Friday, February 6, 2015

Make the abuser pay not the abused

In my "Current Issues in Mass Communication" class, we have been talking about the trolls and abusers who live online harassing others from the comfort of not being seen while behind their computers. In the past more women have been harassed on social media platforms like Twitter than men, and they have had to pay the costs of reporting abuse, which can take up a lot of time, be difficult and expensive. Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo admitted that he and his team have not been doing a great job of keeping abusers off of Twitter, so he decided to make the cost of people making hate speech more than the cost the abuser has to pay to avoid it.

This makes a lot of sense and should have already been implemented. The problem with this is that Costolo believes in free speech, which is probably why there hasn't been much change. Misogynists and bigots thrive on Twitter and any other social media platforms, such as Yik Yak,where they can supposedly be "anonymous." Anywhere where a woman can express how she feels about anything and it is open to the public to see is bound to get comments from those who disagree and sometimes those who threaten to kill her. Men also can be harassed online as well, but in the society we live in, woman are usually set at a lower pedestal than men, and this is why they are mistreated more.

This new plan to make it harder for abusers to abuse online will change mass communication for the the betterment of society. It will get rid of the losers who target awful messages at those on Twitter and will force people to confront others in public. This in-person contact could be good or bad, but making abusers pay for their unwanted and unnecessary comments, I think is a step in the right direction for safer communication whether it is online or not. I am curious to know how this will be implemented, with the right to free speech getting in the way of stopping abusers.

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