Those violent 'yellow jacket' protests in France? Facebook's behind that, too


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/05/those-violent-yellow-jacket.html


#2

too bad facebook invested so much in detecting and removing nipples instead of detecting and removing hate speech and political manipulation.


#3

Okay, so because Fecesbook is evil these protests are too?

I’m honestly having some trouble parsing the point here…


#4

Given the way ordinary people’s lives in France have been affected by the dogma of needless austerity, I’m not 100% convinced these riots are a bad thing.

According to this NYT piece, the riots are rooted in a small-town France where people are abandoning their cars at railway stations for hooligans to burn out because they can’t afford to maintain them - a state of constant neglect and hammering by austerity, as in the UK performed by a political class which are completely above all of this and will never suffer a day of economic deprivation in all of their lives.

As such, the riots might have happened even without Facebook - legitimate social tensions resulting in riots is not, at least, something new in a country like France.


#5

Thanks for that perspective, i can see protests like these taking root in america as well as wealth disparity pushes more and more to the margins.


#6

Blaming Facebook seems like a convenient way to avoid blaming Macron.


#7

I’m sure Amazon was in on it too with all those yellow vests!


#8

The state hoist their own petard with that; they passed a law making dayglo vests compulsory safety equipment in all cars.

Instant national protest uniform.


#9

it kinda works out well, you really wouldn’t want to get hit by a car when protesting not being able to afford to drive one, that would be painful irony. not so great a uniform choice when running from the police though… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#10

Why can’t we all just get along hate Fæcesbook?


#11

This was an absurd article and it’s most likely psyops by the establishment to push for yet more censorship of twitter, facebook and social media. They would rather you watch kittens or soft porn rather than allow people to organize on social media against the corrupt government-corporate amalgam.


#12

Shh! Don’t point out that not everything perfectly fits a specific narrative!


#13

I think the idea is that Facebook is giving disproportionate media coverage to people who are spreading violence, hoaxes, and conspiracy theories like anti-vax, chemtrails, etc., and that more and more people are joining or siding with them as a result. I’m sure Facebook isn’t helping, but I feel like it’s a stretch to say that it’s mainly responsible for peoples’ inability to distinguish truth from fiction. No matter how people receive their information, it’s still their responsibility to evaluate it critically, and they’re failing at that spectacularly worldwide, with or without Facebook.


#14

In this blog post from about a year ago I referred to these protests in São Paulo:

I made somewhat the opposite observation: My friend Rafael Frazão, who is a brilliant photographer, posted a stunning series of photographs of the protests of the (indigenous) Guaraní of São Paulo against a judicial decision to strip them of their land, on Facebook - and everyone who re-posted it, myself for one, noticed that this very post got much less attention than other posts the same people were making - as if these, peaceful and legitmate, protests in one of the world’s largest cities was being deliberately hushed up. Of course, Facebook may have changed their algorithms since then, but their bias is far from unambiguously on the side of dissent.

Which just hammers home one point: Yes, we need to talk about the social media silos. But maybe, just maybe, there’s more to the protests in France than that. Indeed there probably is.


#15

We already have; it brought us the 2016 elections.

Protests against Macron are all well and good, but the protests are also against `green’ car initiatives. Global warming isn’t just a plutocratic fantasy.


#16

Yes, the protests aren’t so clear-cut along ideological lines. Populism is the common factor, but there are both right-wing populists and left-wing ones joining in. One hopes the latter will win out in setting the movement’s agenda as an economic one opposed to neoliberalism’s kneejerk austerity and to regressive taxes, but it could go ugly, too (anti-environmentalism, anti-intellectualism, anti-immigrant, etc.) – especially when a toxic and disinfo-friendly platform like Facebook is used by the protestors to communicate and organise.

Yesterday I got an alarmed e-mail forward from an older relative about a news development that concerned him greatly. A quick check of Snopes showed me that this bogus news story that’s the source of alarm has been floating around for over a decade. I let him know and asked him to check before sending me these things, but despite this request it wasn’t the first time he did it and it won’t be the last.

It just goes to show the power and persistence of disinformation on the Internet no matter what the platform or protocol. People, especially older ones, don’t fact check these things. Sadly, that’s more the case when the disinformation is about a hot-button issue for them.


#17

Indeed it is not. But one can wonder whether a fuel tax which overwhelmingly hurts the poor - shifting the onus of the green transition to those who can least afford it - is the right way to do this in an age of gratuitous tax cuts to the rich, which is also happening in France.

I mean - you cut the taxes for the rich because that’s such a great idea, and you still don’t tax plane fuels or plane journeys etc, but when you need to shift away from fossil fuels you do it by hurting ordinary working people. isn’t that a coincidence? And now we can even complain about these pesky anti-green workers …


#18

Aren’t we supposed to blame Russia, China, NK or Iran?


#19

Putin won’t be Putin if he doesn’t get the kids at the IRA in St Petersburg working on this post-haste. Say what you will about his regime, it never misses an opportunity to sow discord and divisiveness on the Continent. I doubt he started it, though.

China’s more about economic and industrial espionage these days, and being middlemen for Iran. Iran, if it’s doing anything, is more focused on infrastructure systems sabotage. With North Korea it’s anyone’s guess what Bob’s Big Boy’s whim is on a daily basis.


#20

Like Stuxnet?