If there's anything positive that my recent trolling and online harassment has done for me it's getting me back into my writing spurt after being side-tracked somewhat. But it's also taught me a lot about the world of internet security, especially when it comes to online trolling and harassment.
As mentioned in some of my recent blog posts, it seems that all to often internet trolls and online stalkers know all too well how to use the system to their advantage. Sometimes it's easy to wonder if these people actually have mates or connections working inside these big social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, and perhaps in some cases it might even be true, but someone pointed out to me recently that a large part of failing to tackle online harassment such as the recent malicious video made about me on Rumble might actually be how much these systems rely on AI to do the report tasks.
It's already a confusing age in all honesty and here we are in 2023 not really knowing half of the time if our messages and concerns ever actually get to a real human being. Perhaps it doesn't sound so futuristic anymore to state that the robots might be in control.
I think I've reported around twelve posts or something and still haven't found them all yet which have been posted under my harassers alternative-pseudonym page.
Every single report came back as not breaching community standards despite both the fact that the video link description claimed I was a 'predator gangstalker' and had been posted continually and repetitively on my friends walls. Those that know about the video know that it made false accusations of me being a sexual predator, a false claim that I'm banned from being near schools and also even contained a fake screenshot of me apparently talking to what had supposed to be a fifteen year old girl. It also talked about the fact I was depressed and had urged me to commit suicide. Thankfully my friends can see how poor of an attempt this stitch-up was, but not everyone always looks for the investigative signs so it seems the world has learned very little from cases such as the Hampstead Hoax. I'd found that a little odd though too because every time I've ever got a bit spammy with promoting links in the past as part of my campaigns or projects I've often received a little telling-off from the Facebook robots telling me not to dare try to compete with the big-boys in the corporate world. "Oi you! No flyposting!" they may as well tell you.
I hadn't let the continual 'doesn't breach community standards' notifications from Facebook get to me at first, and after many many attempts to keep getting it reviewed, one report did claim that it had got sent to the Oversight Board but I don't it will get seen as they claim only a small number of these get selected anyway.
Too much computer-time can cause enough neurosis in anyone, but some slip further down the hole than others in which things get even more difficult for your average person to deal with online harassment and abuse when they are dealing with master manipulators that know all too well how to use the system to their advantage.
Sadly, I think it might possibly be a sign of when financial decisions are being by those with little experience of the problems of what's happening on the ground. Similarly to arguments made between the RMT and whoever is speaking on behalf of private consultants and privatisation lobbyists at the time, perhaps more people should take heed upon hearing Mick Lynch express that we need actual humans to do the jobs that the rich would be happy see ran completely by robots.
I think we'd be foolish to overestimate the concept that robots and scripted programs are incapable of mistakes, especially as they're all controlled by humans that can make mistakes anyway. We need a genuine unity of minds, not one that is pre-set like a script inside of a computer, but one that is adaptable and can change with the moment and times in an instant. Robots and algorhythmns do little in actually allowing that natural progression and too often the initial seeds for change are drowned out in a digital battle which mostly the general public are unaware of.
Most people assume that you write a book, make a website and write a few articles and that's it. The concept of SEO, backlinks, meta-descriptions, bounce rates and paid traffic can often be completely outside the realm of those actually reading your work.
The same people would also consider that knowledge somewhat quite 'techy' but it really isn't. For those confused, in a nutshell I'm a researcher and writer that knows a couple of tricks to help get a project or website ranked well on google, but the world of computer programming is and the like is completely outside of my sphere. We can't know it all, hence the need for the unity of natural and adaptable minds.
I'm not sure exactly where the type of person to outwit social media safeguarding systems fit into all of this, but in a world where robots make the decisions instead of human minds we're failing people massively.
If it does get out of hand then I think it would be so big that it would break social media. People would find the risks and the dangers had outweighed the connective positives and perhaps it will all seem a distant memory to us, that time we remembered when we all stared at screens and everything felt somewhat a little choreographed.
It will be interesting to see where this leads, sadly I think those that generally care down on ground level might possibly at times be fighting against those who care only about their profit margins.
It might come back to totally destroy their business venture, but they'll be long gone sailing towards the sun by the point whilst people like you and I are left dealing with the mess it might bring behind.
AI could certainly be a useful tool in protecting people from needless harm and harassment on the internet, but when you're asking to speak to the top dog of a social media safeguarding team only to realise it's a robot, what do you do then? Find more of my posts at https://www.benwestwooduk.com/blog
Ben Westwood is a writer, author, poet, singer, musician and campaigner. Read more about his story as a runaway child, and his book 'Poems From a Runaway' at https://www.benwestwooduk.com