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Challenge Match: ProtoPlasmicTraveler vs Skyfloating - "Intelligent Social Networks?"

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posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 11:48 AM
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The topic for this debate is "The United States Intelligence Community Has Considered And Implemented Ways To Use Social Networking Communities To Influence The Opinions Of The American Population."

"ProtoPlasmicTraveler" will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
"Skyfloating" will be arguing the "Con" position.

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posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 02:18 PM
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The information age and the advent of the Internet and social networking sites have brought society to a crossroads of potentially troubling concern.

The Internet has virtually achieved providing each and every user a soapbox and bully pulpit to broadcast their ideas, perspectives and information in real time to a mass audience that far exceeds their normal peer group and geographical limitations.

This has led to a deluge of often confusing, contradictory and often false information being widely circulated through social networking and other internet sites, many of which have their own internal peer groups that lead to added credibility of what is being published through peer pressure tactics employed by that group.

This has increasingly led to cognitive rejection of traditional news sources, and reluctance to consider what professional credentialed journalists, who are trained and skilled and budgeted and empowered to investigate real world circumstances first hand and report their findings and discoveries, in favor of those who publish accounts that are derived from a much more shoddy and overall lacking process of searching out the internet for alternative sources of information and theories on the same subject.

Yet in the majority of these cases, no real world investigation is done, the targets of these investigations are not interviewed, nor are witnesses, public records are not searched nor considered, renderings of events are not fact checked, and other detailed investigative methods traditionally used by credentialed journalists are not followed.

As a result this yields little but here say and innuendo that often borders on slander, and discounts wholesale a number of pertinent and salient facts, that are at times simply not uncovered because of the poor methodology of the writer, and at times deliberately overlooked to promote a perspective and a theory as fact.

This has led to increasingly larger and larger numbers of people adopting incomplete versions, fictitious versions, and deliberately falsified versions of events.

In the latter case events do appear to be falsified to promote cults of personalities around certain for profit conspiracy theorists and entertainers who contrive to develop a niche market to sell advertising for radio shows, web sites, and TV shows, and to sell books and merchandise.

Some political extremists and militias are also engaged in this process of promoting incomplete and false versions of events to gain funding and membership for their own organizations.

Unabated there is a real potential that our society risks becoming so fractionalized that it’s cohesiveness as a national entity could fail, and disintegrate into a plethora of ideologically, politically and religiously opposed camps vying for control and power at the expense of the law abiding patriotic population of this great nation.

This challenge requires addressing by our government yet the fact that we do subscribe to and uphold such lofty constitutional principles of freedom, including but not limited to freedom of speech, requires we must work within that constitutional framework that provides people a voice where they choose to share one, but at the same time, considers the value of having the full story, the real story, the real events and real facts told at the same time.

The Intelligence Community is also aware of the real potential that foreign enemies of the state may in fact also be taking part in these activities and promoting some of these false versions of events and stories posing as Americans and utilizing the Internet’s anonymity to successfully do that. The Intelligence Community can not overlook that foreign interests may be funding some Americans to engage in this process too, with an eye and goal of weakening our national resolve and cohesive ability to deal with International Challenges in a way that might adversely effect corrupt and criminal regimes throughout the world.

It would be unwise and potentially dangerous to not respond to this growing phenomenon which is why the Intelligence Community and Government have concluded it would be in national interests and those of the general population to infiltrate these social networking sites with properly trained bloggers who either volunteer or are hired by the government, to then promote the whole story as the media and government has come to realize it through their own much more thorough and competent investigations and analysis.

By providing a balanced view we greatly reduce the chance that false perspectives could taint the political landscape to the point of a significant breakdown in society and the state’s ability to successfully govern and protect and serve the citizenry.

Key alternative media and social networking personalities should be challenged as to the credibility of their sources and methodology and exposed for their reliance on speculation instead of facts. If they have a hidden agenda, be it political, or for profit it should be exposed in the process, so people can better consider the source of the information and why it is being proffered.

In this manner we can uphold the constitutional right to free speech, yet at the same time create an environment where people are cognizant that the right to free speech does not mean a unfettered right to freely slander individuals and promote falsehoods as truth and or pursue agendas that are deliberately aimed at destabilizing the government or to profit from agendas that could as a byproduct adversely effect the overall perception of the government.

It is not our intention to censor free speech, or to silence dissent, but to make sure that the salient facts, and entire story is broadcast at the same time, so that Americans of all stripes and walks don’t find themselves isolated by extremists, and propagandists, and enemies of the state, as their sole provider of news and information and robbing them of their ability in that process to make quality determinations and form quality perspectives and opinions.

Just as many extreme religious cults flourish by isolating individuals and submerging them into a world of false perspective for control and profit, so too do many of these alternative networking sites use the same methodology.

Our aim through our initiatives is to prevent that isolation to where people would adopt a false perspective simply because they are prevented through that isolation to hear and be allowed to fairly consider the real facts of events.

By targeting and weakening the peer pressure group’s leaders, and exposing their tactics while broadcasting the true and full facts of events, we can effectively weaken and end the grip of Internet disinformation specialists, propagandists and personality cult figures over their readers and followers, and ensure that they maintain a productive and healthy integration with society as a whole.

There is no greater threat in fact currently facing America, the government and our way of life than the unchecked spread of those promoting alternative realities and false renderings of events that drive our world and our government’s responses to events.

We need to act with urgency and resolute and effective means to combat this growing phenomenon in order to protect the citizenry and preserve our American way of life.

The failure to meet this challenge and the consequences of that is unthinkable.



posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 02:06 AM
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I thank Memory Shock for assigning such an interesting Topic
I thank ProtoplasmicTraveler for taking part in the fun.

I agree with my Debate Opponent on the possible adverse implications of the Internet. I have said as much in my own musings here, here, here and elsewhere.

But the question of this Debate is a different one. Specifically:

Are the suits, ties and uniforms of the Intelligence Agencies logging into Facebook and Myspace in some shadowy plan to manipulate its teens, twens, grannies and everyone in between? Is that the way the world works?

As per Debate Topic my answer to this is NO. Thats not how stuff works. Thats not how Intelligence Agencies operate. The reasons should be obvious:

* The flow of Information in the Internet is way beyond control. It was already in the 90s. Information comes from every person, every angle, every group, every mood...a Billion times a day.

This simple fact then makes the following sinister statement of my Debate Opponent...



There is no greater threat in fact currently facing America, the government and our way of life than the unchecked spread of those promoting alternative realities


...look like a call for censorship of the Internet. But my view is: If we are allowed total freedom of expression through the Internet our Government (and all other Governments and their People) should also have that freedom.

* People dont have to be manipulated nowadays because they lack interest in world events, because they manipulate themselves and because there is so much contradictory information flowing around that it is often impossible to separate accurate from inaccurate. If manipulation by Government Agencies took place it would have to already have taken place in school by retarding their ability to process, select and evaluate information, truth, falsehood properly.

* Your average Joe is not the enemy. Intelligence Agencies focus on the perceived enemy, not on a Normalton. In Ancient Rome they went to fight other nations, not to fight the Plebs. Your normal citizen is not concerned with World Events and does not pose a danger to the goals of Intelligence Agencies. It would be a massive waste of resources. Its not viable.

* Social Media is a natural Evolution of who and what we are, not a Conspiracy. Not everything is a Conspiracy. Implying that social media is a Conspiracy misperceives that Social Media is the next Logical Step. Before Internet we used meeting groups, Movie Theaters, Cafes to connect socially. In the age of Internet we naturally use "Social Media". What is Social Media? Its a virtual Cafe where people meet and socialize.

The title of this Debate is as if one were saying:

The United States Intelligence Community Has Considered And Implemented Ways To Use Cafes and the Parlours of Cinemas To Influence The Opinions Of The American Population

Imagine you are sitting in a Cafe chatting with a girlfriend about the make-up she uses. All of a sudden a spook appears at your side, puffing a cigar and bad breathe up your face, whispering: "Iraq has weapons of mass-destruction" or similar to "influence public opinion".

As you can see from this example, the idea is silly. The Intelligence Agent has chosen the wrong target group. In real life the Government as sent him to Afghanistan so that he can whisper things into peoples ears there.

The agendas are numerous. The agendas are undecipherable. The counter-agendas I can wage limitless. So in the end there is really no point in worrying about what "disinfo agents" post. At the end of the day I am responsible for what I believe, read and research.



posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 04:50 AM
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Skyfloating, welcome to this debate, and thank you for your considered opening statements.

No it is not a question of if the government of the United States of America is targeting social networking sites for cognitive infiltration to better aide and assist those suffering from crippled epistemology, but whether one supports these efforts and initiatives as a credible and reasoned response to a growing dilemma.

Or if one is against government intrusion and feels it’s better to allow former soccer players, and world wide wrestling champions to be the interpreters of events for the citizens of the nation instead of credentialed journalists and government officials.

While you purport to see a sinister effort to manipulate the citizenry, I feel it my obligation to point out to you, that government’s role is to protect and serve the citizenry.

The aim of the cognitive infiltration programs is to protect and serve the people by making sure those who may suffer from crippled epistemology still receive fair and balanced professional reporting of the true facts of events regardless of the venues that have become their alternative trusted news source.

This is not to manipulate the citizenry, but to help protect the citizenry from falling prey too, and being manipulated by individuals and organizations that for political or financial reasons choose to omit, falsify and or obscure crucial details in their reporting of events and most especially in their editorials and running commentaries.

So we must ask ourselves how and why did this occur, and that answer is quite simple. They have fallen prey to unscrupulous entities that sensationalize events with the deliberate aim of provoking emotional responses designed to entice those susceptible to such manipulations to distrust the mainstream traditional news services and the Government.

Conspiracy theorist of notoriety like Alex Jones even claim to be conducting an information war. One need only listen to a snippet of his programming to realize that the information war is against the United States Government and the traditional news media.

Now does Mister Jones do this out of some true ideology, no he does this for profit, for advertising dollars, to sell books and merchandise. He profits off of promoting what are outrageous theories that often slander politicians, government officials, corporate entities, and media personalities and media networks through a series of unfounded and unproven accusations against them, all at a near hysterical tone and pitch aimed at promoting rancor and discourse amongst the listeners to the point they become so emotionally affected they do not stop to ponder the facts, or the lack of them.

Cognitive infiltration of these mediums is designed simply to ensure that they do receive these facts.

Now let us consider the following from the legendary Marshall McLuhan famed communications specialist who had written on the subject and advised Governments throughout the world and the Vatican on the importance of communications in protecting and maintaining good governance.


""World War III will be a guerilla information war, with no division between military and civilian participation." Marshall McLuhan


MarshallMcLuhan.com

So yes, when a conspiracy theorist develops a national following and deems his efforts to be part of an information war, one might readily assume this is not simply a marketing ploy in and of itself but a true call to arms, using the mightiest weapon known to humankind the pen.

By the way Marshall McLuhan passed away in 1980 well before the advent of social networking sites, so that is how long ago these trends were envisioned, based simply on the possibility that advancements in communication would allow for an information war were propagandists and disinformation specialists vie for the hearts and minds of the citizenry.

In this case the U.S. Citizenry.

Further Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s Chief Information Czar has authored a study on the phenomenon of crippled epistemology and is leading the effort on an Administrational level of Government and overseeing the coordination of the cognitive infiltration efforts.

Now while many might take a dim view to Mr. Sunstein’s efforts to protect and serve the citizens by making sure they always can obtain factual information in all news venues and mediums, to call this a manipulative effort on his part is quite a stretch, consider that Mr. Sunstein has also authored papers on the need to extend rights to pets giving them the power to sue their owners in a court of law for mistreatment.

Are we to believe Mr. Sunstein is out to destroy America through some gross manipulation but is determined to make sure only its dogs, cats, hamsters and gold fish lead a quality life?

So your characterization of cognitive infiltration being for any other purpose but to protect the nation and it's people is dubious at best.

Mr. Sunstein’s detailed proposals can be found in his book Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge.

WikipediaCassSunstein


The CIA considers cyber threats currently to be the number one challenge in its next 10 years, and those include both foreign and domestic threats.

CIA.org

So it’s not a question as to whether our government is responding but whether the individual agrees with the methods and tactics that are being developed, deployed and used to meet this critical threat to our national security and way of life.

Responding to your key opening points:


* The flow of Information in the Internet is way beyond control. It was already in the 90s. Information comes from every person, every angle, every group, every mood...a Billion times a day.


Nazism was way beyond control in Europe, and the continent all but lost until American resolve changed the tide, they said man would never reach the stars, until American ingenuity and determination landed a man upon the moon.

In fact both Bell Telephone and IBM turned down the Department of Defense’s invitation to develop what is now known as the Internet claiming it could never work and have no use, but a small entrepreneur in Connecticut took the challenge on.

Americans never say never!

Question #1: Why is you feel that America, it’s Government and it’s people lack the ability and resolve to ensure the flow of information on the Internet always includes fair and balanced factual reporting in any and all venues that report news in it’s various forms and interpretations?



* People dont have to be manipulated nowadays because they lack interest in world events, because they manipulate themselves and because there is so much contradictory information flowing around that it is often impossible to separate accurate from inaccurate. If manipulation by Government Agencies took place it would have to already have taken place in school by retarding their ability to process, select and evaluate information, truth, falsehood properly.


If people lacked interest in world events they would not be on social networking sites and alternative news sites discussing them, and theorizing about them. Clearly manipulation is occurring by for profit sensationalists, and political propagandists, and the Government only seeks to defend the citizens and the nation from this onslaught.

Question #2: Why do you feel that the government protecting the citizens from snake oil salesman and propagandists is manipulation by the government?



Your average Joe is not the enemy. Intelligence Agencies focus on the perceived enemy, not on a Normalton. In Ancient Rome they went to fight other nations, not to fight the Plebs. Your normal citizen is not concerned with World Events and does not pose a danger to the goals of Intelligence Agencies. It would be a massive waste of resources. Its not viable.


The Government does not see the average Joe as the Enemy, but unscrupulous media personalities, personality cult leaders, and political extremists, El Qaeda and Communist Entities as the enemy, and seeks to prevent these entities from exploiting the citizens and harming the nation.

Question #3: Do you really believe that El Qaeda, Communists and extremist militias and people like Timothy McVeigh are not a threat that warrants a guarded and vigilant response to?


Social Media is a natural Evolution of who and what we are, not a Conspiracy. Not everything is a Conspiracy. Implying that social media is a Conspiracy misperceives that Social Media is the next Logical Step. Before Internet we used meeting groups, Movie Theaters, Cafes to connect socially. In the age of Internet we naturally use "Social Media". What is Social Media? Its a virtual Cafe where people meet and socialize.


Social Media is not a conspiracy, the conspiracy is extremists, El Qaeda, Communists and unscrupulous media personalities infiltrating these communities to prey upon those in them, by exposing them to false information, slander, sensationalism and wild theories aimed at isolating them from mainstream American society and to manipulate them in a fashion that is to their own detriment and that of the nation.

Question #4: Do you really imagine America’s enemies and detractors, would not realize an opportunity in being able to broadcast directly to so many people, so inexpensively, and in as great a detail and frequently as they can muster to do harm do this nation?

This issue is one of extreme and the utmost importance, the threats are real, and the need to respond to them is too.



posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 06:10 AM
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I was under the impression that we were arguing whether Intelligence Agencies are using Social Media for mass-manipulation or not and I think you are under the impression that we are arguing whether them using Social Media is good or not.

I will therefore, from this point forward argue both - that it is not happening on any serious scale and that if it were happening it would not be good.



While you purport to see a sinister effort to manipulate the citizenry, I feel it my obligation to point out to you, that government’s role is to protect and serve the citizenry.


From Ancient Rome to the British Empire and from the Empire to Hitler and from Hitler to the EU, the first thing all power-hungry tyrants say is

Control the Flow of Information!

Why? Because that is the only way for those in power to maintain power. Now, for the first time in History, we are experiencing somewhat of a free flow of Information...which will lead to the demise of the Tyrant.

Your entire post is an attempt to justify the control of information a task that is not only

a) Impossible now, but also

b) a vision that can only be borne in the heart of a populace-hating fascist

When the CIA sees Internet-Threats it is not talking about some wannabe-musician uploading his pictures on Myspace, it is talking about Cyber-Hacks into the Pentagon.




Question #1: Why is you feel that America, it’s Government and it’s people lack the ability and resolve to ensure the flow of information on the Internet always includes fair and balanced factual reporting in any and all venues that report news in it’s various forms and interpretations?


I dont feel they lack to resolve to control information, rather they lack the interest. Neither is controlling all information necessary. Never before in the History of mankind was all information controlled at all times. Even the most tight Dictatorships have leaks.



the Government only seeks to defend the citizens and the nation from this onslaught.


We appreciate the offer but we dont need protection




Question #2: Why do you feel that the government protecting the citizens from snake oil salesman and propagandists is manipulation by the government?


I dont believe the majority of bloggers and posters to be snake-oil salesmen and propagandists but just normal folks. The Government should concentrate their efforts on teaching children logical and discerning thinking at school but leave them alone afterwards. Too much intervention becomes manipulation.



Question #3: Do you really believe that El Qaeda, Communists and extremist militias and people like Timothy McVeigh are not a threat that warrants a guarded and vigilant response to?


I and many others believe that the best response to mis- and disinformation are the presentation of and counter-argumentation with factual data and education in school and the media and the internet. Outside of those areas the Government conducts Crime Investigations and Counter-Intelligence. Its a fact of life that we can control some things but not everything. Those who attempt to control everything turn countries into totalitarian dictatorships.



Question #4: Do you really imagine America’s enemies and detractors, would not realize an opportunity in being able to broadcast directly to so many people, so inexpensively, and in as great a detail and frequently as they can muster to do harm do this nation?


Yes, Americas enemies use the Internet to Broadcast. And Americas friends do too. And those neutral about America do too. Whats new? Since thousands of years the world separates into "Friend and Foe" and Broadcasts accordingly.

Questions

#1 Do you think every last bit of information can be controlled?

#2 Do you agree with the prognosis of some Researchers that, because of the massive overload of Information in the Internet, people will come to value conventional news sources again?

#3 Are you afraid of alternative viewpoints being offered to the American Public?

#4 Do you oppose freedom of speech?



posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 





I was under the impression that we were arguing whether Intelligence Agencies are using Social Media for mass-manipulation or not and I think you are under the impression that we are arguing whether them using Social Media is good or not.


I am at a total loss of where you might have gotten that impression from?


The topic for this debate is "The United States Intelligence Community Has Considered And Implemented Ways To Use Social Networking Communities To Influence The Opinions Of The American Population."


Note the above statement does not include a prequalifying ‘has’ or ‘is’ or ‘will’ or ‘should’ and no question mark (?) appears at the end of what truly is a statement and not a question.

This apparent confusion on your part in fact displays that absolute dangers of not having infiltration of social networking sites as even simple clear cut official statements in black and white are often misconstrued for some intent or agenda that they truly do not convey.


“A lie told often enough becomes truth” Vladimir Lenin



“There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.” William James father of modern Psychology


So indeed thank you for displaying both the problem facing the United States Government and it’s citizens through this seemingly innocuous example of at the very least amateur pseudo journalists misinterpreting simple facts, and at worse communists using the fine art of psychology to effect perception and attitudes through deliberate falsehood.

In Vladimir Lenin’s day, at best a powerful radio broadcast might have reached American Shores reaching a small audience, with little doubt in that audiences mind where the broadcast came from or its purpose.

Typically though as in William James day for such a message to become distorted in mass it would have required printing a newspaper style publication and handing it out on the streets and once again it would have been clear to most if not all, where these ideas where originating from and for what purpose. American Communist Party News! Not much guessing required there.

Today however Vladimir, William, Omar, Hiram, Chong or Juan need only sign onto the internet to reach many times more people over social networking sites without ever having to reveal there true identity or the nature of their false information and agenda. They can do this at a substantially reduced cost, they can do this, 24 hours a day, and they are doing this with malicious and malignant intent aimed at breeding subversion to the State and the American Way of life, and weakening and diluting our national resolve.

Together we stand and United we fall, and enemies of America have long known the only way it can fall is through its own divisions and that is precisely what they intend to accomplish through such propaganda.

These include both enemies foreign and domestic, yet what are the alternatives they offer us? Communism, socialism, theocracy or a militant lifestyle that includes toting an M-16 and wearing camouflage everywhere one goes.

We have seen the end product of their systems, their totalitarian and religious laws, their worship of the state and or deity, or their armed paranoia and a lifestyle that centers upon just security instead of prosperity and productivity and creativity.

The government of the United States would surely be remiss if it were not actively utilizing it’s resources to combat this growing threat, and rest assured American resolve in any regard or matter should never be underestimated!

In the dark days of World War II, hard working Americans taking a respite from the war manufacturing efforts at movie theatres were treated routinely to news of the War in Europe and the Pacific and how they could conduct themselves on the home front to ensure American victory! They were told that loose lips can sink ships and to be careful to divulge what kind of work they did for the war effort, they were told if they lived in coastal areas to keep their lights blacked out at night in case of Japanese Bombers or German Submarines, they were told of the atrocities and barbarity of the fascist regimes and their perverse ideologies that they were employing, and they were encouraged to invest their earnings in War Bonds to help pay for the victory that was assured to them through hard work, and the resolve to provide no opportunity or comfort to our enemies.

Many of America’s enemies and indeed some Americans themselves considered this to be propaganda, when in reality it was their good government educating and assisting them to ensure their own security, prosperity and victory.

As displayed in my response to your opening statements America is once again at war, an information war that has been declared upon us for the hearts and minds of our citizenry to effect their ideology and perspectives to favor enemies of the State and our way of life, often in the guise of promoting a better way of life, to which none of these entities can claim to have ever successfully achieved.

So just as you seem to be misinterpreting the very meaning of the topic of this debate, so too are you misinterpreting the actual lay of the land and the true nature and depth and breadth of this never before seen challenge.

Like America’s enemies you would have us believe it is impossible to successfully deal with and overcome these challenges.

That later would be better as opposed to now. That means such as education through the school system which would leave unassisted and unprotected tens of millions of adults and not adequately prepare America for this scourge for an entire generation is a suitable remedy, to a problem you are loathe to even acknowledge.

Wars are won in minutes, hours and days often, and enemies of America and its citizens would be foolish to think our response to an immediate challenge will be years in the offing.

Clearly you are trying to cast a benevolent government, one intent on protecting its citizens and way of life as some kind of desperate fascist enterprise, which is the actual subversive message that the government seeks to counter through cognitive infiltration and those common sense reminders and factual rendering of events that would prevent someone from falling victim to such self defeating thinking.

Our government has the interest and our government has the resolve, and our government has the means to protect this nation and it shall!

It is, through cognitive infiltration of social networking sites.

Even our good and trusted friends the Israelis use a volunteer Internet Defense Force to scour American and other countries social networking sites to counter anti-Semitic propaganda and rhetoric and well they should.

The danger is real and governments in Canada, the European Union and Australia are all looking at or implementing ways to ensure their citizens receive quality helpful information and facts no matter where on the Internet they might congregate.




#1 Do you think every last bit of information can be controlled?


I believe every last bit of information can be enhanced with all the facts and true context through diligent effort that benefits the people and the nation.

Question #1: Why do you fear people receiving all the facts and the proper context from a concerned government that wishes nothing but prosperity and freedom for it’s people?




#2 Do you agree with the prognosis of some Researchers that, because of the massive overload of Information in the Internet, people will come to value conventional news sources again?


I believe that technology has created new information platforms that because of their on demand nature and convenience are establishing new trends in information gathering and dissemination and that the United States Government recognizes those trends and wants and needs to get out ahead of those trends by embracing these venues and mediums as a broadcasting tool and medium too.

Question #2: Why is it you fear Government using social networking sites to disseminate and broadcast news and facts and events?




#3 Are you afraid of alternative viewpoints being offered to the American Public?


We welcome and encourage them, yet these renderings should not be made in a vacuum that allows for only one choice. People’s decisions are only as quality oriented as the information they base them on, and those isolated through crippled epistemology need the benefit of all sides of the argument. We count on and rely on our message of good governance, transparency and freedom and fact being preferable but like any message it must be heard to be considered.

Question #3: Are you afraid of the Government and it’s desire to broadcast to the citizenry in all those places that they can effectively be reached in mass?




#4 Do you oppose freedom of speech?


The government promotes and ensures freedom of speech, including its own freedom to speak and to question and challenge the veracity of what others are speaking and why.

Question #4: Are you promoting anarchy and stating the government should not be able to speak freely itself and address valid discrepancies in incomplete and falsified information being disseminated by commercially driven sensationalists and true enemies of the state?

Once again I implore you to consider the true gravity of this situation and understand that it is not a question of 'if' Cognitive Infiltration is being employed, but 'should' it be employed.

I await your responses.



posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 04:52 PM
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"If you dont grant freedom of speech to people you hate, you dont grant freedom of speech at all" - Source Unknown



Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
I am at a total loss of where you might have gotten that impression from?


Because most past Debates were formed with a definitive statement of which one Debator took the Pro side and one Debator the Con side. But its alright now, the confusion is cleared up. I will proceed defending freedom of speech.





“A lie told often enough becomes truth” Vladimir Lenin



"And a truth told often enough becomes Wisdom" Skyfloating



amateur pseudo journalists misinterpreting simple facts


You're not forced to read any of it. You can go read your regular newspapers.



American Communist Party News!


What exactly makes America so great? Well one of the things is that its enemies can freely express themselves. Unlike in Communist or Fascist Dictatorships.

And may it ever stay that way.




They can do this at a substantially reduced cost, they can do this, 24 hours a day, and they are doing this with malicious and malignant intent aimed at breeding subversion to the State and the American Way of life, and weakening and diluting our national resolve.


Relax dude. The Internet is used for other things as well. Believe it or not some people actually log on without a political agenda. Id venture a guess that 99.9% log on for Education and Entertainment and Social Contact and Work.


These include both enemies foreign and domestic, yet what are the alternatives they offer us? Communism, socialism, theocracy or a militant lifestyle that includes toting an M-16 and wearing camouflage everywhere one goes

You're sounding like a Caricature of the US Government.



Clearly you are trying to cast a benevolent government, one intent on protecting its citizens and way of life as some kind of desperate fascist enterprise



No, Im happy for the protection it provides. But we all know that the extent of protection should have reasonable limits as not to become suffocating. The Internet has been around for the wider public since around 1990 (how time flies!). In that time we've seen 4 Presidents come and go. The usual 2 party rule. Your usual crisis every few years. But things are pretty much the way they used to be 1990, except, thanks to the Internet they are more communicative and open and will become even more so in the future.



Question #1: Why do you fear people receiving all the facts and the proper context from a concerned government that wishes nothing but prosperity and freedom for it’s people?


I dont fear receiving facts from them. I even sometimes watch their press conferences or visit their websites. Im glad they want freedom and prosperity for me. It just so happens I want that for myself too.



Question #2: Why is it you fear Government using social networking sites to disseminate and broadcast news and facts and events?


I dont fear ít. I just think its misguided. Wrong target group, as mentioned earlier. They can broadcast their facts in Press Releases which are then picked up by newspapers.

If they use social sites covertly they are engaging in the same behaviour they accuse their enemies of. This would contradict basic American VALUES.



crippled epistemology


Did Sunstein come up with this term? Its hilariously PC. So that he doesnt have to say "dumb retard" he says "crippled epistemology".




Question #3: Are you afraid of the Government and it’s desire to broadcast to the citizenry in all those places that they can effectively be reached in mass?


On a public discussion board all agendas will be present. Fear is no good guide, but discernment is. In our Education we must learn to discern whether what was said was said to:

* Inform
* Make innocent contact
* Entertain
* Advertise a Product
* Convince
* Indoctrinate
* Manipulate

Discussion Boards are a chaotic mess of information and I think Governments would be better served starting at the source (News Agencies and Publishing Houses) rather than trying to "infiltrate message boards".

That said I think we`ve been fairly stable for the last few hundred years and if we maintain our focus on our Laws and Constitutions we have everything we need to ensure a free and prosperous future...no "cognitive inflitration" in order to change "crippled epistemology" needed.



Question #4: Are you promoting anarchy and stating the government should not be able to speak freely itself and address valid discrepancies in incomplete and falsified information being disseminated by commercially driven sensationalists and true enemies of the state?


As already stated, I have the right to express myself and the people in Government have the right to express themselves. Thats the way we have been doing things around here and thats the way it has worked for the benefit of all.



Once again I implore you to consider the true gravity of this situation and understand that it is not a question of 'if' Cognitive Infiltration is being employed, but 'should' it be employed.


I dont think it should be employed. INSTEAD the Government should focus on creating good school material that teaches children to process information and deal with the emerging new age of media. This is something that is still lacking, this is an issue of importance:

How is this taught in school?

Are we teaching our children enough to deal with the onslaught of information?

Are we teaching our children how to tell sources of information?

How to tell what is accurate and inacurrate?

There is nothing more important than Education, especially early on, because Education determines over whether your life will be pleasant, happy, prosperous or a nightmare.

The Government should leave its populace alone, at least regarding social media. There are enough websites, blogs, podcasts, videos, conferences, press releases, movies, books, e-books it can disseminate its message on.. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and similar are not really made for political mudslinging anyway.

Question #1: If it were a matter of life and death (such as a coming bomb attack), would you rely more on ATS or on conventional news media (CNN, NBC, Fox) for information?

Question #2: Do you think anyone would give a Rats Ass if the CIA started posting political information on Twitter?

Question #3: If the President had a choice between holding a Press Conference or posting a note on Myspace for important information, which should he choose in your opinion?

Question #4: Wouldnt you agree that, since anyone can post responses and facts and different views here, this would be the last place the Government could get Propaganda out UNIMPEDED?

Mod Edit - Quote Tags.

[edit on Tue, 27 Jul 2010 17:08:36 -0500 by MemoryShock]



posted on Jul, 27 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


There is a difference between freely expressing oneself and expressing oneself falsely for the purpose of a hidden agenda.

When expressions involve distorting and omitting facts and reliance upon wild speculation and conjecture aimed at inflaming the readers emotions to render them into a confused and an easy to manipulate state, one is no longer simply expressing one’s self, one is contriving through machination to alter the perspectives of others for political gain, power, profit or intentional harm.

Militias, terrorist cells, extreme religious cults, foreign governments and others look for disaffected people to recruit by befriending them, giving them attention, bolstering their egos, and indoctrinating them into radically different ideologies.

The Internet continues to evolve. In 1990 few people were on the Internet except professionals and technocrats. AOL had not even sprung into existence, which pioneered the Internet Chat experience, and introduced the first generation of Americans to Email.

Dial up telephone connections of only 28 to 56 kilobytes of information per minute, made streaming audio and video difficult to support.

Today YouTube sports what are often big dollar productions of audio video presentations aimed at undermining the Government and destroying the American way of life, that utilize special effects, dramatic musical scores and other semi-hypnotic means to entrance, manipulate and misinform the viewer.

Internet access was charged by the minute and greatly reduced the time people could spend online.

Today some people are practically online 24/7/365!

The Internet is vastly different today as is the world itself.

The nation has evolved just as the internet has evolved.

Yet that has not stopped the threats against the nation from evolving as well, today we face a ever widening and diversified set of challenges, internet security and full spectrum dominance is one of those challenges.

Extremists have found a cheap and very effective means to spread their messages of hate and subversion through the Internet and mass audiences by using it to tap into social networking sites.

Studies have concluded that Pedophiles find it particularly easy to isolate disaffected young people who are lonely and looking for attention, and to prey upon them by simply giving them that attention through the Internet.

Studies have concluded that a significant rise in extramarital affairs have resulted in people seeking out sexual partners and liaisons through the Internet.

Studies have concluded Internet Gambling sites have led to increased numbers seeking treatment for gambling addiction.

Studies have found a disturbing number of people are addicted to Internet chatting, Internet porn, Pirating copy written material through peer to peer file sharing networks and other Internet related activities to the point it has resulted in the loss of jobs and the break up of families.

In short those in the military would call this a target rich environment.

So would those in the subversion and terrorism business.

Studies by Christian organizations have even concluded that the majority of Christians do not act Christian online because of the anonymity it affords them.

How anyone would imagine such an environment is not ripe for and rife with exploitation is hard to fathom.

We fight drug dealers in the streets, and in the jungles and on the oceans. We fight terrorists in their lands and in the skies and the ocean. We fight common ordinary day criminals in the streets and in the boardrooms and office buildings.

You sir would have us do nothing at all as far as safeguarding our way of life and protecting and promoting it on the Internet?

Where our youth can be targeted and exploited? Where those disaffected and isolated from society can too?

That would be gross negligence and abdication on the part of the Government to allow this venue to exist as a vacuum.

The evolving Internet is creating new trends. When we colonized California we did not just leave it to it’s own devices we sent Federal Troops to protect the people, we deputized and martialed people to uphold the law and protect and serve the people, we build schools, railroads, and roads and ports to sustain the people.

The Internet is a new frontier and the people of this nation deserve their government’s protection, oversight, and organizational and logistical capabilities here as much as they do in the mountains, valleys and dales.

Intelligence agents are spies who operate by clandestine means in environments where if their true role was known would expose them to imminent and clear and present danger, and prevent them from carrying out their all important missions.

The Internet has no borders, and strategies to deal with its international nature do require subterfuge in order to best assess threats and counter them. Once again this is not to manipulate Americans but to protect them.

Just because you have come to believe your new Internet friend from Face Book is Frank from Des Moines does not mean that the U.S. Government doesn’t know that his name is Abdullah from Yemen and that he is a member of a terrorist network.

There are times subterfuge is required and there are times open infiltration is required. The evolution of strategies proceeds at a pace similar to that of the evolution of the Internet.

Government insertion into this vast new and powerful medium is no more a threat to the people than when they raised the first U.S. Flag in California over the first fort, next to the first post office.

Government educates the citizens in public schools, no one is protesting that, why would government not opt to further educate and protect at the same time the citizens over the Internet in places that they congregate in mass, and can be effectively and cost effectively reached like social networking sites.

Spending trillions of dollars and implementing compulsory Internet courses of awareness at brick and mortar locations, is neither timely nor economical. Utilizing the existing Internet infrastructure is.

Fear seems to be causing you to dismiss or overlook the pragmatic and valid salient points of cognitive infiltration.

Fear is always based on a lack of information and the cognitive infiltration process is designed to provide the citizens more information to eliminate unnecessary fears.

There is no rational reason to fear these things in my humble opinion. There are far more valid reasons to fear the consequences of a totally unfettered and unrestrained Internet.




Question #1: If it were a matter of life and death (such as a coming bomb attack), would you rely more on ATS or on conventional news media (CNN, NBC, Fox) for information?


There will be no bomb attack because the Internet would be used to coordinate it and your government would ferret out the plot because it has infiltrated the Internet to monitor the nation’s enemies who use it too.

In times of national crisis or natural disaster I check all available sources including conventional news media and alternative news media, as well as a private network of people in the know.

I prefer options that congnitive infiltration is designed to provide.


Question #1: Why do you feel the government can not adequately or should not make the Internet a viable and reliable alternative venue for official news, views, and information thus allowing any choice to be a good one?




Question #2: Do you think anyone would give a Rats Ass if the CIA started posting political information on Twitter?


No I do not see anyone going out and securing a rat and dismembering it, and proffering it as a gift as a form of response to the CIA posting on Twitter.

Law abiding Americans though would see a CIA presence on Twitter as reassuring.

Question #2: Why do you have such a dim view of the nations premier intelligence agency?




Question #3: If the President had a choice between holding a Press Conference or posting a note on Myspace for important information, which should he choose in your opinion?


The President does have a choice and often uses both mediums, if only one could be utilized the press would pick up anything he posted on MySpace, but MySpace would not necessarily pick up what the press reported. Therefore MySpace would be the better decision in such a case.

Do not underestimate the true power of the social networking medium, it is by no mistake that these are wildly profitable enterprises supported entirely by advertising dollars from business looking to tap into these numbers.

Question #3: Why do you feel things should always boil down to just one choice of mediums?




Question #4: Wouldnt you agree that, since anyone can post responses and facts and different views here, this would be the last place the Government could get Propaganda out UNIMPEDED?


What I would agree with is that for that very reason obviously the government is not trying to disseminate propaganda on social networking sites but is seeking to keep all segments of the public better informed!


Question 4#: Why do you feel the government would abuse its ability to disseminate information and safeguard the citizenry?

Though you may be reluctant to admit such, I don’t think anyone could successfully argue that the real and present dangers that exist in the misuse of Social Networking sites by enemies of the state, radical extremists, subversives, and commercial enterprises does not warrant some Governmental level of scrutiny and involvement in ensuring it’s integrity and safety.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 02:48 AM
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Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
There is a difference between freely expressing oneself and expressing oneself falsely for the purpose of a hidden agenda.


Who determines what expressing oneself "falsely" is? The Government?



alter the perspectives of others for political gain, power, profit or intentional harm.


You make it sound as if humans are so dumb they cant think for themselves. Its a surprise you even grant them the ability to log-in to social media.




Militias, terrorist cells, extreme religious cults, foreign governments and others look for disaffected people to recruit by befriending them, giving them attention, bolstering their egos, and indoctrinating them into radically different ideologies
.

Dear readers, dont believe the hype. Most of us recognize extremists when we see them. How? Because extreme denotes a deviation from the norm. So in the rare and unlikely event that someone posts political death-threats on facebook, most of us will shy away. In the rare and unlikely event that someone calls for mass-murder on Digg.com, most of us will likely recognize it as extremism (in the extremely unlikely event that that post will not be deleted by the admin of the site).



Today YouTube sports what are often big dollar productions of audio video presentations aimed at undermining the Government and destroying the American way of life


The American way of life is more difficult to destroy than a bunch of Joes and Maries uploading their private barbecue videos. The most popular social media sites are currently:

Facebook
MySpace
LinkedIn
Tagged
Twitter
Yelp
Youtube

and they all have in common that they remove extremist material. Its in their T&Cs. Government intervention is therefore hardly necessary.



You sir would have us do nothing at all as far as safeguarding our way of life and protecting and promoting it on the Internet?


There are literally Millions of Watchdog sites, Consumer-Protection Groups, Police Officers, keep-the-internet-safe campaigns. We as citizens are doing all we can to ensure our fellow humans safety and happiness. In society, both outside of the Internet and within it, there will always be a few bad apples.

In History, those who were so afraid of the few bad apples they wanted to control everything became the tyrants, the gates to genocide.



The Internet is a new frontier and the people of this nation deserve their government’s protection, oversight, and organizational and logistical capabilities here as much as they do in the mountains, valleys and dales.


When the telephone was invented, the Government pretty much left it up to the people. Internet is not dissimilar. But its a little more, its the magnified version of free press. Its exactly what was wanted and planned. We had become accustomed to free press with newspapers and TV so the next Evolutionary Step was free press co-created by the people. You wish to squash the fact that power and self-sufficiency has been given to the people - but you're too late.

Social networking and attempted infiltration of such networks existed long before the Internet...with mediocre results. Many people that I add to my friends list on social media sites I either know personally, have done Business with or have come to trust and enjoy over time.

If for example, Memory Shock is actually Abdul from Yemen and meant to dissimeniate Information in favor of Al-Qaeda, he's done a lousy job of it up to now.




Question #1: Why do you feel the government can not adequately or should not make the Internet a viable and reliable alternative venue for official news, views, and information thus allowing any choice to be a good one?



The Internet is already a viable and reliable venue for official news. All normal newspapers have their own websites. Governments have their websites. You need to get a better grasp on how stuff works




Law abiding Americans though would see a CIA presence on Twitter as reassuring.


It would receive nothing but ridicule.



Question #2: Why do you have such a dim view of the nations premier intelligence agency?


Because I respect Intelligence Agencies I recommend them not to show up on Twitter. They are wasting their time and resources. Because I am an American citizen I am recommending the Government dont go the path of the control-freak.



Question #3: Why do you feel things should always boil down to just one choice of mediums?


I dont. I was asking hypothetical questions which you evaded. I believe a Press Conference is preferrable to a post because it gives the message a backing of sincerity and reliability. I also believe you would check real news before you check social media sites in case of a bomb attack. Why? Because any idiot can sense whats is more and less reliable....even if they sometimes pretend otherwise.




What I would agree with is that for that very reason obviously the government is not trying to disseminate propaganda on social networking sites


Thanks for conceding.



Question 4#: Why do you feel the government would abuse its ability to disseminate information and safeguard the citizenry?


I dont know if it would and to what extent I would. Your questions continually try to put words into my mouth that are not from me.

An Example of the Absurdity of my Opponents Stance

According to official sources, Twitter sees 50 Million tweets a day. A DAY! How staggering is that?

The website we are writing on right now sees thousands of posts a day.

Get the point? Internet is no longer a place to succesfully dissiminate Information...neither for the Government nor its enemies. Its brim full with normal folk, real citizens, us average people.

At 50 Million tweets a day the extremists piece on what is going to happen in Kabul is just drowned out. Its just a speck of dust in an unlimited and vast sea of information.

Another thing: Are you going to subscribe to a twitter feed that goes on and on about commies, nazis, jihad, white supremacy, etc.? I dont think such feeds will get subscribers. Or they are banned by twitter before they can even jump into action.

Whats more: How are they going to dissuade terrorists from waging attacks by posting in social networks?


Twitter-Feed: "Please, please, we are your brothers and sisters, dont bomb us"

Who will guarantee they will receive the message? Who will guarantee they will take it seriously?

Again, comparing it to pre-Internet times this would be like the CIA sending letters to every household trying to dissuade them from becoming terrorists.

Where is the official Homeland Security page on Facebook? Where is the DIAs LinkedIn page?

Government manipulation of social networking sites is unethical. Government utilization of social networking sites is not viable and ineffective. So either way you look at it, its nonsense.

Mod Edit - To Fix Quote Tags.

[edit on Wed, 28 Jul 2010 12:01:32 -0500 by MemoryShock]



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 07:16 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


We have covered significant ground in this debate highlighting the need for cognitive infiltration of social networking sites.

I would like to thank my opponent Skyfloating for his passionate advocacy of the opposing side of the issue.

Passion is never a substitute for common sense and pragmatism, and I believe most people expect their government to employ common sense and to be pragmatic. Active and rigorous monitoring of social networking sites to ensure they don’t become a free broadcasting network for foreign enemies of the state, domestic subversives, the criminally minded, and those who would deliberately misconstrue important national events simply for profit is common sense.

While I have no doubt my opponent is well intentioned, his world in this regard is incredibly naïve and dismissive of a good many real, pertinent and salient facts.

My opponent questions if the government should render a determination as to the veracity of information being disseminated over the Internet.

Yet in matters of rendering judgments on the law, and criminality, protection and overall security, and official news, the people of this great nation do turn to and expect the Government to fulfill those roles. The Government is doing precisely what it is designed and intended and expected to do, by the people, who elect its representatives.

My says that the Government and people like myself who see a reasonable need for cognitive infiltration of social networking sites believe the people of this nation are too diminished in their capacity to think intelligently and make good decisions for themselves.

Yet every year billions of dollars of fraud occur on the Internet where trusting and well intentioned Americans are scammed of their money and property by slick criminals who tailor skillfully wrought sales pitches and promises that succeed in bilking citizens of all educational, social and economic strata.

Every year thousands of children go missing after being lured away from their homes by predators on the Internet.

Every year millions of people become victims of identity theft after being conned out of their vital personal information by Internet con artists.

My opponent would have you think these are all ‘dumb’. Yet the truth is that they are victims.

As I have mentioned as the Internet Evolves so do it’s threats, and so does the governments response to those threats.

So if people can be conned out of their money, their property, their safety, their identity and in some cases even their virginity all through the Internet how could one believe that they can’t fall prey to other dangers, especially those suffering from crippled epistemology.

My opponent believes most of us recognize extremists when we see them. Over two dozen airport ticket and security agents on September 11, 2001 didn’t when nineteen radical Islamist extremists managed to arouse no suspicion to board 4 flights and within hours manage to kill thousands of Americans, cause billions of dollars in property damage, and rock the nation to its core.

What is the Internet? My opponent imagines it was designed to shop and chat and email and social network.

The Department of Defense created the Internet in the early 1970’s as an alternative communication network to utilize in the event that nuclear attack upon the nation destroyed traditional telephone switching stations, and radio communications towers.

The Internet would cut messages into dozens of parcels called packets and send them out electronically where they could bounce back and forth looking for intact telephone lines and eventually find a path to the recipient’s destination and reassemble themselves there, so that vital commands could still be relayed during a nuclear war.

In the early 1980’s a government employee tired of waiting on the departments mail man to deliver interdepartmental memos struck upon the idea of sending a type written message to the computer terminal of the co-employee he wanted to send a message too and sent the world’s first email.

In the 1980’s a Swedish entrepreneur developed the concept of the World Wide Web, that would assign each computer server attached to a world wide network its own unique address that could be searched out through an electronic command that would detect specific information on a computer acting as a server so it could be accessed remotely.

It would still take years to catch on, and years before AOL, MindSpring and other early Internet Service Providers would make this an affordable reality for everyone. Years more before fledgling Internet companies like Amazon.com would vie with brick and mortar stores to sell merchandize, years until online banking was achieved, years before the major news networks had a presence on the Internet, and years before the first Social Networking Sites sprang into existence.

The Internet is constantly evolving and changing.

My opponent believes that Social Networking Sites alone are capable of policing themselves, but the truth is that these are commercial enterprises many of whom get paid by advertisers based on the number of page views their social network site achieves and maintains. Banning members and deleting content that brings visitors are things that are not always in their own business interests to do. Further they are not always trained or capable of looking for and spotting the evolving threats that exist within their domains, and are at times challenged by civil codes that open them to liability in the form of fines and economic penalties and lawsuits that limit their remedies in some cases.

Government protects, that’s its job, Social Networking Sites provide venues for like minded people to share ideas, and information.

What we discovered on September 11th, 2001 is that it’s not always in the people’s best interest to leave matters of security up to private companies.

My opponent claims that the presence of just a few bad apples as he describes these terrorists, propagandists, extremists, criminals and charlatans doesn’t warrant the intrusion.

It only took a few people to hijack four planes, kill over 6,000 Americans, destroy the \World Trade Center and attack the Pentagon destroying nearly an entire wing.

Yet Americans expect the government to police and monitor and make the airports secure even though it is just a few people who comprise the bulk of the danger.

“The most dangerous enemy is a stupid friend”.

Those suffering from crippled epistemology not need be a ‘bad apple’ to find them selves manipulated by those who are. Yet their actions once so deceived and manipulated can cause every bit as much damage as those provocateurs that start out with malicious intent.

When the telephone was invented it was not left just up to the people. The telephone companies have always been regulated by the government, and prior to computerized switchboards, almost every operator switching center of any notable size had at least one federal or local law enforcement agent in the switching room alongside the operators.

My opponent does not seem to understand the technology of bots that can glean through thousands of posts and emails an hour searching out key words that then highlight a possible need for cognitive intervention after further review.


My opponent seems to think what for the most part is an automated and computerized effort is an impossibly tedious waste of personnel hours that would yield little result.

Earlier in the thread I displayed how during World War II when the Government needed to communicate important information to the people, it would do so in the movie theatres through official news reels. It made perfect sense to do this as most people congregated in the movie theatres to be entertained on a regular basis.

Today’s social networking sites are yesteryears movie theatres, they are a place where citizens congregate in large numbers, and it is more efficient, timely and cost effective to broadcast through such mediums and to such audiences.

My opponent doesn’t seem to realize that it only takes one Timothy McVeigh and a couple of associates to mount an attack on this nation that would kill Americans. Only one or two others are needed and who easier to recruit than those suffering from crippled epistemology?

My opponent doesn’t seem to believe the people of this nation are worth that extra effort to protect, that if a few hundred die here, or a few thousand die there at the hands of a few bad apples, well that’s just the world we live in.

What my opponent is thinking, I surely wonder.

I would like to thank MemoryShock for providing us this critical issue for debate, and his gracious generosity and professionalism in conducting this debate.

I would like to thank my opponent Skyfloating for his kind challenge to debate him, in my first ever official ATS debate.

In closing I urge every intelligent and security conscious American to consider and weigh both the pros and cons of this issue, as it is in my humble opinion one of the most important challenges facing our nation in the 21st Century.

Thank you one, and thank you all.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 11:38 PM
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I trust that I dont have to explain to the Readers and Judges of this Debate why statements such as the following are horrifyingly Orwellian:


Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
Active and rigorous monitoring of social networking sites to ensure they don’t become a free broadcasting network


Please dont accept such statements at face value. Dont say yes to Tyranny.




My oppnent says that the Government and people like myself who see a reasonable need for cognitive infiltration of social networking sites believe the people of this nation are too diminished in their capacity to think intelligently and make good decisions for themselves.


Again I ask the readers not to be deceived by rhetoric. I am saying just the opposte: That people can think and decide for themselves and dont require exaggerated "protection".




Every year thousands of children go missing after being lured away from their homes by predators on the Internet.


And dont fall for the usual fear-mongering that a) creates a problem so that it can then b) offer a solution. Thousands of children went missing before the Internet too. Less children go missing nowadays because they spend more time in the Internet than outside.



September 11, 2001 didn’t when nineteen radical Islamist extremists managed to arouse no suspicion to board 4 flights


Again, this has nothing to do with the Internet. My opponent is trying to use scare-tactics to somehow justify the notion that the Internet needs to be controlled - or the more bizzare notion that it can be controlled.



Today’s social networking sites are yesteryears movie theatres, they are a place where citizens congregate in large numbers, and it is more efficient, timely and cost effective to broadcast through such mediums and to such audiences.


My opponent conveniently forgets to mention that in the case of social networks its the audience pro-actively co-creating the content. This simple fact makes his entire point collapse.

Closing Statement

"The United States Intelligence Community Has Considered And Implemented Ways To Use Social Networking Communities To Influence The Opinions Of The American Population"

My opponent scarcely did anything to show how this has been done. I would have expected examples of the Intelligence Community using Social Networks. Neither did he convince me whether it should be done. Instead I had the sense of him doing a parody of the U.S. Government rather than seriously defending the position.

Since ProtoplasmicTraveler did not provide any evidence for Social Networks being used by the CIA I had nothing left to do than to defend free speech in the Internet by pointing out that intervention would come decades too late, that it would not be viable, that it would not be effective, and to top it all of, that it would not be ethical.

In order to justify Internet-Control PT painted a grim vision of doom and gloom which completely contradicts the lighthearted, creative and highly abundant and fruitful nature of todays social network culture. He used examples that have nothing to do with the Internet (9/11) and put claims into my mouth that I never made.

Social Networks are the form of Communication mankind has dreamt of since ages. It has come true. We now not only communicate with our immediate surroundings (neighbours, family) but with the whole world and especially people who share our interests. And whats best: Everyone has a voice. Everyone has a platform. Everyone has an audience. It used to be that a single person was just part of the gray mass, just another idiot without a voice. Today this person can show his or her distinct identity in Blogs, Websites, Chatrooms, Discussion Boards, Social Media Sites.

Enemies? Yes, lack of Communication with others can create images of an enemy. But these were existent before the Internet. The Internet is more likely to lessen enemies (because of increased worldwide Communication). The Government needs to protect itself from these perceived enemies through diplomacy, military defense, border control...not through facebook and myspace. Posting on the Internet is not a threat. Putting bombs on planes...now thats a threat! The actions that need to be undertaken are of a physical nature, not virtual.

And is it not a (perhaps surprising) sign of humans basic good nature that in the 20 years we'eve had Internet, most things have gone smoothly? That most people can use it with integrity? That most people dont require the intervention of Intelligence Ageancies? Thats good news.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to keep information free flowing as we have been. How it increases peoples intelligence. How it increases their Communication and Understanding among each other. How it has changed and will change the world to the better.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 09:37 AM
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Great job on both sides, Gentlemen.

This debate is now closed for the judgment process.



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 12:15 AM
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My apologies for the lateness of this judgment, there were personal concerns on all sides which contributed.

That said, Congratulations to ProtoPlasmicTraveler...he has won through unanimous decision...Great Job on both sides, Gentlemen...



From the initial opening statement to the closing, ProtoPlasmicTraveler took the lead and kept it, making this a very lopsided debate. I found myself with the impression that Skyfloating did not have his heart in it.

Granted Skyfloating had the more difficult side of this debate, but ProtoPlasmicTraveler really nailed his side and I feel took the debate hands down.





"The United States Intelligence Community Has Considered And Implemented Ways To Use Social Networking Communities To Influence The Opinions Of The American Population."

This turned out to be a highly intense debate. I must admit to being somewhat disappointed that neither debater chose to utilize external source material to strengthen their arguments. Thus I was left to judge on who was able to present the best line of reasoning based solely upon personal opinion instead of solid facts.

Over all, ProtoPlasmicTraveler provided the most compelling – and might I add, entertaining – argument. While I do not necessarily agree with his entire line of reasoning, it was most certainly the strongest. He remained consistent with his stance throughout the debate, despite the fact that his opponent tried to steer him off course.

Skyfloating began with a weak opening statement and was unable to maintain his footing throughout the remainder of the debate. His attempts to reframe his opponent’s point-of-view not only failed, but completely undermined his own stance. Had he attempted to point to outside source material to strengthen his line of logic, he might have stood a chance.

In the end, the win goes to ProtoPlasmicTraveler.

Notes:
Opening Statement
ProtoPlasmicTraveler
Thought-provoking and articulate read. Interesting argument that the intelligence community uses social media to provide “a balanced view we greatly reduce the chance that false perspectives could taint the political landscape to the point of a significant breakdown in society and the state’s ability to successfully govern and protect and serve the citizenry.”

Skyfloating
His opening statement is dodgy at best. If anything he seems to be mocking the subject matter, and takes the stance that social networking does not play an integral enough role in today’s society – which would deem this debate essentially moot. In short, his line of logic is sorely lacking.

Opening Statement goes to ProtoPlasmicTraveler.

Round 1
ProtoPlasmicTraveler
His stance that the government is a sort of purveyor of truth in the midst of an information war that centers around personality cults that utilize social networking communities as propaganda tools makes for a truly interesting viewpoint.

Good use of Socratic questions to steer the debate.

Skyfloating
He attempts to paint his opponent’s stance as one of the government attempting to “control the flow of information.” This attempt at spin comes across as off-balance and serves to highlight the faulty weakness of his opening statement.

Further weakens his stance with this:
“Too much (government) intervention becomes manipulation.”

This implies that the government does indeed make active use of various means to manipulate public opinion, thus rendering his argument pointless.

Round 1 goes to ProtoPlasmicTraveler.

Round 2
ProtoPlasmicTraveler
Regarding foreign and domestic propaganda:
“The government of the United States would surely be remiss if it were not actively utilizing it’s resources to combat this growing threat, and rest assured American resolve in any regard or matter should never be underestimated!”

That is one humdinger of a response. He stands his ground and doesn’t falter off course.

Skyfloating
Again, he makes a weak attempt to turn the debate in his favor by defending the Freedom of Speech. Had he attempted this line of reasoning earlier in the debate, perhaps it may have helped his stance. However, I cannot help but feel that he is struggling to stay afloat and is steering the debate off course in response.

Round 2 goes to ProtoPlasmicTraveler.

Round 3
ProtoPlasmicTraveler
Regarding Freedom of Speech:
“When expressions involve distorting and omitting facts and reliance upon wild speculation and conjecture aimed at inflaming the readers emotions to render them into a confused and an easy to manipulate state, one is no longer simply expressing one’s self, one is contriving through machination to alter the perspectives of others for political gain, power, profit or intentional harm.”

He acknowledges that social networking sites and other media are already being manipulated by various groups for a wide variety of reasons. Personally, I could have gone without the long history lesson on the internet. That part could have been greatly shortened and still have gotten the point across.

Skyfloating
Regarding social networking communities:
“Social networking and attempted infiltration of such networks existed long before the Internet...with mediocre results.”

“Government utilization of social networking sites is not viable and ineffective.”

Normally, I would consider these to be potentially strong statements – provided there was actually an attempt to provide a source to deem them factual. As there is no source provided, it falls into the realm of personal opinion which carries little weight in a debate.

Round 3 goes to ProtoPlasmicTraveler.

Closing Statement
ProtoPlasmicTraveler
He continues to consistently stick to his core argument that the government does and should continue to use social networking communities to sway public opinion. Again, his argument could have been made without the long history lesson regarding the development of the internet.

Overall, he made an strong and compelling argument for his stance.

Skyfloating
“Since ProtoplasmicTraveler did not provide any evidence for Social Networks being used by the CIA I had nothing left to do than to defend free speech in the Internet by pointing out that intervention would come decades too late, that it would not be viable, that it would not be effective, and to top it all of, that it would not be ethical.”

This is a poor attempt by Skyfloating to justify his lack of a cohesive argument to defend his stance in this debate. Unfortunately, his line of reasoning was all over the place thus weaken his argument.

Closing Statement goes to ProtoplasmicTraveler.



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 03:10 PM
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I would like to start out by thanking MemoryShock for his excellent job in moderating this debate, and to thank the Judges for their time and consideration in rendering a decision on this debate.

I would especially like to thank SkyFloating for his warm invitation to debate him and his flexibility in the topic of the debate and the assigned sides, all of which by mutual agreement were determined by MemoryShock.

SkyFloating had originally approached me to invite me to debate suggesting we debate Israel.

Fearing a conspiracy of Orwellian proportions I agreed to debate him provided MemoryShock choose the topic, later SkyFloating then later suggested MemoryShock pick the sides.

This represented a very formidable challenge for both Skyfloating and I as typically we would normally be debating such an issue from a reverse stance.

It also provided me a slight advantage because I had the honor of being the first ATS Member to break the story on Cognitive Infiltration of Social Networking Sites as proposed by Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s Information Czar.

So I was quite familiar with the topic though my actual real life position is against Cognitive Infiltration, up to and including calling Cass Sunstein on the telephone and leaving a message on his voicemail to join the debate I had started regarding it right here on ATS.

My debate position is not my real life view on the topic, but I think this debate itself displays a lesson we might all want to take note of, and that is someone in a public position of promoting something, someone like a politician or political appointee or officer of the government, promoting something like Cognitive Infiltration or Weapons of Mass Destruction, might easily themselves not truly believe in what they are selling and arguing for.

Often for people in these positions it is another day at the office and all part of a larger agenda that they really do get paid to carry out and profit off of carrying out.

People should consider this when gauging what is in essence being sold to us.

In the case of this debate I was simply promoting and selling Cognitive Infiltration the same way a car salesman would sell a car, a real lemon of an idea in my own humble opinion and a bad thing, but with an incentive to sell it on my part, that incentive being simply winning a debate, sell it I did!

So one might very well stop to imagine if someone would totally abandon their own values simply for a meaningless win, to stroke one’s own ego, the real temptations public figures have, policy makers have, and corporate tycoons have in abandoning their own personal values to sell something that is going to be detrimental to the masses by making it look like it is beneficial to the masses, when in reality they are only selling it for some personal reward of an entirely different nature to themselves.

I know my opponent wasn’t really passionate about the debate because of his own views regarding a totally unregulated Internet and had a much harder time abandoning his values than I did mine.

Because SkyFloating was kind enough to carry through with it from start to finish I will accept any future challenge from him to debate an issue he is passionate about and to choose the side he wants to debate so he can engage me in such a debate, which was his true desire from the start.

Finally I would just like to add, that my lengthy dissertations on the History of the Internet were done in part because of how SkyFloating presented the Internet as being a rather spontaneous growth mechanism that was the prevue of the masses.

So I felt illustrating its history as being contrary to that was an important part of the debate.

Thus proving once again the ability to sell false ideas and notions because we all know Al Gore invented the Internet!

Thanks again to MemoryShock, the Judges and SkyFloating, and I would also like to thank the rest of the staff, the set designers, the writers, the stylists, the key grips and wardrobe people, especially the special effects people, and a big shout out to Mom! I owe it all to you.

However I can not accept the award for this victory as I am protesting the police action at Wounded Knee and want to see full sovereignty returned to the First Nations people!



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 05:56 PM
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Congratulations to ProtoplasmicTraveler for winning his first Debate. Excellent Job


Surprisingly I agree with the entirety of my Debate and was able to post what I really believe (this is rare for Debates in which sides are random). I could sense that Protoplasmic Traveler agrees with that side too because I detected a satirical tone in his posts. It was great fun.

I look forward to us meeting someday again in the Debate Forum!


[edit on 25-8-2010 by Skyfloating]



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 06:03 PM
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I believe we have a record for the longest acceptance speech ever!


I loved reading this debate, and although it is often said casually, this time there was truly no loser. Both members exemplified all the virtues of the debate forum and more. There was however a clear winner ... US, the members who got to read the debate. Thank you sky and proto for your contribution, and congratulations to proto on your win.

Proto, I assume you got the debate itch scratched thus no need to participate in the next tournament.



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Schrödinger’s Dog my friend, as always I am humbled in the face of what truly is yours “The Superior Intellect”!

I think it safe to say the reigning ATS debate champion shall always remain so.

Sorry about the length of the speech, while on the train ride up here I scribbled a few ideas on the back of an envelope but didn’t think they would have much impact…

It went a little like this: Four score and seven years ago…

Thanks my friend!

Edit to add: Proto really does think SD is the smartest person on ATS hands down, no humor, pun, sarcasm or any other thing intended!



[edit on 25/8/10 by ProtoplasmicTraveler]





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