As mentioned several times and in several places, technologies are often a double-edged sword. The internet has brought the world a lot of new opportunities and make our life better in so many ways. However, it is inevitable that there are negative sides to the internet as well. Trolling, hostility, and misinformation, we’ve already noticed these things a lot, and maybe everyone was once a victim of them. Features of the internet sometimes benefit us, but sometimes harm us as well. So, does that mean the internet is a lawless area?
The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online
The internet supports a global ecosystem of social interaction. Modern life revolves around the network, with its…
Anonymity is totally controversial at this moment. In the previous topics, we’ve discussed how we could take the advantage of anonymity to build any kind of identity online. However, here comes the other side. Anonymity means no one knows who you are online. As a result, it provides the environment for trolling, hostility, and misinformation because no one knows who does these things, and responsibility does not exist anymore. Basically, it is like if I hate someone, I could directly post a hate speech online without letting others who I am, and I don’t have to worry about being revenged or feeling embarrassed if this person has some relationships with me in the physical world. In conclusion, it is definitely worth thinking about how to dealing with the problem of anonymity.
Misinformation is something very harassing for everyone, especially since the development of the internet to improve the efficiency of exchanging information, which makes the problem of misinformation spreads faster as well. As a result, it is necessary to encourage everyone to pay more attention to the verification of the information got online. There is an old saying from Chinese culture that don’t harm others but be careful to prevent harm from others (original: 害人之心不可有，防人之心不可无). Even we don’t actively share misinformation, it is still necessary to verify the information we got in order to avoid indirectly becoming complicit with those who spread misinformation.
I’ve experienced hostile communication online before. It started with a hostile speech to one of my friends, and I defended that. Then, it shifted to me. In the speech, it was saying I’m crazy about falling in love with prostitutes. Personally, if anyone face such a situation like me, I would first recommend reporting, and then save the evidence for further consideration. Next, using any legal actions to defend yourself.
Social media platforms have such huge influences today. Thus, it is significant for them to take action to deal with the problems discussed in this article. Let’s have a sight on how TikTok deals with misformation from TRT World. I could easily find this information from search engines, and so will you, but remember, verification is important.