let’s have this law then!
🙅♀️ What’s happening in Iran?
You may have already heard about Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman who was arrested by the morality police for wearing her hijab the wrong way, and who died while in custody. People in Iran have responded with protests because, naturally, they are sick and tired of all the police violence. These protests are obviously been met with more police violence, and the death toll is still rising.
🧠 Here’s some other stuff to know:
The state response to these protests has been to shut down the internet
Iran, however, has ‘two internets’. One is the normal global network that you and I use, and the other is more of an intranet, which is faster, cheaper, and run by the government (ding ding ding — surveillance!)
You can compare this to China’s great firewall, EXCEPT: the Iranian intranet is eerily similar to the global internet — and citizens still have access to both. That means the government can shut down the internet without it being immediately obvious to Iranian citizens.
But, putting aside all of the deception and surveillance: shutting down the internet is a cowardly act of violence. It ensures that those subject to police violence are unable to document it and share it across the world — and so the violence is left to thrive.
This isn’t the first time women’s voices have been suppressed in Iran in this way: just a few months ago activists in the #MeToo movement fell victim to mysterious bot attacks on Instagram. Someone mobilised tens of thousands of fake accounts to follow the activist accounts, forcing them to switch to private, and thus be disconnected from their peers.
☄️ Get outta here, you!
Hello welcome to the soggy bottom of Horrific/Terrific. Here I would like to tell you two new facts about our forever home, S P A C E.
The first is actually not that new. As a species, we’ve been flinging objects into orbit for decades. You may have noticed that there has been a recent increase in flooding the stratosphere with junk, therefore adding yet another threat to humanity to the ever expanding list of threats (just email if you want a copy — I’m fifth on the list). Luckily the FCC are finally stepping in with a brand new space rule: a satellite has to be removed from orbit within five years of it dying. Currently the limit is 25 years — which is clearly too long.
The second thing is asteroids. And how they can now SUCK IT. NASA have successfully nudged an asteroid out of the way during a test to see if they could… nudge asteroids out of the way. This is in case that movie Don’t Look Up becomes a reality, and an asteroid ends up on a collision course towards Earth. Now we are technically equipped to deal with it, and no where near ready to deal with it politically (just like everything else).
Thank you for reading. I hope you have a very shiny October