Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Libre: Technology

PEOPLE always find a way to make useful tools into weapons of destruction. For instance, a knife is primarily used in the kitchen, but it has in many instances been used by bad persons for theft and murder. The internet was meant to make communication easier among individuals; yet it has become a tool for misinformation, false news and hate campaigns.

It was misused during the US Presidential election. Russian military intelligence agents were indicted on July 13, 2018 by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for allegedly hacking the email accounts and networks of Democratic Party officials. The Russians succeeded in undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton through the dissemination of fake news as well as confidential information obtained through hacking. Unwittingly, the American public took the Russian bait, resulting in the victory of Donald Trump whom Russian president Vladimir Putin openly favored.

This happened in the Philippines in the last presidential election. Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas suffered from the most vicious attacks, some true but mostly false, in social media. Whatever good things Roxas had done as a public servant were simply forgotten, whatever accomplishments achieved by the Aquino administration no longer mattered, as the floodgates of the information highway were swamped with misinformation, false news and hate campaigns. And those who dared defend Roxas were themselves subjected to online humiliation. That hasn’t stopped until now.

Hiding under aliases, trolls use vindictive language to bring down those they perceive to be their enemies, as well as, critics of those whom they idolize. It is not about having a healthy argument on issues, rather, it is about destruction of reputation. But what makes matters worse is that there are those who forward the thrash to others, making these viral and hazardous.

Anarchist Cody Wilson posted his plastic-gun blueprints in the internet to allow people to produce functioning 3-D printed firearms. Until the courts issued a restraining order blocking the information, it had been downloaded 100,000 times. The 30-year old Texan is using for his argument the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The freedom of expression has also been used by rabble rousers to defend their evil schemes.

While laws are in place to protect the citizenry from acts that are criminal; libertarians and advocates to personal freedoms have become more vocal, if not powerful, allowing more liberal laws and policies upon society. Time-honored values have been eroded, thus, the world is in a turmoil. Civilization, while advancing in technology, seem to be sliding back in terms of morals.

Yes, technology has become a tool to the decaying state of societies and peoples. Surely, this was never the intent of the creators and developers.


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