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Is trolling or flooding used in the US?

According to Tim Wu, online trolling, “seeks to humiliate, harass, discourage, and even destroy target speakers using personal threats, embarrassment, and ruining of their reputations” (Wu 560). 1 example of a trolling technique used by the media in the United States was when IHOP tried to change their acronym from IHOP to IHOB. The famous pancake house took this mysterious change to Twitter which had people wondering and guessing what the “B” meant and why the pancake house had changed their acronym. In the end, after changing the acronym from IHOP to IHOB, the company resorted back to the original name, IHOP.

Tim Wu explains that the flooding technique is considered a, “second set of techniques that is focused on control distribution and propagation, or on the total mixture of what people see and hear. In this sense, they are more clearly targeted at winning the war for attention. At bottom, these techniques depend on the idea of generating a sufficient volume of information to drown out disfavored speech, or at least distorting the sense of how much support any given view has. Whatever form they take, these techniques clearly qualify as listener-targeted speech control” (Wu 565). 1 specific example of the flooding technique used by the media in the United States is when Donald Trump was running for president of the United States. He wanted to control the flow of propaganda of his campaign on social media. He would try to win the election by distributing his campaign and exposing his opponent on social media. Altogether, Trump specifically used this idea of outputting a large volume of his campaign to drown out his opponents campaign views.

I disagree that in the United States the spread of communication techniques such as trolling and flooding should be met with new legal frameworks because both of these techniques restrict the public and society from knowing the full truth. When I say full truth, I interconnect the situation about Vietnam and how it was a coincidence that the number of COVID-19 cases were well below those seen in some other Asian countries. The restriction of the truth has hurt the public to know the severity of the outbreak of COVID-19. On the other hand I also agree that in the United States the spread of communication techniques such as trolling and flooding should be met with new legal frameworks because politicians and public figures use it for an advantage in competitions. It is unknown whether Donald Trump would have won or lost without his control of his campaign on Twitter, but it sure did help.

Sources: https://www.salon.com/2019/11/09/social-media-amplifying-trumps-rants-and-disinformation-more-than-ever-can-society-protect-itself_partner/

https://mashable.com/article/best-brand-trolls-social-media/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-vietnam-security/vietnam-introduces-fake-news-fines-for-coronavirus-misinformation-idUSKCN21X0EB

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