In this update, you’re going to learn about a conversation that happening which might determine the future of how people interact on social media.
More Than Mean
Less than two weeks ago, two female sports reporters recorded a video with the hashtag #morethanmean, where men read mean tweets that had been sent to the reporters by Twitter users. The tweets that the men read quickly became shockingly violent.
It turns out that these female journalists have to deal with threats of harm and sexual violence on social media on a daily basis and much of this violence speech is targeted at females. In fact, Eric Roberts, who is professor emeritus of computer science at StanfordUniversity, pointed out that extremists of all kinds are using the Internet as a vehicle for disseminating hate speech at an exponential rate.
You can watch the video of the men reading these mean tweets here:
Celebrities block Twitter users
Just a few days after the More Than Mean video was published, a wave of celebrities and politicians began blocking hundreds of users on Twitter for various reasons, which gave rise to the hashtag #Iwasblockedfor.
Many people were posting funny reasons why they were blocked by people on Twitter, but this raises a question for digital entrepreneurs and social media users. Currently, there are no laws regulating the use of violent speech online. In fact, one journalist received multiple death threats and when she took these death threats that were sent via email to law enforcement, the police officers didn’t even know what Twitter was, which raises the question, “What is next?”
Twitter says they’re always looking for ways to make their service better and Facebook says they have a system for reporting abuse. Now, Facebook is making new users give Facebook their phone number in order to start accounts.At Eazl, we’re watching this space very closely to see how legislators balance this as a push for less anonymity on the web and protecting people who have received threats of violence in cyberspace.
What’s your take? Should platforms try to ban IP addresses of users who regularly publish violent messages? How do you handle trolls online? We’d love to hear in the comments below.