Volume control on mob rule

I worry a bit about mob rule. Not a lot – just a little. 

There is huge potential to “mobilise” vast numbers of people around a particular idea or opinion in tools like Twitter. While mostly a good thing this can also turn ugly. It can easily turn into a mob and as with any mob damage can be done and people can be hurt if too many get swept up in the crowd.

However we can all play our part in putting the brakes on. Most of us who have been blogging for any length of time learn that moment when you decide whether to amplify a weak signal or turn down the volume. The decision that even if something is noteworthy you won’t fan the flames. 

I am optimistic that once more people learn to recognise this moment and apply it to the newer tools like Twitter we will probably manage to stay on an even keel. 

Probably ….

2 thoughts on “Volume control on mob rule”

  1. There is huge potential to "mobilise" vast numbers of people around a particular idea or opinion in tools like Twitter. While mostly a good thing this can also turn ugly.Such a conundrum. We’ve all been yammering on for several years now about all this potential to make good and constructive changes to many aspects of how human activities are organised and carried out, and no doubt it is true.At the same time, it would seem that history can show us quite clearly that incremental, step-by-logical-and-rational-step change rarely happens or takes an extremely long time. And that various forms of greater inclusion and participation (whether in organisations, in communities or in society at large more generally) have been bruited or quite a few decades now.And that often it takes crisis-driven and somewhat (or very) cataclysmic confrontation and action to result in any fundamental changes (for some odd reason at the moment I am reminded in the completely fictitious last ten minutes or so of the film V For Vendetta).What is the difference between a mob and an organised-around-an-issue crowd ? One of the things I like about the Internet and services like blogging, Twitter, etc. is that thus far I have not failed to encounter / read saner heads weigh in when conflagrations flare up. This is a good sign for me.I think we’ve both stated in our own ways here and there that it’s very likely that some or many of the changes we see as possible will occur, but in the fullness of time (meaning probably another generation or two) .. and of course linear extrapolation of what probably will happen always suffers from the lack of considering the curve balls, the unanticipated, the now-fpr-something-completely-different.I think we probably have little choice but to have faith in the self-regulating tendencies that is offered by the infinite prism of interconnected human opinions and voices … if mob rule appears imminent, hopefully there will be sufficient voices raised saying "hold on a sec … ".


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