The porn ‘hack’ wasn’t skulduggery, just low-grade twittery

Ideas

The porn ‘hack’ wasn’t skulduggery, just low-grade twittery

The parliamentary Zoom frisson is an absurd story, but to SA’s politicians it must be utterly, utterly nightmarish

Columnist

The headlines on Thursday morning were adamant: a meeting of the National Assembly Planning Committee, held via Zoom, had been “hacked”, with shocked members allegedly subjected to pornographic imagines and racist abuse.

At first blush it seemed like a clear-cut case of digital skulduggery. But while the internet is home to a great many awful people, it is also a repository of great wisdom, such as the aphorism, known as Hanlon’s Razor, which offers us a vital warning: never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

And so it proved to be. The so-called hack, it quickly emerged, wasn’t so much a hi-tech break-in as a low-grade breakdown: 10 minutes before the meeting was scheduled to start, parliament’s Twitter feed – followed by 650,000 people – had published the password to the meeting and given those porn-hoarding bigots something to do with their morning. ..

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