Reshared post from Florian Rohrweck

+Callum J Hackett  commented:

"Is it dickish of me to say that once the fund got to around, say, $100,000, people should have thought, "Maybe it's time to turn my money to an actual charity"? Yes, those kids were awful (though I have to say that she didn't look much like she cared given the gravity of some of the things they said), and yes it's great that people have come out in support of her. But I think this is an example of people behaving disproportionately, and though we hear it happening all the time with bad things, it can happen with good things like this too. I think, as a crowd, the people who have donated have become carried away with indulgence in generosity, perhaps for the fuzzy feeling it gives them rather than her. I don't think it's rationally sustainable to make a random woman rich because she was treated like crap by children when there's so much agony elsewhere in the world that even half of the money this woman will receive could help with enormously."

I left the following response in his thread:

I think you are right that this is a disproportionate response. The problem is that there is no infrastructure to ensure that the good will generated on the internet is used productively and effectively, or that its response are in proportion to the crimes that instigated it.

Such infrastructure doesn't yet exist; +Jonathan Zittrain  keynote at ROFLCon is in some sense a call for that infrastructure. The paradigm case of such disproportionate response was the Kony 2012 meme, the fastest spreading meme in history and (consequently) the most radically disproportionate ratio of virality to actual accomplishment we've ever seen. 

Just imagine if the internet had actually fomented some action as a result of the Kony video. Given its obvious ignorance and misunderstanding of the situation, its not exactly clear that such action would be for the best. Who knows how the internet might be manipulated in the future for such disproportionate, easily shaped action. Who might benefit? Who might suffer?

I personally think of these cases as analogous to an infant flailing its arms wildly in an effort to learn to control it's body. In the process it will knock many objects onto the floor, including possibly itself. Its completely healthy and natural for a growing entity to learn to flex its power and control its body, but it can also be quite dangerous if it isn't tended by concerned caregivers. 

We need to tend to the growth of the internet, to ensure that these outpourings of good will and cooperative empathetic support are actually leveraged for the benefit of the community as a whole. Such cooperation is characteristic of our evolution as a species, and sustaining the practice into the future requires positive feedback loops.  And that means the infrastructure to ensure that these collective social actions are not merely isolated events, but are systematic features of the network overall. 

Florian Rohrweck originally shared this post:

The internet rocks! (for the larger part)

Just sayin: these dick-kids (uneducated leftovers from bad parenting or bad influence by other dick kids par excellence) are those who later claim that you shouldn't be on the internet if you don't want to be verbally abused. When they are beaten up often enough in the real world, they just flee online, where they can hide behind their computers like little scared babies :)

Internet, you’re amazing: $300K (and counting) raised for bullied bus monitor Karen Klein

The Internet has raised more than $300,000 in just a few hours for elderly school bus monitor Karen Klein, who appears in a YouTube video being verbally abused by middle school boys.

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