The title is supposed to give an idea of what is going happen if Assange supporters keep banning people on Twitter who disagree with them. Because as more and more people block others because they don’t like or can’t deal with questions Twitter is going to turn into,
Yesterday, after trying to offer an alternative explanation to someone picking a fight, the person I was defending thanked me for doing so and then blocked me. Today, the other person in that conversation blocked me. There is no better way to completely screw up the communications of Assange supporters than to have them all block each other and it definitely seems to have sped up in my neck of the woods.
And yes, usually I would say it is just me (me being the common thread in my own experience) but this seems to be happening to many others as well.
I understand blocking people if they are attacking you but blocking them because you don’t agree or because someone else told you to block them is not only idiotic it more than likely destroys communication links between valid Assange supporters.
Lack of up to date information
From my perspective half of this blow up is due to a lack of information. I have heard there are two public relations firms involved here yet there seems to be no one place people can go to to find information. Where is the newbie board? Where is the Assange campaign up to the minute trustworthy news feed?
So when a news report comes out saying that Assanges lawyers have failed to apply for bail and there is no other place for supporter information then people start talking about what information they have.
That information void is not due to government agents, although yes people will exploit it. That void was caused by the lack of communications from the public relations people. If people do not have a trusted source to go to then yes, they will read the news and when it says,
“Therefore I have given your lawyer an opportunity to make an application for bail on your behalf and she has declined to do so, perhaps not surprisingly in light of your history of absconding in these proceedings.
“In my view I have substantial ground for believing if I release you, you will abscond again.”Guardian: Julian Assange to remain in jail pending extradition to US
Assange was asked if he understood what was happening. He replied: “Not really. I’m sure the lawyers will explain it.”
…they will freak. And quite rightly so. That there was no alternate explanation or even a,
“We are trying to find out what has happened. There will be a full report at 5PM meridian.”
This meant that what happened was there were a lot of concerned people and some angry ones wandering around asking what is going on who were then told they were part of a concerted effort (read government agents) to undermine Assange’s lawyers and thus Assange.
What I think happened was the old crew had no more information than anyone else and as such their only reaction was to leap into paranoia as a way of trying to keep the sheeples in line. Complete with calls of sock puppet accounts and CIA accounts. The reaction reminded me of this,
“Any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,”CBS News
If Assange supporters are using the same tactics as the people they think are persecuting Assange then I think it might be a good idea for them to have a think about what they are fighting for.
No idea what the lawyers are doing
People want to know in some shape or form what the lawyers are doing and, before somebody jumps down my throat , can Wikileaks and Courage please remember that these people are the ones paying for the lawyers. They deserve to know what is going on, not just to be told that there is some ”grand plan’ that they all must trust even though the news reports don’t show much to trust in.
And people, believe it or not, read the news. That the very people paying for the lawyers have to read what they are doing in that news instead of getting it from the legal team (or the PR of the legal team as long as it is not spun) isn’t great.
Assange was asked if he understood what was happening. He replied: “Not really. I’m sure the lawyers will explain it.”Guardian: Julian Assange to remain in jail pending extradition to US
And when they read things like this it doesn’t look as though the lawyers are telling their client what is going on and as the legal team is essentially a black box to the very people paying for it of course they are going to start asking questions.
No word from Assange
There has been no official word from Assange for how long? Except that he can get letters out and people can go and talk to him and he is allowed lawyers so why exactly is he banned from talking to his supporters, if only by third party relay? This is really screwing people up, especially the lack of explanation why. This one thing is causing all sorts of rumours from Assange being gagged by PR, by the lawyers, the state, due to illness, he’s mentally unstable, etc…
All easily cured by a simple statement once a week brought out by his lawyer. If he is gagged, that would actually be a very good thing for the lawyers to bring out in a statement as well.
The old crew and the new
It appears to me like many of the old crew don’t have any more answers than the newer people but instead of admitting that and trying to help they attack people asking questions, smear them as agents or some such and then block them.
It also appears that they can no longer tell the difference between agents and non agents, if they ever could.
One thread started with someone saying that there were a Black PR’s or something trying to undermine Assange’s lawyers. Basically, it was a loyalty or you are a spy thread. Not helpful and probably not true and does anyone else see the hypocrisy in Assange followers trying to use the same tactics as dictators. Transparency, remember?
So look, here is a little of my history. I checked the other day and I still have comments online going back to 2006 expressing concerns about privacy online.
I joined Twitter to promote privacy. Here is my first Tweet for ‘The Privacy Shop’ where I thought people might be more interested in privacy software, etc… if presented to them in an online shop format (they weren’t).
I am one of the few members of the Internet Party New Zealand left and more recently have been trying to inform people about unanswered questions concerning members of that Party.
Through that I have ended up being introduced to the Assange supporters on Twitter. It wasn’t that I didn’t support Assange and Wikileaks before, I just wasn’t in this crowd.
What I am trying to say is that peoples paranoia and infighting and bullshit doesn’t mean that much to me. I have been a concerned citizen longer than Twitter. I don’t care about twitter histories or who you are or how many followers you have. What I care about are valid questions and truthful answers. If you go ballistic at people asking questions and then try to bully them into submission with paranoia and group think then you look like megalomaniac twits to me.
I don’t need you. My choice to support (or not to in some cases) Assange does not depend on you. If you can give me more accurate information and enjoyable social interactions then fine but if not I can wander off somewhere else.
In this way the actions and reactions of the old crew are incredibly counter-productive and in some cases sabotage the community. It is entirely possible that they (the reactions) are driving away more supporters than they are keeping.
Resistance to questions
A sure fire way to get yourself in an argument at the moment is to ask a question. Questions like what are the lawyers doing? Why doesn’t he speak? Why does the donations page not say anything about the money going to Assange? Saying any of these things is getting people branded as enemy agents.
I am going to concentrate on one question here as I have covered some of the others above. What happened when JimmysLlama noticed that the Courage Defend Wikileaks page doesn’t mention money going to Assanges legal costs. It still doesn’t. What it does say is,
This was then picked up by others who were quite rightly concerned that money they were giving to defend Assange might be going off to other areas. I sent a request off to the email address concerned and then watched people go ballistic because someone had asked a valid question.
After a couple of days of waiting for a reply I then got sick of the attacks on that person and started to try and point out that the concerns were valid in my view. This led to me immediately being called an agent and then attacked for sending a single email to the ‘questions about donating’ link.
Really, the whole thing is farcical. So many people were called government agents in the last couple of days that people started jokingly requesting the CIA put them on the payroll as they could use the money.
So what does it look like from my side?
It is possible that what is happening is also because of the Twitter algorithm and needs to be countered if only by pointing people to a better forum for information or issues.
If you look at what I get to see by clicking on the thread yesterday something like 22 out of 36 (66%) visible comments were from people who just wanted more information.
This is what it looks from my side if I click the original comment.
Check the above against your time-line and you should be able to see the differences in thread if algorithmic problems are in play. If not, then take a look at yourself. Be forgiving. And try and get Courage to set up an ‘up to date’ information feed or find out why they can’t. Most of all,
Keep asking questions!
…and stop blocking each other unless the person is abusive in some way. You never know, you could be wrong, …or I could be.