False Flag: my science fiction story about the future of copyright filters in an Article 13 Europe

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/17/false-flag.html




“But on the morning, skipping over the shop in the little Zodiac”:

Shouldn’t that be “chop”? Or is this a definition of “shop” that I’ve never heard before? (I do like learning new words)

[[Post deleted by Cory – sorry, that’s one was a seizure risk]]

I don’t think the premise of the story works. If the video disappeared at the same time as someone claimed it was fake everybody would start screaming about censorship and that story would be bigger than the original, People love a good conspiracy.

A smarter PR-agency would leave the video and try to find things that looked like inconsistencies in it, claiming these were proof the video was fake. Look hard enough and you will always find something that looks suspicious. If they thought they could get away with it they might even upload and try to spread a subtly altered version that really had faked details, or even an entirely different and totally fake video appearing to come from the same anonymous source to discredit it.

An interesting question, but I think your assumption that “everybody would start screaming about censorship” is not an automatic, either now or in this hypothetical, distressingly near future. For small groups of people operating outside of large organizations (the “crew” in Cory’s story) virality is aspirational, but fleeting and far from guaranteed. To me its entirely plausible that large corporations could quickly and effectively squash stories like this before they went viral. The key is a rapid response censoring architecture, which is what Article 13 offers.

To me, this isn’t hypothetical. Most people in the US have heard of Standing Rock, but many fewer have heard of the similar pipeline resistance camps that have cropped up since then (see map here: https://fossilfuelresistance.org/#map). Many of those are organized by groups quite similar to "the crew’ in Cory’s story and they are fighting similar odds with similar lack of access to the resources of large environmental orgs that descended on Standing Rock (mostly AFTER it went viral). None of them have gone viral like Standing Rock did. And further more, repression against them, both legal and otherwise has largely gone unreported as well.

I think in the very near future (if we haven’t already) we will see big fossil fuel companies and others developing immune systems like those described in this story that are designed to quickly and effectively squash critical footage and stories before they go viral. That’s the “very exclusive, very expensive suite of services” for “reputation management” and “crisis communications” that Cory describes in the story.

Cory, thanks for this. I think its a story that makes the case against these proposals far more effectively than polemic can.

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I have no doubt companies will continue to learn how to crush stories like this, which they are already pretty good at. I just think the method described is a bit too blatant to be useful, at least unless society turn dystopian to a way where censored movies will be the least of our problems.

Short and sweet^H^H^H^H^Hbleak. And all too realistic. Thanks for the read and the memories.

I enjoyed the fact that Agata and her crew used a Zodiac btw.

If it was ‘all over the shop’ in this context, it would mean ‘haphazardly’.

Yes, I think that the premise could be a bit filmsy. Rasoning as a Gen-Xer I immediately thougt about sending a vieocassette to broadcasters and newspapers, because illegal fishing is an interesting story, and on vidotapes ther’s no DRM. Not to mentin that the right thing to do in this case was to involve coast guards.
I Italy we have an organized crime, as you maybe know, and a lot of journalist were killed because they had written about what organized crime did. The mobster also killed judges, cops, politician and civilians, and controls illegal fishing. I have seen on TV and read on newspapers a lot of stories about illegal activities of the mobsters, and the journalist took a lot of footage.

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