Thursday, September 25, 2014
Twitter as a breeding ground for internet hate
Unfortunately the discussion around Gamergate is refusing to die. I say unfortunately because there actually isn't a discussion; instead one side talks about harassment while the other side talks about corruption. There is no pro-harassment and anti-harassment side debating each other, there is no pro-corruption side debating an anti-corruption side. There are two groups talking about two very different and mostly unrelated things into a vacuum, and the only interactions is each side saying "your subject of discussion is irrelevant, let's talk about my subject of discussion instead".
In that context it is surprising that two people on different sides of the discussion at least found one point they agreed upon: The problem with Gamergate is Twitter. Even before Gamergate I already considered Twitter to be the worst place on the internet, a breeding ground for internet hate, the place on the internet where all the torches and pitchforks are stored for regular outbreaks of manufactured outrage.
There is a social media enterprise petitioning the US president to censor 4Chan. Not only is that stupid and not going to happen, but it also wouldn't help to make the internet a nicer or safer place. What *would* make the internet a better place would be Twitter changing its policy and demanding proof of identity for every account, with only one account allowed per verified identity. And that might be something that actually has a chance to happen, and there might even be government intervention to make it happen. Some of the things on Twitter right now are illegal under current law. It would just take one person with a good case to sue Twitter for damages because they enable cyber-bullying and internet harassment, and Twitter would be forced to change their policies pretty quickly.