smeddley: (Default)
smeddley ([personal profile] smeddley) wrote2016-10-31 11:11 am

On Slacktivism*, a flash fiction

Setting: North Dakota Sheriff's Office. Two deputies sit a desks at computers, suddenly the door to a back office bursts open and a harried-looking sheriff races out.

Sheriff: Oh my god, there are tens of thousands of them now!
Deputy 1: What? Where?
Sheriff: Protesting! Thousands just checked in on Facebook! Now what will we do?
Deputy 2; Uh, the same thing we have been?
Deputy 1: Yeah, it's just some viral thing, they're not really there.
Sheriff: How can you be sure?
Deputy 1: It's all over the internet? Stories everywhere on how to check in.
Sheriff: Oh. But now we won't know who's there and not!
Deputy 2: Except we're here. We can actually see who's here.
Sheriff: But we don't know who they are!
Deputy 2: Did you ever notice how accurate, say, Facebook is at suggesting who you should tag in a photo?
Sheriff: Yeah...
Deputy 2: So, you think some, yes, admittedly large social media site is going to have better facial recognition software than the government? And with the tens of millions of tagged photos already on Facebook, well...
Sheriff: Ah. So... we're not overwhelmed?
Deputy 1: Uh, no.
Sheriff: But we're confused?
Deputy 2: No, not that either.
Sheriff: So this did...?
Deputy 1: It made a lot of people who were unable or unwilling to take actual action, feel better about themselves? Or if they felt like signing a petition, writing letters, calling their government officials, and donation supplies wasn't enough, they could do this.
Deputy 2: But mostly the first, I suspect.
Sheriff: Oh, okay then, uh, carry on?
Deputy 2; Will do.


* Please note I'm not mocking those defending what they feel is right. This is completely directed at the ridiculousness of "overwhelming and confusing" the police department with fake check-ins. Because, really? This is going to "protect" people? Really? I can't even imagine how it could. And I have a pretty good imagination...
clare_dragonfly: drawing of a man in a brown turtleneck, looking away, text: time for a hundred visions and revisions (Writing: visions and revisions)

[personal profile] clare_dragonfly 2016-11-01 12:50 am (UTC)(link)
I for one have very little confidence that the government has better facial-recognition software than Facebook :-P