I’ve long opined on how virile the internet has become – giving a platform for anyone to anonymously spread hate, lies and misconceptions about anyone and anything.
I believe in order to post on the internet, you must reveal your identity – from a verifiable source. I realize that this may limit free speech in the “Arab Spring” sense of the term, and I’m sure were the concept of verification introduced to the web, there would be a happy medium.
Perhaps we are seeing a small turn towards ending anonymous hate based upon some recent events.
Take the game-winning goal scored by Washington Capitals hockey player, Joel Ward, a black man. His heroics lead to a barrage of racist comments on Twitter. Deadspin collected these posts into an article to “out” the racists. The result was that these racist people receive a significant amount of negative publicity and many deleted their accounts after being shamed publicly.
When the supreme court upheld the constitutionality of the healthcare reform act, many people tweeted they “couldn’t deal with the USA’s socialist agenda” and were therefore “moving to Canada to escape the socialists in the USA”. Of course anyone with half a brain knows that Canada provides free health care to all – far more “socialist” than the USA’s health care act.
Perhaps these events and other acts of internet Darwinism will lower the volume of hate on the ‘net.
I recently came across a POWERFUL post on the topic by Erin Kissane which I am compelled to share. It’s a long read but worth every moment of your time. Erin discusses the issue of hate on the internet, specifically pertaining to women. However, her points are applicable to the internet as a whole and I encourage you to share this article with EVERYONE YOU KNOW. Erin addresses the issue head on with suggestions on how to combat hate on the net. Her post inspired me to share my thoughts in this post today. Thanks Erin!