Sunday, 11 October 2015
(SATIRE) 'Take Back The Tech' Twitter hashtag nets scientific calculator and original XBOX in record-breaking haul
A Casio scientific calculator, a 32MB memory stick for a Sony digital camera, and an original XBox were among the items recovered by the online slacktivist campaign – TakeBackTheTech.
At its peak the social media hashtag saw thousands donating technology, in the process helping to raise awareness of so-called online cyberviolence which, supporters claim, is directed exclusively against women.
One benefactor, who did not wish to be named, told MODE 5:
“Within an hour of the hashtag going live, a screeching gaggle of morbidly-obese, blue-haired women, nervously shadowed by a feeble huddle of cowed, hollow-eyed, bearded men, had erected something called a 'no rape zone' on my front lawn and were demanding that I give them my electric toothbrush.
“My five year old son, who was hiding behind me at the time, was accused of 'provisional stare rape' and donated his collection of Hexbugs in exchange for the police not being called.”
Campaigners are already putting the recovered technology to good use promoting social justice causes:
“The scientific calculator will resolve a long-standing problem faced by the organisers of slut walks,” said Gemma Cohen – Chair of the North American Slut Walks Committee:
“When working out the total attendees at our events we take into account not only the number of women present, but also the number of individuals they claim to have slept with. Our members are required to provide this figure to us in advance so that we can grade their level of sluttiness using our traffic light system, and determine their eligibility to attend a walk.
“Unfortunately this leads to a disparity between the photo evidence of attendance and the significantly higher numbers quoted in our quarterly reports.
“For the first time we have shared access to a scientific instrument that will enable us to demonstrate, step by step, how we come up with these inflated figures.
“It will also allow for better hands-on organisation at future events. Recently we were forced eject a British journalist from a slut walk in LA after his disproportionately high number of reported sexual partners took us way over the maximum number of attendees that we had previously agreed upon with city officials.”
Among the other prestige items salvaged by #TakeBackTheTech, an original Xbox was found to contain a copy of the third-person shooter Bad Boys: Miami Takedown.
Commenting on the discovery an organiser said: “The disk has been forwarded to noted videogames expert, Antia Sarkeesian, who will analyse the game for sexist content and will publish a video detailing her findings in 2037.”
#TakeBackTheTech has been cautiously welcomed by members of the Union of Professional Online Victims (UPOV), although some have expressed concerns that the hashtag could end up a victim of its own success.
It's a balancing act.” admits Sarah, who simultaneously campaigns against, and openly participates in, online harassment.
“Professional victimhood is a major growth industry online. Profits soared in 2014 and have remained steady over 2015. Inevitably, in the wake of any successful new industry there will be fresh legislation: We are currently lobbying for online anti-harrassment laws with enough flexibility to ensure that we can continue to claim victimisation and maintain the steady donation of sympathy bucks to the Patreon and PayPal accounts that, for many of us, remain our only source of income.
“We must also mitigate the risk of these new anti-harrassment laws being applied fairly and equally across the spectrum of cultures, genders and races, or precedence being given to women living under oppressive circumstances over-and-above those women, living in cities on the east and west coasts of the United States, who have been identified as most vulnerable to cyberviolence.
“We do not want to find ourselves in a position where this anti-harrassment legislation ends up being used against us and undermines our own home-grown harassment campaigns.”
Sarah's fears are echoed by Proffessor Margaret Norris – a Twitter hate mob strategist who is developing an Online Shaming NVQ programme at the Caudhil Park Vocational College in Ipswich:
“We have thankfully progressed to a point where being openly sexist and racist is no longer an impediment to pursuing a career as a Student Union Diversity Officer at London Goldsmiths College. That said, we still live in a world where this Diversity Officer can be summoned to court for daring to suggest, via social media, that all white men should be killed – something that all of us have thought at one time or another. Clearly as a society we still have a long way to go.”
The rise of the Tequality Movement
#TakeBackTheTech is the latest in a long line of campaigns that harness the empowering potential of the internet to address violence and gender discrimination.
In June of this year, social media played a pivotal role in disseminating libellous gossip that saw the Nobel Prize winning biochemist, Tim Hunt, forced to resign from his position as an honorary professor with the University College of London's Faculty of Life Sciences.
“Online hactivism has a proven track record of deposing men at the apex of their professions for minor or imagined slights, leaving their former positions vacant and ready to be occupied by women.” said unemployed Art History graduate, Violet Pelin:
“I have written to the UCL requesting that, in recognition of my role in ousting the misogynist shitlord, Hunt, I be named the next honorary professor at the Faculty of Life Sciences. So far the college has not responded. We'll see if they change their tune when I begin accusing members of their human resources team of sexual harassment.”
Critics of the Tequality Movement claim that its supporters are largely motivated by self-interest, limit their concerns to a small coterie of over-privileged women in developed nations while ignoring the plight of the genuinely oppressed, and pursue dubious tactics, such as the online mobbing of their critics, over more constructive action.
Professor Linda Brandish-Tailor - Head of Perplexing Physics at the Slade Institute – said:
“Many of the loudest voices bemoaning a paucity of women in tech are paper academics with degrees in soft humanities, such as Gender Studies. Had even a small percentage of these women chosen to pursue qualifications in STEM fields, which are intellectually more demanding and require greater dedication and hard work, then we would begin to see a shift towards a greater gender balance in the tech industry.
“The only remotely scientific achievement these protesters have demonstrated so far is a mastery of the quantum superposition principles necessary to both have one's cake and eat it.”
“Frankly some of these girls could do with eating less cake.”