Social media is not a new trend, but it is certainly one that’s here to stay. It is an incredibly useful tool for businesses and individuals to get their voices heard and share their views on topics they are passionate about. However, there are a small number of people who use social media in a negative way to air their hatred for certain groups of people or individuals.
I recently spoke to Phil Dave from Jewish Views, a weekly Jewish podcast and radio show in association with The Jewish News, about online hatred and if there is any way to eliminate it.
Are fines the way forward?
A proposal has been suggested that fines should be rolled out to social media companies for not doing enough to enforce a safe environment for people to communicate on. But what constitutes as hatred to some people, might not be offensive to others, so it’s proving a tricky thing to police.
An algorithm could provide a solution for filtering out online hatred, but this once again poses several issues. In their current guise, algorithms would be unable to ‘know’ the context of certain words or phrases so the current freedom of using social media would certainly be interrupted. This is something only a human could do, but again, everyone has their biases – and who is going to pay someone to sit at a computer and be the filter?
What if I find myself or business a target for online hate?
People will share their views on social media – and sadly they won’t always be pleasant. If you find yourself, your associates or your business a target for online hate, it’s important to make sure you deal with it in a way that won’t harm your own reputation.
Try not to react in the moment – don’t succumb to online hate and respond with more hate. Instead, if you are the victim of hateful or abusive content, you are well within your rights to report and block the account..
What else do I think?
Social media is always going to get scrutinised in one way or another, but it does provide a great platform for people to share thoughts and opinions. If you want to listen to the full interview, you can do so below – I begin speaking about 14 minutes into the show!
What do you think the solution to curbing online hate is? I’d love to hear your thoughts.