World Wide Wild West

The internet is being compared to the Wild West. I know this because the talking heads on CNN are trying to convince me that's the analogy to use. But I can see it. It's a massive landscape of excess, violence, money-making schemes, peddlers of goods (useful, ridiculous, and even illegal), and boobs. Goddamned LOTS of boobs. There are laws that can be applied to its dealings, but largely, the happenings of the internet can fall under first-amendment rights (in the US anyway). So this creates a catch-22, is that internet troll protected by the constitution? Or can he be sued for liable and defamation? The internet provides a ridiculous amount of anonymity to its purveyors. One would hope that the general public would self-regulate, I do, there's no naked pictures of me or mine floating around at there...but for those who do find themselves attractive enough to do those things, what happens should someone feel nasty enough to post those private events?

There's the case of Erin Andrews where more than just the internet is involved and appears to be a very serious case concerning a stalker, however the internet turned this matter into public forum where now any and everyone can take a look at the stalker's misdeeds. How do you shut that down? This isn't the old days of crappy VHS cassettes that might eventually fade away. If it's on the internet, it's there forever. What happens if some asshat uploads a video of me wiping my ass 50 times in the Carl's Jr. bathroom? The victim would have no control or consent, but they would certainly suffer the fallout, and JackOffMyLiLD*ck27 disappears into the aether(net).

The case of Sheryl Sherrod as well, the NCAA woman who gave a speech about how she felt about having to help a white farmer when black farmers were getting the shaft, only to push those feelings aside and help her fellow downtrodden soul. See, this Brietbart guy failed to include the second part of that speech, indeed the most important part, thus completely changing the tone and subject matter of the statement. Personally, I need to understand the context of a statement before making a judgment, I think most people do, but sometimes in the interest of appearing strong you need to make snap decisions. It's unfair what Ms. Sherrod had to endure, but I'm glad things have been cleared up and personally I hope Mr. Brietbart does face some consequences. The question is, however, how? How can you possibly punish him? Ms. Sherrod did indeed say those things, simply posting a clip of only that part of the speech may indicate you are painting a falsehood, but there is a layer of truth to it, if entirely out of context. And this is where Fucktards come from.

Some really malicious shit can go down, the teen who committed suicide after a fellow classmate's mother belittled her over the internet. So, yeah, the internet is fucking serious business. I think self-regulation is probably too much to be hoped for, but letting the governments regulate the web into the ground isn't going to help anyone either. It's a dangerous new world we have created and let into all of our homes, and certainly a sign of the apocalypse.

Just imagine if it died. Solar flare reaches out and destroys the electronic infrastructure of half the planet, no internet, no cellphones, only cars built before computers and electrical systems were installed work anymore. Screw the internet being the wild west, we'd all be plunged into a world no more advanced than almost 200 years ago. But that's a really divergent line of thought, it's not dead yet...

I can't even begin to fathom how to make the internet more secure, to come up with one idea leads to a negating idea immediately thereafter. So why write a blog that I can offer no resolution (or an opinion of)? Ranting is about as good as it gets in a free-speech world. And the internet provides a major forum for that. It appears to be the pure embodiment of one of the United States' greatest freedoms. But it can be abused. I can only hope that I remain careful and keep my own family safe from the perils of the internet. While I continue to eke out my own cyber existence. Now I just need a cowboy hat and some hookers.

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