Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.
Display:
Stochastic Terrorism: Triggering the shooters.

Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.

This is what occurs when Bin Laden releases a video that stirs random extremists halfway around the globe to commit a bombing or shooting.

This is also the term for what Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, and others do.  And this is what led directly and predictably to a number of cases of ideologically-motivated murder similar to the Tucson shootings.

---snip

The person who actually plants the bomb or assassinates the public official is not the stochastic terrorist, they are the "missile" set in motion by the stochastic terrorist.  The stochastic terrorist is the person who uses mass media as their means of setting those "missiles" in motion.

---snip

One or more unstable people responds to the incitement by becoming a lone wolf and committing a violent act.   While their action may have been statistically predictable (e.g. "given the provocation, someone will probably do such-and-such"), the specific person and the specific act are not predictable (yet).  

The stochastic terrorist then has plausible deniability: "Oh, it was just a lone nut, nobody could have predicted he would do that, and I'm not responsible for what people in my audience do."

The lone wolf who was the "missile" gets captured and sentenced to life in prison, while the stochastic terrorist keeps his prime time slot and goes on to incite more lone wolves.    

Further, the stochastic terrorist may be acting either negligently or deliberately, or may be in complete denial of their impact, just like a drunk driver who runs over a pedestrian without even realizing it.  

Finally, there is no conspiracy here: merely the twisted acts of individuals who are promoting extremism, who get access to national media in which to do it, and the rest follows naturally just as an increase in violent storms follows from an increase in average global temperature.  



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 02:08:21 PM EST
Yes, this hits the nail on the head about how these people act.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 03:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Attorneys experienced in drafting legislation should be set to work to find a way to deal with 'stochastic terrorism' A good pressure point would be to define the term and then have a series of historical examples. The penalty could be in days for which the offending organization goes dark.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 05:48:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it would be difficult to draft legislation, precisely because of the random element in 'stochastic'. For instance, if a Catholic cleric rails against abortion, and then a loan wolf kills an abortion clinic worker.  Could you prosecute?

Most countries have incitement to hatred legislation, and broadcasting authorities which set a higher standard for TV and radio stations. That could be the model.  After all, access to the public airways is a privilege.  Freedom of speech doesn't give any one organisation the exclusive right to a broadcast frequency.

The withdrawal of a licence to broadcast would also be a civil matter, and so the burden of proof much lower than in a criminal trial.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 06:10:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent. I obviously had hit 'post' in mid thought. But that was what I had in mind. While it might not be possible to prosecute individuals, if it can become prohibitive for any media to repeat what was said that can be effective. FB, for instance, would not let its brand be threatened. A defense would be that there is little or no evidence that the speech in question has incited any violence. And when certain speech has been shown to have been a factor in two or more incidents then that speech would become a known factor which must not be allowed to be spread by media.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 19th, 2016 at 10:31:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

The Killing of Jo Cox

by Frank Schnittger - Jun 17
24 comments

Nostalgia Isn't What It Used to Be

by gmoke - Jun 15
5 comments

Long tunnels

by DoDo - Jun 12
23 comments

What 9/11 liberals ignore

by DoDo - Jun 5
68 comments

Developments in Austria

by generic - Jun 8
1 comment

The arsonist party

by fjallstrom - Jun 8
1 comment

Recent Diaries

The Killing of Jo Cox

by Frank Schnittger - Jun 17
24 comments

Long tunnels

by DoDo - Jun 12
23 comments

Developments in Austria

by generic - Jun 8
1 comment

The arsonist party

by fjallstrom - Jun 8
1 comment

The tragedy of Hillary

by DoDo - Jun 6
47 comments

What 9/11 liberals ignore

by DoDo - Jun 5
68 comments

France on Strike

by John Redmond - May 30
37 comments

Böhmermann

by DoDo - May 29
11 comments

A Tale of Two States

by Frank Schnittger - May 26
20 comments

Edmund Burke for Socialists

by ARGeezer - May 25
22 comments

More Diaries...

Occasional Series