Getting Vocl About Things
Is a new kid about to arrive on the social media block? According to MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, the answer is yes – and its name is Vocl. Lindell has attracted controversy due to his vociferous claims of election fraud, leading to a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems, as well as a ban from Twitter. YouTube and Vimeo also took down a film he had made about the election.
After his ejection from social media, Lindell is responding as one might expect from a businessman – by providing competition. In an interview with Business Insider, he revealed he is working on a new platform called Vocl, which will be a cross between Twitter and YouTube. “It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen,” he said. “It’s all about being able to be vocal again and not to be walking on eggshells.”
In what appears to be a method of avoiding problems such as those experienced by Parler, Lindell says the platform will operate on its own servers. He added that he expects the site to be attacked by opponents and that it will have “some of the highest security ever.”
It’s “space-age stuff,” he commented.
Time to Cancel Online Bullies?
“The Boomers’ evergreen belief in the ideals of the ‘60s never allowed much latitude for other visions. That philosophical intransigence was taken up by their kids – with a twist. Overly protected, the Millennials can often be fearful of others’ ideas, thoughts, and opinions – and desperate to control them in the same way their parents sought absolute control over them. The canter of cancel culture has now increased to a gallop, and anything that challenges ‘causes harm,’ is considered ‘disinformation,’ or constitutes ‘hate speech.’”
How will this desperation to control speech impact the next generation – Generation Z?
A recent move by TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing platform primarily used by today’s children and teens, perhaps provides a hint as to how young people are being taught to handle criticism.
TikTok recently announced it would be rolling out “[n]ew tools to promote kindness” on the platform. The first new feature gives creators the ability to decide which viewer comments are displayed on their videos, allowing them the opportunity to essentially censor unfavorable responses. A “Filter All Comments” tool enables users to block all comments, as well as providing options to block just potentially “offensive” messages or certain keywords, which will need to be approved before appearing on the channel.
The second addition is a prompt for users who attempt to leave “unkind or inappropriate” comments to reconsider their decision, as well as reminding users of the site’s community guidelines and allowing them to edit their message. “Would you like to reconsider posting this?” enquires the pop-up. The platform announced it was partnering with the Cyberbullying Research Center and commented, “We know that comments are an important way for community members to connect with creators, and we’ll continue to develop ways to promote respectful discussion.”
Twitter revealed in 2020 it was experimenting with a similar tool, while Instagram in 2019 brought one out, saying: “From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.”
Few would deny the anonymity of the internet has proved a fertile breeding ground for unpleasant behavior, name-calling, and nasty comments – and a new generation is growing up immersed in these putrid environs. According to a 2018 Pew Research poll, “59% of U.S. teens have been bullied or harassed online, and a similar share says it’s a major problem for people their age.”
Is this what the internet needs to become – a less bullying, kinder place – or will this be the next step in expanding a censorship culture that will nurture a generation even more willing to “cancel” others than today’s adults?
In a world where the “ratio” of positive to negative comments on high-profile social media statements can give an indication of public sentiment, “anti-bullying” efforts could certainly be extended and misused to stamp out genuine dissent. As Yascha Mounk of The Atlantic recently described: “Most writers are well beyond the stage when they have nightmares about school. Instead, they now startle awake at night fearing that the tweet they sent before going to bed will be ‘ratioed’ by the morning.” That is, their social media post will attract a greater number of negative responses than positive.
Some have accused YouTube of removing “dislikes” on videos released by the Biden administration – an assertion which even fact-checking outfit Politifact could not debunk, though it complained of missing context, saying YouTube may have deleted “spam” or “invalid” responses.
Would a generation accustomed to simply deleting hostile feedback think twice about social media companies or governments acting to stamp out online negativity?
This Invention is Better than the Sun
Finally, let’s turn our attention to a new device that is like the sun – but better. At least, that is according to the World Economic Forum – that same globalist organization that recently published eight predictions for the year 2030 – including the idea that “You’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy.” Now, the WEF is championing an artificial Urban Sun developed by Dutch company Studio Roosegaarde.
Sure, it’s well known that the actual sun releases antimicrobial UV rays – but according to the WEF, a fake sun will do the job better, saving communities from COVID-19. The device’s UV rays sterilize virus cells without posing a danger to humans’ skin, states the developer: “Research shows that though traditional 254nm UV light is harmful, the new far-UVC light with a wavelength of 222 nanometers can actually sanitise viruses safely.”
Other projects by the studio include using artificial UV lighting to boost crop growth, as well as other light-based art installations and engineering experiments.
According to Studio Roosegaarde, the Urban Sun is intended as “a symbol of hope, [which] shines a large circle of this far-UVC light into public spaces, cleaning those spaces of the coronavirus. It acts as an additional layer of protection to current government rules. URBAN SUN aims to inspire hope. It combats the negative impact of social isolation by aiming to improve cultural gatherings, sporting events, public squares, and schoolyards.”
NEW – Klaus Schwab's World Economic Forum has released another dystopian video promoting an "artificial sun," so it is "easier for people to gather again."pic.twitter.com/isf8irieTm
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) March 8, 2021
It’s not clear how this pilot version would work in practice, as it appears to cast a ring of light in an otherwise dark space. Is turning humanity nocturnal the next phase of coronavirus safety?
Read more from Laura Valkovic.