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Undertoad 02-01-2020 01:53 PM

You are right, partially IMO -- just my few quibbles --


If I, an angry American citizen, call his personal number a thousand times a day until he relents
You speak Mandarin! I'm not surprised.


told their hordes of followers
As a writer, I think you should carefully reconsider both this description of what Zero Hedge did, and who their readership is. (It includes Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey)

Especially if your readership is interested in an unorthodox point of view -- and what worthwhile readership isn't? You would not want them, and your relationship to them, described that way.


and that's precisely what Zero Hedge intended to happen here
I don't share your superpower of immediately knowing secret intentions in detail.

But I think, if harassment was the intent, they would put the guy's number right on Twitter. Instead, they put it at the very bottom of a very long post, at what appears to be an excellent vector of information. I figured the point was to encourage better original reporting.


Righteous anger and due punishment can only prevent future problems, not deal with current ones.
I'm okay with only preventing future problems.

And it's still a gray area, innit? If I think a gummint official is lying, or, say, I dunno, Tucker Carlson - surely I can give out their office number. But definitely not their home number.

xoxoxoBruce 02-01-2020 10:14 PM

Seems to if the guy they are calling out did indeed create this virus and has been working with it before it escaped, he might know some weaknesses, some vulnerabilities of the virus, maybe even the best way to kill it. If that's true, then that information should be extracted from him and distributed. If it's not true, then this is a time wasting red herring.

Flint 02-01-2020 10:40 PM


xoxoxoBruce 02-01-2020 11:05 PM

Who said harass him, if the story is true then the health people should find out everything he knows about the virus.

Clodfobble 02-02-2020 09:11 AM

But that's not what the story's author urged. He said,


Something tells us, if anyone wants to find out what really caused the coronavirus pandemic that has infected thousands of people in China and around the globe, they should probably pay Dr. Peng a visit.
"Anyone" is not "the appropriate officials." And if, as Undertoad seems to be implying, the appropriate officials might in fact be readers of Zero Hedge, and the author only meant to tell them specifically to investigate this claim, then surely those well-informed health officials are capable of finding this guy's public contact information. The author put it directly in the article because he wanted everyone to have it. And the only use that 99.99% of his readership could have for that information is harassment.

Undertoad 02-02-2020 09:23 AM

I guess I'm the 0.01% since I could glean useful information from that detail without being interested in harassment.

sexobon 02-02-2020 11:38 AM

IMHO, in this instance Clod nailed it. It's a propaganda piece designed to encourage others to extort information from an individual insider, by putting that person on the defensive, without that person's information being filtered by the Chinese government.

The article is heavy on argument for a containment breach and the wording "(accidentally or not)" suggests it's targeting people predisposed to conspiracy theories with a motivational message. The article is light on argument for a natural mutation of the zoonotic virus; also, light on appeals for help from the expert.

Good propaganda pieces do have useful information to be gleaned; but, only that which steers the target audience in a desired direction. Not everyone will be swayed by it, sometimes not even most, as a handful who are willing to act may be all that's needed.

xoxoxoBruce 02-02-2020 02:11 PM


Originally Posted by Undertoad (Post 1045882)
I guess I'm the 0.01% since I could glean useful information from that detail without being interested in harassment.

Yeah, me too. But I'm too lazy for direct action and I can see there would be people like this guy with an axe to grind.

Undertoad 02-03-2020 12:24 AM

China tells citizens to only share coronavirus news from state-run media, or face up to seven years in jail

Undertoad 02-03-2020 12:32 AM

Zuck started drawing a line in the sand!

Free expression — not 'censorship' — will best protect democracy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tells Utah audience


In his appearance Friday, Zuckerberg said Facebook had deployed artificial intelligence and other means to detect and quickly remove content promoting terrorism and child trafficking or inciting violence. But he said a more worrisome trend was at hand.

"Increasingly, we're getting called in to censor a lot of different kinds of content that makes me really uncomfortable," Zuckerberg said. "It kind of feels like the list of things that you’re not allowed to say socially keeps on growing."

"And I’m not really OK with that," he said.

"The people who are criticizing and saying that more stuff needs to be censored are never the people who are actually at risk of being censored themselves," Zuckerberg said. "They have their ways of getting stuff out."

"I feel like someone needs to stand up for giving everyone a voice," he said.

xoxoxoBruce 02-03-2020 12:44 AM

The man behind the curtain will be very happy when he can blame the A/I Robot Overlords.

Flint 02-03-2020 02:25 AM


Originally Posted by Undertoad (Post 1045914)

Well, let's hope this one dude who started a website for rating which college chicks are hot is the best person to be deciding the fate of civilization and survival of human life on the planet. Cross your fingers! I'm sure it's probably best to let one random dude decide these things. . . . That makes sense, right?

Luce 02-03-2020 09:17 AM


Originally Posted by Clodfobble (Post 1045837)
I read the whole Zero Hedge article. IMHO, they are engaged in incitement that doesn't help the situation and deserved a temporary ban.

First, knowing where the virus came from--specifically, whether it was a natural species-jump or an accidental/intentional leak from a biological weapons lab as Zero Hedge alleges--is necessary in the long-term, but it doesn't make a difference right now when it comes to containing and treating it. Righteous anger and due punishment can only prevent future problems, not deal with current ones.

Second, let's say this one scientist did have "answers" to give. Those answers would have to be legitimately received/extracted by people with power to have any meaning. If I, an angry American citizen, call his personal number a thousand times a day until he relents and says, "You're right! I totally developed this virus and it escaped!"... then what? I call my Senator? I fly over and punch him as he so richly deserves? I post his confession to the internet so other people can go over and punch him, too? I create an outcry so big that the Chinese government is shamed into publicly scapegoating him--which they may have done anyway, and may actually be a tiny part of the truth that they are happy to concede, and in any case can spin a thousand ways to their own purposes?

Third, it's completely disingenuous to claim "the contact information was public so it isn't doxxing." The word fire is just a word, too, until it's shouted in a crowded theater. Context matters. Zero Hedge told their hordes of followers that this one person needed interrogating, and posted his name, picture, address, and phone number precisely because they know the response would be much lower if their readers were expected to seek out that information on their own. The main feature of doxxing is that it bypasses the natural selection of lethargy--and that's precisely what Zero Hedge intended to happen here.

General rule of thumb: if it's a "call to action" of any kind, it's not news, it's incitement. The only judgment call to be made is whether that incitement is beneficial to the individual, society, or neither.

Zero Hedge is good for this sort of thing.

It's basically a boring version of Alex Jones.

Luce 02-03-2020 09:19 AM

While their intentions in this specific case may be good, they just gave the rumormongers a ton of credibility.

Undertoad 02-03-2020 09:46 AM

Right, one of the questions we need to deal with as a society is, shall we allow the shit-stirrers and conspiracy theorists on our social medias?

I say, sure. Everything is a theory until proven; you have to consider all the thoughts, in order to parse out what is correct.

Which is also somewhat true about news agencies we don't prefer. I may not like my neighbor's mean dog; but if I hear him barking frantically at 2am, that may still be useful information I can use.

Alex Jones spent time talking about some dude named Jeffrey Epstein, and alleged that this rich guy had a pedophile island, and he'd fly powerful rich people to it. It was deep conspiracy theory... at the time...

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