#F1 Features: Twitter ‘moralisers’ just don’t get it

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell.

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It’s been a sobering couple of days since the Japanese GP 2014, and the outpouring of good wishes for Jules Bianchi has been overwhelming in its sheer volume. Prior to the days of twitter and social media, it would not have been possible for people to express themselves as such en masse and be part of an instant body of expression.

Yet twitter has changed since its inception in 2006. In 2009, Twitter was part of the ‘solution’ for 83million Egyptians to rid themselves of a president who had reigned for over 30 years. Twitter was a means of sharing brutal information, galvanising coalitions and the overthrowing of the establishment.

Twitter was used by the masses victimised by the state and denied freedom of speech to connect with others in similar totalitarian states suffering similar oppression. This medium has been anti-establishment and an opportunity for those in the social group to express their views openly and freely.

Let us not forget that Twitter facilitated groups from this ‘resistance’ to organise themselves into squads who by necessity became brutal in their treatment of their authoritarian overlords. However, the Western media conveniently entitled this positively as ‘The Arab Spring’. A time for fresh starts and new beginnings.

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In 2014, now popularised, Twitter is often a very different place. Hijacked by marketing organisations and the corporate entities of this world, Twitter is now often used to present a one to many communication of information and propaganda. Social media is many to many in a conversation.

It was once the case that all information on Twitter would be weighed and valued appropriately by those using the medium, and content considered inappropriate or invalid would be disregarded.

Then the masses took to Twitter and the social medium has become a battle field between those who hold the values of freedom of speech dear and those who believe Twitter should find it’s moral compass.

To those who have taken the high Twitter ground, no longer should people be allowed to post the content they wish to share freely, because a moral Twitter elite have arisen to police what is appropriate to be said and shared.

The events surrounding the 2014 F1 Japanese Grand Prix depict this shift in a dramatic manner.

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There are hoards of modern Twitter users calling for the censorship of content shared by other users, because it does not fit their moral compass or paradigms of how things should be.

Gone are the messy days of societal revolution and we now see Twitter users being called to a higher account by hordes of moralising trolls even greater in number than the regulated Western Press.

Pictures and videos of the incident in which Jules Bianchi was involved have been posted by F1 fans who have recorded these historical moments and none of which this writer has seen done with malice or the intention to abuse or upset others.

Being the kind of individual who has a mild predilection to hypochondria, I face the daily challenge of refusing to allow my mind to consider pictures, articles and TV programmes which discuss health matters and terminal illnesses in depth.

This includes fictional dramas and a plethora of material ‘out there’ including gory medical procedures on film and on the internet, so the channel change button is never far from my grasp.

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What has been highly surprising since the Jules’ crash in Japan is that the pictures and video have no graphic content at all. No blood and gore, no fractured and broken bodies and so one must assume the abhorrence expressed by those insisting this material be ‘taken down’ and not ‘shared’ is due to a fertile imagination.

One other argument for the censorship of this material has been ‘out of respect to the family’ of Jules. Yet how the posting of material would be offensive to Jules family, which for many alleviated grave fears communicated from the implications made in live F1 race commentary, is difficult to understand.

The reaction from the paddock and the TV broadcasters was severe to say the least. It was sufficient to lead people to believe that Jules had in fact been killed, but that procedural arrangements were preventing this information from being disseminated.

Interestingly, the moral outrage began in full, not when a number of pictures of the mutilated Marussia car were revealed, but when a single picture of Jules, helmet fairly in tact, visor up and operating on the swivel mechanism was posted. The doctor was in attendance and clearly the young Frenchman was alive.

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Then, on Monday, a video was released which revealed a number of things. The exact nature of the impact of Jules car with the tractor removing the stricken Sauber, and some other matters of concern regarding the flag protocols used by the FIA. These will be discussed in a future article.

The spectator who shot the video has declared himself to be Phillip Dabrowiecki. Having made the footage available on YouTube Phillip had this to say. “FOM has not contacted me, but I think they are trying to bury the video because it shows all the mistakes. I shared the video for the truth to be shown to all F1 fans.”

Once again, to the viewer, no graphic images were on display, just a matter of historical record as to what happened to Jules. It is of course possible should one dwell on such things in a certain manner to conjure up all kinds of horrific thoughts, though this video was not accessible to the viewer unless they chose to click through on the link in order to watch the event unfold.

Given the historical penchant for authorities to cover up details of incidents where culpability may be questionable, surely it is better for this material to be available in the public domain to prevent the possibility of such cover-ups. Those who feel this is inappropriate for them, should choose the off button – as I have to do daily.

However, the herd mentality which has sought to treat those who share and view this material as immoral, suggesting they do so without feeling or regard for Jules or his family, as though they were sub-human – is plainly arrogant and censorial in nature.

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Individuals have been swept along by this emotional outburst who would normally approach Formula One from a scientific or technical analytical point of view – such has been the ferocity of the backlash.

Yet the reality is, in fact, this material is out. Tens of thousands of people have seen it, whether they admit they chose to click through or not and this author has seen no inappropriate frenzy of inappropriate comment made by those who have viewed it whatsoever.

The question is why FOM refused to rely even the most benign of footage they control of this event. When compared with the unending number of camera angles broadcast by FOM following the start of the Belgium GP in 2012, which were potentially horrific and ultimately used to hang one driver out to dry; the inquiring mind may ask whether the authorities are concerned over whether relevant footage of Jules accident may raise questions of culpability for race control. Hence the absence of video released.

For this reason alone, the material from the Japanese GP surrounding the accident of Jules Bianchi is relevant and appropriate for public consumption to ensure proper scrutiny is afforded to a wider circle than just those who may have questions to answer.

Given the recent prognosis released for Jules, he deserves this at the very least.

Ironically we head off to Sochi next, where the powers that be managed to have the Lotus F1 team remove the following tweet and sack the staff member responsible for their social media.

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“I watched the video of Jules Bianchi’s crash and wow… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have morbid curiosities. I watched it, like every other F1 fan with a brain out there, because I want the truth.

It’s such a frustrating combination of factors and a macabre succession of events that you only see in US horror movies.

I only want to say this: you already killed our sport, but please don’t kill our drivers… #YouKnowWho” (LooseWheelNut.co.uk)

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For those who wish to view it here is a link to Marca who have the video

21 responses to “#F1 Features: Twitter ‘moralisers’ just don’t get it

  1. Nice piece, on Sunday afternoon when I made a point of bringing up the Dbl waved yellow rules in the comments section, I was told my comment vacuous and didn’t deserve a response it was that offensive. Yet I had a Twitter message acknowledging that me comments had been refreshing, forthright yet still sensitive to the situation. It just goes to show how we all see the world UN a slightly different way.

    • Nice try. You insinuated / claimed that Bianchi was at fault. He probably was going to fast and ignored double yellow flags. Unless you seen the telemetry from the car you have no idea what caused the accident. Have you seen the telemetry? Have you seen the FOM official video of the incident? You remind me of someone when he hears someone has had a car accident immediately says they were probably drunk.

      • I insinuate there was a possibility he was a fault, there is a difference. You have to ask the question of whether he was going too fast, had he been at a crawl, I’m sure if there had been an impact then it would have been far less serious with far less energy involved.
        Speeding under double waved yellows is one of my pet hates and all drivers are guilty of it to differing extents.

        • “You have to ask the question of whether he was going too fast”

          I don’t have to ask that question as the telemetry from the car will prove conclusively whether he was or not. I’ll wait until the crash investigation is concluded before I make any pronouncement, until then, I would as you are now, be simply guessing.

  2. I watched it. I wanted to know what actually did happen. When the live images came I told the misses something isn’t right. I see someone with a brancard. By then the commentary was still focusing on sutil and the increasing rain. And suddenly the race got aborted… so yesterday I watched how the accident happend( and i showed it to my f1 watching buddy) and discussed it here.

    • Agreed. I dunno about anyone else, but I watched the BBC highlights, where we were told beforehand that Bianchi crashed, was in hospital, which ended the race. Knowing this of course, I was looking out for the moment it might have happened, despite no video of the incident.

      I personally was keen to watch footage of what had happened (keen isn’t the right word given the circumstances, but you know what I mean) because I didn’t, and was never going to, appreciate the full extent of Bianchi’s incident until I saw what had happened – when I did, I was truly shocked at what I had just seen.

  3. Totally agree with the article. As a very involved #F1 fan I want to know what happened to Jules, and clearly this video shot by a fan gives some clarity of the magnitude of this impact he received. There´s so many people to blame for all the things that went wrong at the #JapaneseGP, but that simply won’t change the fact that Jules is in a hospital fighting for his life and that the #F1 community is in fact sad/upset about it. I feel for his family, and if FOM wants to hide something (as they did in the broadcast for a while), too bad! This time they won’t get away with it. Something needs to be done starting with the FIA, and then with FOM, and the circuit´s management. When will they ever understand they are killing the sport with all these rules/restrictions/and everything else we (True Fans) complain about??!!

  4. it`s the world we live in, better than the old days but far from perfect. where some idiots complain about a video of a crash but don`t say nothing about being bombarded with images and video of the several wars that are happening now, apparently they don`t feel empathy for the families of the children killed either. funny to see that the same people who complained about the “assasination” of the parabolica now cry loud for more safety… the very “technical approach” people that got carried away with the censorship. people that probably haven`t had more than a paper cut. this is the internet where everyone has made believe that has an opinion that counts. it`s not. mine first. regards. pete

    • …. Good to hear from you Pete. We have some good old farts on the TJ13 team – so you are not alone.

      Don’t stay a stranger…

    • ” funny to see that the same people who complained about the “assasination” of the parabolica now cry loud for more safety… ”

      I’m not sure what you see funny in this. Just because Charlie says so, it does NOT mean that Parabolica is now safer.

      That idiot removed part of the gravel, hence made the corner more dangerous in case a car skids uncontrollably like Bianchi did in Suzuka. From the video it seems that Bianchi’s car was skidding on a bit of tarmac runoff, which certainly must have contributed to the ferocity of the impact. Had it been gravel, the might have been significantly slowed down before hitting the tractor.

      Gravel is not always safer, of course, but when you have fast moving projectiles traveling about, and properly consider the risk tradeoffs of various runoff surfaces, I reckon gravel comes on top since it is the only one that actually manages to slow down projectiles gone haywire.

      • hi, i don`t see anything funny to be honest i was trying to be sarcastic, what i meant was that many people complained about the modification reasoning that it made the turn “easier” crying for a “classic” (? would they mean deadly?) track. now they keep crying this time for MORE safety. !?. maybe they just need to cry… go figure. i totally agree with you that adding tarmac is not the answer, but don`t know what the answer would be, certainly adding a cliff to the edge of the turn won`t stop some drivers risking it too much, safety begins inside the driver`s head. if it`s not there in the first place, it is very little you can do to make things better.

    • Maybe because we are force fed those images 24/7 that we became used to them. And when something like this happens in f1 we are not used to it. Seeing that the numbers of serious incidents is so small since 1994.

  5. “The question is why FOM refused to rely even the most benign of footage they control of this event. When compared with the unending number of camera angles broadcast by FOM following the start of the Belgium GP in 2012, which were potentially horrific and ultimately used to hang one driver out to dry; the inquiring mind may ask whether the authorities are concerned over whether relevant footage of Jules accident may raise questions of culpability for race control. Hence the absence of video released.”

    So indeed. Why on earth would it be appropriate to disclose each and every gory angle of Spa 2012, when they chose to place all blame on one single driver, but inappropriate to do so for Suzuka 2014, when the blame in all likelihood revolves around race control and the regulator, but most likely will be officially attributed once more to one single driver (and assorted irrelevant factors).

  6. Absolutely agree, great article. It was obvious something was wrong when there was footage of chaos and confusion around a simple vehicle recovery, Bianchi’s name falling down the order and no footage or talk about him pitting. It gave me an uneasy feeling. Now that I have seen the crash footage, I simple cannot understand their justification for not showing what had happened. None of what I have seen is in my eyes offensive or disrespectful to Jules or his family, though very revealing.

  7. Jules had an accident durinf free practice where he lost control of his car and crashed. Someone posted a link to the article here yesterday.
    Jules went on to say he had an oversteer moment but then as reacted to correct it, his elbow got trapped between his seat and the chassis and he was unable to steer the car.
    Why is this relevant?
    We all get emotional when we witness traumatic events and look for obvious reasons why these things happen.
    Even the guy who shot the video was talking about wanting the truth to be known. But does he know the truth about the track rules? Alain Prost who has raced for many years, attended driver briefings regarding on track protocol and flag rules even jumped on the wagon and questioned the flags.
    But the accident started a long way before the flags and even at that the impact zone was still before the flags. Perhaps he forgot what direction the cars were travelling.
    The green flag simply says you can start racing after this point.
    It dooesn’t say you can race to this point.

    Accidents are the result of a combination of different events.
    We don’t know if he was on the radio.
    We don’t if his brakes failed.
    We don’t know if his steering failed.
    We don’t know if his BBW had issues and so on.

    We just saw his car slam into a heavy duty vehicle.
    If that vehicle wasnt there it was still going to be a very seriouis accident.

  8. Reblogged this on Still I surprise… and commented:
    Readers, this article written by the Judge himself, of the The Judge 13 website. I have reblogged it as, aside from it being well crafted, it’s very perspicacious in relation to the phenomenon of ‘righteous indignation’ being used as a weapon to take hold of social media and life in general. Quite frankly, it is also of great relief that some have still have the ability to stand up, in the face of losing some pious bandwagon type readership, and tell it how it is in relation to freedom. The haranguing I have seen some get, and occasionally received, in relation to photo’s and video’s of Jules Bianchi’ crash left me speechless (which is amazing for me) for a time. A search for truth does not preclude one from being empathetic and sub-human. And anyone suggesting “appropriate timing” on discussing the issue and delving into such matters is only pushing their agenda and moral compass on others… Another undermining tactic. Ultimately, it reminds me of a quote I was told as a youngster, and a picture I have recently come across… “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect” – Mark Twain
    https://stillisurprise.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/image33.jpg

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