Saturday, August 16, 2014

Web Trolls Winning as Incivility Increases; New York Times, 8/14/14

Farhad Manjoo, New York Times; Web Trolls Winning as Incivility Increases:
"But Dr. Phillips, of Humboldt State, pointed out that many efforts to curb trolling ran into a larger problem: “To what extent do you want to make it harder for people to express themselves on the Internet?” she asked.
“This is not the good-faith exchange of ideas,” she said. “It’s just people being nasty, and if anything, it might encourage marginalized groups to not speak up.” She added, “On the other hand, by silencing that valve, there’s a lot of other stuff that is important culturally that might also be minimized.”
If there’s one thing the history of the Internet has taught us, it’s that trolls will be difficult to contain because they really reflect base human society in all its ugliness. Trolls find a way.
“It’s not a question of whether or not we’re winning the war on trolling, but whether we’re winning the war on misogyny, or racism, and ableism and all this other stuff,” Dr. Phillips said. “Trolling is just a symptom of those bigger problems.”"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Senator Quits Montana Race After Charge of Plagiarism; New York Times, 8/7/14

Jonathan Martin, New York Times; Senator Quits Montana Race After Charge of Plagiarism:
"His withdrawal from the race comes about two weeks after The New York Times reported that in 2007 Mr. Walsh plagiarized large sections of the final paper he completed to earn his master’s degree at the prestigious Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. In his statement, Mr. Walsh expressed no contrition for the plagiarism, saying only that the “research paper from my time at the U.S. Army War College has become a distraction from the debate you expect and deserve.”...
The War College commenced its own investigation into Mr. Walsh immediately after the Times article was published, and it made a preliminary conclusion that there was evidence of plagiarism. An academic review board at the college will convene next month to reach a conclusive determination, a decision that could result in the senator’s losing his degree."