News Room

This Week In Tech – Society Is Imploding

Author: Jason Snyman
Date: 2018-03-22
This week in tech news, society implodes like a dying star, one bad decision at a time. Also, Twitter clamps down on crypto-cons and ads.
This week in tech news, Twitter finally jumps aboard the crypto ban-wagon. Our regular tweeters will know that the online platform has become a veritable mine-field of Crypto-Cons. It’s about time somebody takes out the trash. Moving over to the continent of Asia, Tokyo offers us a solution to having to go outside and interact with our fellow human beings. We also take a look at how China’s social credit system works.  

Twitter To Outlaw Crypto-Currency Ads

Micro-blogging site and sophomoric comedy gold-mine, Twitter, is the latest online platform to plan a ban on advertisements related to crypto-currencies. We have already seen Google and Facebook make similar moves. A few months ago, as Zuckerberg attempts to plug the holes and right the awful wrongs he’s inadvertently inflicted on society, Facebook began to prohibit advertisements for currencies such as Bitcoin. This is said to be an effort to fight deceptive marketers. It wasn’t long before Google followed suit. These new policies will see a worldwide ban on ads for ICOs, crypto-wallets and token sales. Twitter might even ban ads for crypto-currency exchanges, with possible exceptions. Here’s why this is a big deal: Twitter has become a popular platform for a number of reasons. Watching Trump make a fool of himself every single day, catching up on the dankest of memes and of course, listening to the feverish rantings of blockchain enthusiasts. A huge problem often seen is celebrities promoting crypto token offerings which are, shall we say, a little dubious. Dennis Rodman promoting PotCoin immediately springs to mind. Twitter has said that it will also be removing scam accounts that are posing as celebrities. These often ask for crypto currency and aim to con investors. The recent BTC Global scam, which resulted in losses of over R593 million, will no doubt still be poking the bruises of many South Africans. Sky News has reported that the US-based social networking powerhouse will begin to roll out the ban in the next two weeks.
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Tokyo Tech Further Destroys The Fabric Of Society

Rekimoto Labs and The University of Tokyo has released what they’re calling a Human Surrogacy Mask – Or Chameleon Mask, if you will. As we reach unplumbed depths of laziness and antisocial behaviour, this technology will now allow users to ‘borrow’ somebody else’s body. They can then use their body to run around and interact with other people. All from the precious safe-space of their own computer. The video above, made by the otherwise quite stellar Mashable, emphasises the user’s ability to borrow this other person’s body – in order to attend social events. Can we just have a moment here. Alright… So… The video goes on to demonstrate how Edward Snowden, from the comfort of his asylum status in Russia, has often used similar technology. Fans of the television show, The Big Bang Theory, may find the following reference more relatable: The use of this Chameleon Mask begs the questions… What kind of person would want to go about their own lives with somebody else’s face strapped over their own? Will people pursue careers as Human Ubers, dressing up in your clothing and doing whatever you tell them to do? Is this the future of social interaction? Here’s hoping my future surrogate has an abnormally high tolerance for alcohol.

China Puts Restrictions On People With Poor Social Credit

The Chinese government plans to launch a Social Credit System in 2020. Some early versions, you may be alarmed to hear, are already in place. But, what is a social credit system? How will it work and what is its purpose? As if cut straight from an episode of Black Mirror, the idea behind it asks the question: What if there was a national trust score that rated the kind of citizen you are? In other words, how can we evaluate the honesty, reliability and likability of a billion-plus citizens? [caption id="attachment_31697" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Artist: Kevin Hong[/caption] The Chinese government will rate citizens based on their behaviour. Big Data meets Big Brother. Everything you say, do or purchase will be monitored. What are you eating? Which books are you reading? Are you prone to behaving like a criminal degenerate? Are you bad with money, or up to no good? Maybe you enjoy spreading a bit of fake news about terrorism, or you’ve been caught smoking in non-smoking areas… Let’s get a little more finicky. How about issuing apologies deemed as insincere? Those with ‘low scores’ could face restrictions or penalties, such as not being able to purchase plane or train tickets. While this may sound good on paper – clamping down on social delinquents and troublemakers – it does present a very serious problem. What this system is, when we come right down to it, is social engineering. It’s having your actions dictated by the threat of restriction. And though it may begin with cornering those of a felonious disposition, it would be incredibly easy to slowly, gently, corral us into behaving this way or that. Robots. Slaves. And our rights as human beings diminish by the minute. Such a future is a chilling, disturbing one… And it’s right here, just around the corner.

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