London Bridge

Hostile Social Media


cjones06072017

Criticism for the way social media, and the internet in general, as to how terrorists and other extremists use it isn’t anything new.

Facebook was blamed back in 2014 for failing to pass on information that could have helped prevent the murder of a British soldier by Islamist terrorists. The London attacks from Saturday has renewed the criticism, specifically from British Prime Minister Theresa May.

It is difficult for companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google to eliminate extremists from using their platforms. YouTube alone has over 400 hours of video uploaded every minute (they’re all Nickelback). Usually, the only way these companies can be made aware of hostile content is when users bring it to their attention. I’m sure those notifications are lumped in with each complaint a user sends that someone hurt their feelings in a debate of Pearl Jam versus Incubus (Pearl Jam is better).

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced last month that his company will add 3,000 employees to scrub harmful content from the network. The director of policy at the media giant says they want “Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists.” So basically they want Facebook to treat terrorists like it does the casual user.

May wants to tighten Internet regulation in order to deny terrorists a tool for planning attacks and spreading extremism. That’s where things get tricky when it comes to free speech in open societies. Do you really want Donald Trump deciding what is extreme?

Social media is very friendly to extremists. Whether those extremists are jihadists, conspiracy theorists pushing a story about Hillary Clinton murdering people and selling child-sex-slaves out of a pizza parlor, or Nazis sharing links to Breitbart (tell your uncle to stop that). Facebook is annoying enough with pictures of vacations (yay, you’re living so well!), people who are determined to show you what they’re eating every day (A friend actually posted a photo of Cheerios last week), and yeah….cat pictures. Dog pictures and their crazy antics are always acceptable. Your cat is boring.

While Facebook is great for keeping up with old friends from high school that you’ll never see in the flesh ever again, it annoys the hell out of me by giving me a notification every time a friend is conducting a live video, or when I’m added to a group I never had the intention of joining. I have thousands of “friends.” I don’t need this crap.

I do believe companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, are better at regulating their content, as sucky as they may be, than the government. The internet is a place for ideas, even bad ones. If you own a platform then you have the right to decide what stays and what is trashed. I don’t think we need new laws making those decisions for us.

Just as a business can reject your patronage, media giants have the right to deny you service on their platforms. Their judgement is better than the government. That’s good for you, me, and Mr. Whiskers Kills.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.

Advertisements

Captain Underpants


cjones06062017

I was feeling my British lineage on Saturday and was dining on bangers and mash at an English theme pub when word came through on the attacks in London.

Three terrorists in a van ran over people on the London Bridge and then commenced to stabbing innocents who were enjoying an evening out in the British capital. Seven people ultimately died from the attack with scores more wounded. But the Brits fought back.

There are reports of pub patrons and employees throwing glasses at the attackers. One restaurant owner and his staff pulled their customers inside from a terrace where they were dining when they saw the attackers approaching. Strangers welcomed people into their homes. One of the stabbing victims is a journalist (who survived).

London police killed all three terrorists within eight minutes from when the attacked started. They shot over 50 bullets into them as the police were afraid they were wearing suicide vests. As it turns out, they were fake suicide vests to discourage people from getting close enough to stop them.

Londoners survive. They carry on. Their way of life continues and they refuse to be intimidated, whether their city is being bombed by the Luftwaffe or three cowards are running wild in the streets with knives. One man returned to a pub after the attack to pay his tab and leave a tip.

After the attack, Ariana Grande held a benefit concert in Manchester to support the victims of the terrorist attack in that city that targeted attendees at her concert. It was a star-studded event that featured Pharrell Williams, Take That, Robbie Williams, Little Mix, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Liam Gallagher, Miley Cyrus, and Coldplay.

While people of the U.K. presented multiple examples of how to respond to terrorism, and not have their way of life derailed, our president exhibited how not to react. Trump made it political, personal, and extremely immature. He’s continuing to embarrass our nation and thumb his nose at our European allies.

First, the man who has access to the best intelligence in the world retweeted a post from the Drudge Report that said, “Fears of new terror attack after van ‘mows down 20 people’ on London Bridge…” Remember, this is a president who derides the press as “fake news” but he’ll rely on right-wing conspiracy sites for news.

He sounded presidential for a second by tweeting support for the U.K., and then he tweeted that our courts need to enact his travel ban, which his administration has told us time and again, is NOT a travel ban.

The mayor of London, who is the first Muslim elected mayor of a major Western city, told his citizens not to be alarmed over more police officers patrolling the streets. Trump decided to take a part of his statement and misrepresent it. Trump tweeted “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!” Personally, I would prefer a president who does not have a comprehension problem.

Trump has feuded with the mayor before and what better time to troll him than during a terrorists attack. Rational people will be appalled by Trump’s personal attack on the mayor, but his base will probably rejoice over his tantrum. Trump is serving as president only for his base and not all of the people. Trump also used the occasion to attack proponents of gun control.

Monday morning Trump took to Twitter again to attack the courts and defend his travel ban. Again, he referred to it as a “ban,” and even wrote, “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” His lawyers should have fun with that at their next court appearance.

Trump spent his campaign promising to ban Muslims. He said Islam hated us. He proposed surveillance over mosques. Now his administration tells us it’s not about Muslims or even a “ban,” and those in the press who describe it as a “ban” are fake news outlets. Now their leader has doubled down on that term. Once again he’s contradicted his team and destroyed their credibility along with his own.

Trump hasn’t even waited for the details to emerge to use the attack for political arguments. So far there hasn’t been one attack that would have been prevented by his ban, as most of these terrorists have been home-grown.

Trump is about as presidential, helpful, and mature as a man pretending to be a superhero in his underpants.

Creative notes: I expect to see another cartoonist to portray Trump as Captain Underpants. I haven’t seen the movie yet but intend to after it’s available as an online rental. It won’t take long as the studio behind it had the horrible idea of releasing it the same weekend as Wonder Woman. I do hope to see Wonder Woman after the excitement dies down a little. I did see Guardians of the Galaxy sequel last week.

Before the movie, I was eating sushi at the bowling alley attached to the theater (yes. Bowling alley sushi). A very nice young man in a professional wrestling T-shirt told me he saw the movie four times. The movie was good but not so good you should see it four times in the theater.

Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. Your support contributes to my work and continued existence. The starving cartoonist appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Want a signed copy of this cartoon? Donate at least $50 and I’ll ship it to you. Make sure to mention in the note with your donation which cartoon you want along with the mailing address you need it shipped to. If it’s a gift, make sure to mention the recipient’s name so I can make it out to them.