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Abhorrent trolls


Fluent In Silence
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There's going to be aw new law which makes it illegal to encourage self-harm on social media.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/26/abhorrent-trolls-who-encourage-self-harm-online-face-criminal-prosecution-says-minister

This was sparked by the death of a 14 year old girl, who took her own life after viewing things online related to self-harm, depression and suicide. There's a few things about this story which bother me. Firstly, the idea that she took her own life due to social media is far too simplistic, but the media loves a simple story. I don't want to defend social media, I don't really bother with it, and I'm not denying that it had a negative effect (I'll get to those fuckers in a minute). Why someone takes their own life is difficult to know with any certainty. Probably many different reasons, and it's important to understand these reasons in order to prevent it happening. She killed herself because of social media is the way the story has been reported. It seemed to have contributed but it's probably not the whole story. What about the poor state of mental health services? Did she get the help she needed? Eurgh! I don't think I'm explaining myself very well. Of course a 14 year old girl taking her own life is tragic, I just don't think such simplistic explanations are helpful.

Another thing is how it makes those with a mental illness sound bad. They're dangerous and will encourage your child to self-harm. I don't know if anyone has experienced such a thing. I have heard about people doing that before but never met anyone like that. Who are these fucking people who encourage people to self-harm or kill themselves? I'd like to meet them. Preferably somewhere isolated where nobody can hear their screams. I have been depressed for a long time, and I've self-harmed and thought about suicide a lot. I'd never encourage anyone to do the same. I want to help people who are experiencing such shit. And that's been my experience with other people who have a mental illness. They've always been nice and supportive. So who are these fuckers who'd encourage a young girl to harm herself? Give me five minutes with them.

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1 hour ago, Fluent In Silence said:

Another thing is how it makes those with a mental illness sound bad. They're dangerous and will encourage your child to self-harm.

Nothing in the Guardian article suggests that the ones posting the "harmful but legal" content are themselves mentally ill. It may be argued that, by definition, a person who would encourage another to commit suicide is himself mentally unwell, but the article does not express that. The only thing it says is that some conservative critics are saying that they don't want to legislate "hurt feelings" at the cost of free speech. Now, given, such a comment is breathtakingly clueless in the context of suicide, but the worst about it is the suggestion that we've all been exposed to here from ignorant twits who look at our MI and tell us to suck it up. I found it curious that it points out that in the UK it is a crime to encourage a person to commit suicide, but this proposed law doesn't appear to simply be an extension of that established law. That would have been the first thing I would have tried.

Yes, suicide is the result of complex cognitive breakdown. A mentally well person isn't going to hear someone say, "You're not pretty enough to live" and act on it out of the blue. But for a person who has dealt with debilitating body dysphoria for years, along with trauma from abuse and comorbid depression and suicidal ideation, may be on the brink. In that case, such a comment, which is simply simply indefensibly cruel, may easily be the milligram that tips the scale on that particular day. Had that person not received the comment, that person would not have acted; since that person did receive it, that person died. The cause of the death is the comment, and it was 100% preventable.

We hear much strident protest in recent times about freedom of speech, some of the loudest from people claiming that they should be able to say anything at all. They misunderstand the meaning of freedom. Freedom does not mean freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want to whoever you want without consequence. Freedom means the ability to act responsibly without interference - and it must mean this for our society to function without tearing itself apart. Among the first things we learn as young children is that there are limits to how we may behave. We, as a species, are social animals, and thus, that is necessary.

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41 minutes ago, Cerberus said:

Nothing in the Guardian article suggests that the ones posting the "harmful but legal" content are themselves mentally ill. It may be argued that, by definition, a person who would encourage another to commit suicide is himself mentally unwell, but the article does not express that. The only thing it says is that some conservative critics are saying that they don't want to legislate "hurt feelings" at the cost of free speech. Now, given, such a comment is breathtakingly clueless in the context of suicide, but the worst about it is the suggestion that we've all been exposed to here from ignorant twits who look at our MI and tell us to suck it up. I found it curious that it points out that in the UK it is a crime to encourage a person to commit suicide, but this proposed law doesn't appear to simply be an extension of that established law. That would have been the first thing I would have tried.

Yes, suicide is the result of complex cognitive breakdown. A mentally well person isn't going to hear someone say, "You're not pretty enough to live" and act on it out of the blue. But for a person who has dealt with debilitating body dysphoria for years, along with trauma from abuse and comorbid depression and suicidal ideation, may be on the brink. In that case, such a comment, which is simply simply indefensibly cruel, may easily be the milligram that tips the scale on that particular day. Had that person not received the comment, that person would not have acted; since that person did receive it, that person died. The cause of the death is the comment, and it was 100% preventable.

We hear much strident protest in recent times about freedom of speech, some of the loudest from people claiming that they should be able to say anything at all. They misunderstand the meaning of freedom. Freedom does not mean freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want to whoever you want without consequence. Freedom means the ability to act responsibly without interference - and it must mean this for our society to function without tearing itself apart. Among the first things we learn as young children is that there are limits to how we may behave. We, as a species, are social animals, and thus, that is necessary.

True. I do find it hard to believe that anyone who has been through such things would encourage anyone to do the same. I haven't seen anyone who has self-harmed saying yeah it's great, you should try it. Don't. But yes, anyone who would do that has some fucking issues. Not everyone who is mentally ill is sensitive and nice. Probably goes undignosed and they become politicians or someting. People just seem like scum sometimes. We need a law to prevent people encouraging self-harm. You'd think that basic human decency would make that unnecessary but apparently not.

Freedom! Yeah a lot of people don't understand the word and use it as an excuse for acting like a dick. There's positive and negative freedom. Freedom to and freedom from. It's a difficult balance. Unless you're an arsehole.

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3 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

Probably goes undignosed and they become politicians or someting.

I think that some people actually enter politics with hearts and minds in the right place. Some of them. Unfortunately it’s inherently an environment where you can’t maintain that. The very nature of it is corrosive to principles, because compromise is the common coin, and power is the commodity for sale. Power does corrupt, from the first taste of it, and that’s why good people turn vile in politics.

I have dealt with politicians at the local, state and federal level, and I despise them all. As an autistic person I immediately detect the false front they put on to charm the people around them, because it doesn’t work on me. The most vile politician I ever personally met was a former governor of Kentucky. He absolutely radiated a miasma of corruption - it was as though I could see it rolling off him - and when I was obliged to shake his cold, fishlike hand, I felt soiled. No one who actually wants to be the king should ever be permitted anywhere near the throne.

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There are some good people who go into politics but they tend to either fail or get corrupted. They often seem like a weird species who shouldn't be put in charge of anything.

7 hours ago, Cerberus said:

No one who actually wants to be the king should ever be permitted anywhere near the throne.

Boris Johnson famously said that he wanted to be king of the world when he was a child. So yes, I agree. Recently there was a lot of fuss about Matt Hancock going on I'm a celebrity get me out of here. It's a reality TV show. I didn't watch it. He was health secretary during the covid pandemic. Didn't do a great job and people who lost family members to covid were justifiably outraged. What a strange world we live in. The former health secretary in the australian jungle eating a kangaroo's penis while Boy George looks on in disgust. So that happened. I did check to make sure it wasn't a weird dream. Why do people despise politicians? He's a weird guy. As with many politicians he has this hunger for people to like him. It's quite pathetic. Will tell any lies or eat any animal's genitals just to gain approval. "The cream cannot help but always rise up to the top. Well I say, shit floats." Yep. Going off topic. Always happens whenever I start a topic. It's line from this song. Strong language warning.

 

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there was a huge furore in maybe 1980 when a kid offed himself

 

he was an ozzie osborne fan. And the media jumped on ozzie's song "suicide solution"

 

the song is basically saying "don't off yourself, just get really pissed instead" and posed alcoholism as the "solution" to suicide

 

which was misguided, but goes against the media narrative

 

 

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15 hours ago, DogMan said:

there was a huge furore in maybe 1980 when a kid offed himself

 

he was an ozzie osborne fan. And the media jumped on ozzie's song "suicide solution"

 

the song is basically saying "don't off yourself, just get really pissed instead" and posed alcoholism as the "solution" to suicide

 

which was misguided, but goes against the media narrative

 

 

Yeah there was the whole thing with Judas Priest being blamed for some kids commiting suicide because if you play it backwards and squint your brain it sort of almost sounds like they say "do it". But it's not metal music which is to blame, it's rap music which is the problem. Or is it video games? Fidget spinners? I feel like they're missing the point when they just point their fingers at whatever is new and unfamiliar to them. Suicide is not something which was invented along with Twitter. It existed before that and the reasons people do such a thing haven't changed. It's like with the panic about video games. They make people violent. Yeah I think people were violent before. Hitler didn't invade Poland because he'd been playing too much Super Mario. Just overly simplistic explanations which don't help understand the problem. If GTA didn't exist people would all be nice to each other. I was reading a research paper a while back which talked about smartphone addiction. Children's mental health suffered under the covid lockdowns and this correlates with increased time using smartphones. There's a point where they say that maybe this increased use of smartphones is due to being socially isolated and wanting to maintain contact with others. Fucking duh! Do you think? Phones are just a tool. It's still people at the other end and it's people who are the problem, not technology. I mean there's a lot of things about online communication which I worry about. It has had a major impact, and not always for the good. But it's about people rather than keyboards or smartphones.

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This guy. If you can bear to watch it for that long he says that he felt it was a positive conversation. It wasn't. My butt cheeks could've cracked a nut watching this. So excruciatingly awkward. Boy George, from the 80s, Karma chameleon, saying that he's struggling to like you. Well I think that went well. It really didn't.

 

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Suicide rates in that demographic were declining steadily until smart phones came out and then they started to soar... my opinion on this is quite strong. We're also seeing rising suicide rates in people so young that it was very unusual for them to die by suicide in the past

Did anything else happen in those few years that would explain it? Maybe it's too simplistic for one individual but if you look at young people as a whole it's clear that social media is killing a lot of people. We also know how they are doing it and why, they've done their own studies testing and proving how they can impact mood and which moods mean more time spent on social media and more adclicks

Do I know a moral panic when I see one? maybe not, maybe this is just another one, but when Judas Priest were being accused of making children commit suicide there wasn't a sudden and unprecedented rise in the suicide rates of young people starting in the years that they started releasing albums. Correlation is not causation, but it doesn't correlate with anything else and we have a lot of proof that it can make people depressed and isolated

But blaming end-users when it's the design of the platforms itself that's the problem will help nothing. Forums drying up and websites that are addicting and killing people sucking in more people every day

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1 hour ago, Antecedent said:

But blaming end-users when it's the design of the platforms itself that's the problem will help nothing. Forums drying up and websites that are addicting and killing people sucking in more people every day

That's a good point. There is something about social media which brings out the worst in people, and the companies behind this throw fuel on the flames because it gets clicks. There's a lot about the internet which is bad but I think it's magnified something which was always there. We're social beings and now we're exposed to more than was ever natural. Those influencers showing their perfect photoshopped lives. Brings people together but often in an empty way. Ah what the hell am I trying to say? This is all gibberish. The keys to heaven also unlock the gates of hell. We've got forums like this which bring people together who never would've met otherwise. If I hadn't talked to people online I'd probably still think that it was just me who felt like this. Then you've got trolls and cyberbullying and cyberstalking. Dick pics, revenge porn, body shaming. Eurgh! We should've stayed in the trees. God I'm talking nonsense.

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16 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

 We've got forums like this which bring people together who never would've met otherwise. 

And for this forum, I am thankful..

However, IMO, social media platforms (FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc) have gotten a little out of control for my liking......I'm still trying to understand why Twitter allowed Donald Trump back on...**SIGH**

I'm not even going to start on what I think about "influencers"....😒

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On 12/12/2022 at 8:25 AM, Fluent In Silence said:

Fidget spinners?

To be fair, thinking about factories churning out thousands of fidget spinners out of non-renewable, non-degradable, petroleum-based plastics, items that have no practical use other than idle distraction, quickly lost their fad value and will take up space in landfills for centuries, just for the sake of someone making an opportunistic buck, as an expression of human nature, does make me want to kill myself.

17 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

We've got forums like this which bring people together who never would've met otherwise.

Except that increasingly, we don’t. Forums like this enable communication and deeper understanding because they convey sufficient message content to allow a person to follow another person’s stream of thought. Most social media now conveys, essentially, not messages but signals. Information without depth of context. It begs misunderstanding to occur. Were humans a less irrational species, one might think this deficit would inspire more rather than fewer discussion forums out of a desire to understand, but it’s easier to satisfy a limbic impulse with a tweet.

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1 hour ago, Cerberus said:

Most social media now conveys, essentially, not messages but signals. Information without depth of context. It begs misunderstanding to occur. Were humans a less irrational species, one might think this deficit would inspire more rather than fewer discussion forums out of a desire to understand, but it’s easier to satisfy a limbic impulse with a tweet.

I agree......and it's so sad to think that discussion forums like CB, might be getting more difficult to find.

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There's a reason why psych wards used to be far more strict with their devices and social media disconnection policy. Back when my unfortunate experience with psychiatric hospitalisation began, the first when I turned 12, about the same time phones started to have internet access and when other devices like mp3 players, iPods, the first iPad and the Nintendo DS and DS lite consoles were around, every single one of them were strictly forbidden and your guardian was instructed to take them all home.

The first reason behind this was more explicit and obvious. The cords and risk for electrocution were amongst the highest of suicide and self harm risks, and anything at that level was banned because the staff were already massively underfunded and overworked. 

The less explicit and obvious reason was because of the distraction value and reinforcement of negative and maladaptive behaviour. Another was the fact the devices could be a negative stimulus overall, either overstimulating for a mind that is already well beyond frayed by chemical excitation, or so dangerously mind numbing that more harmful coping mechanisms are sought to cope with depression and other such mental illness that can be understimulating.

When the first smartphones came, these were added to the list, not only because of all the above, but because the cameras violate privacy law and the beginning of social media apps brought about a whole other problem; the encouragement of toxic and dysfunctional interpersonal and communication behaviour, on the top of the list being false validation.

As social media apps grew and became a larger norm in every day life, another problem arrived, the toxic competition and comparison between people, of the behaviours involved in the mental illnesses with the highest mortality rates. These became additional reasons for why psych wards, without any question or negotiation, banned devices and social media during treatment.

That included when patients started the process of preparing for discharge and had leave off of the ward, and eventually to their home overnight. If devices and or social media were used during your leave, at least in my experience, your discharge date was delayed, leave rights were reduced or revoked entirely and you were put on a higher observation level for the forseeable future.

Even in my last admission to the young adult unit, both high dependency and general acute strictly banned all devices and social media usage for the same reasons. Didn't matter if you were there voluntarily. They were simply on the long list of contraband and unpermitted behaviour. And the list was damned huge.

Even private facilities and clinics, of which most are not allowed to take patients who are above a certain risk threshold or involuntary (at least here in Aus) used to take this approach. 

But no matter how much effort I put in these days to not be exposed to content like it, almost every damned time I open any of the social media apps I have, there is another youth posting pics and vids as they call it, of themselves in the bloody psych ward. Most commonly for those exact mental illnesses that have toxic competitive behaviour, so the pics and vids are not just general ones. They are of things that should not be on social media, or anywhere on the internet. And you can clearly see it that it is the illness demanding validation for its negative behaviour that lead the youth to the psych ward to begin with.

Psych wards are fucking awful places and a lot of what happens in them, I vehemently disagree with. That policy, however, why the fuck did they change it? There are plenty of things about psych hospitalisation that is in desperate need of change, that ain't one of them.

In my experience, like I said, a lot of other things were contraband also, to the point that devices being contraband because of their potentially mind numbing effect was very fuckin ironic, considering that we were literally staring at plain ass walls, doing nothing for all of our waking hours (and they forced you to stay awake and out of your room unless you were on special) 

There was no actual therapy and zero activities. So mind numbing was a state of permanence for someone like me, and it in and of itself was a large reason why being there was the opposite of helpful. That understimulation as an autistic teen and 18 year old in the young adult unit was severely debilitating and only exacerbated my risk level. But alas, nonetheless I did agree with the device and social media policy and believe it should have stayed that way. 

 

 

 

Edited by Hopelessly Broken
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