I’m sure you all heard the sad news of the shootings over the weekend in Arizona.
It is never a huge shock to hear that somebody in the US has run amok with a gun, then turned it on himself.
You get the same problems in other societies with lax gun control, such as Sweden.
I was watching a devastated father of one of the victims being asked by those sensitive souls at Sky News how he felt about it.
9 year old Christina Taylor Green was born on September 11th, 2001, and she was deemed at the time to be a ‘Face of Hope’ as America came to terms with the attacks and tried to rebuild itself. Ironically, it would seem, as her life ended hopelessly in the shootings over the weekend.
Gun control is a complete debate in its own right, but I’m a little more concerned about the media angle here, which is a new one, as far as I know.
Boing Boing have posted about the fact that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner (always with the 3 names…) had posted 5 videos on YouTube prior to the weekend’s events. The final one is called ‘America: Your Last Memory in a Terrorist Country’.
In the world we live in, this is startling news. While it is commonplace with suicide bombers & the like to make a final video, the fact that a ‘Child of the West’ is now doing the same puts a whole new perspective on his intentions.
Apparently he was politically dissatisfied. That would appear to be a weak causal explanation. There was debate at lunchtime that he shot people because either A) The Republicans had a map of Arizona with a cross-hair over it or because B) The Democrats also used the image of a map of Arizona with a cross-hair over it, or that C) Obama reportedly said that if Arizonian Democrats were bringing knives, he was going to ‘bring a gun’.
We’re on thin ice here. We’re examining the motives of a nutter idiot, remember?
FAR SIMPLER is the explanation that Loughner was a nobody, and tired of it.
He wanted fame, at any price, even posthumously, and he had a certain garbled ‘message’ his videos try to convey. He was sure that there would be interest in his YouTube videos, following his shooting of innocent bystanders, and indeed there is.
What is of most concern at this point is that YouTube should REMOVE them with immediate effect.
Given that YouTube seems to be where intellectual dwarfs congregate to lol at the world in all its puzzling everyday normality, there is quite a high probability of the Loughner videos and shootings to inspire copycat killings and videos, in much the same way that there was a spate of Bebo suicides a few years ago.
The key difference between the Bebo Suicides & the Arizona Shootings is that people ‘opted in’ to the suicide pact. I doubt that any of the weekend’s victims applied to be assassinated. In the end, we can look forward to more of the same, as YouTube is currently the largest Idiot Soap Box on Earth, and while many take pleasure from browsing the freakshow to take dubious pleasure from their own intellectual superiority, there are many, many more weirdos in the audience who can always go one better.
The problem with giving these people airtime is that it is EXACTLY what they’re after, even at the cost of innocent lives (of more worthy, intelligent people). This is a sort of reverse Darwinism.
YouTube needs to have some sort of moderation, as it stands, the only content that is restricted is either pornographic, or owned by a major studio who has the legal clout to scare YouTube into policing its content. We have raised objections to content on YouTube that is racist in the extreme previously, and YouTube never responded.
Google’s mantra of ‘Not Being Evil’ or whatever it is clearly doesn’t apply to allowing evil to gain traction on YouTube, that can lead to horrific action such as that witnessed over the weekend. If they really care about everyday people, they’ll do something about it.
But you already know where our bet is.