Cyber-hate is an offence of propagating hate majorly through the internet. It is rampant in the 21st century due availability of devices which enable access to the internet such as smartphones, tablets and computers. Cybercrime has become such a thorny issue that combating it has become the main agenda of many a government. The social websites were also invented in the 21st century.
Cyber-hate is so important a topic since it addresses the issues at stake and pertinent to the human race, the shortcomings that come with them and probably considers recommendations for combat of such vices. Cyber-hate can cause trauma on victims who receive threats through the internet from unknown people. In essence, young people are the most affected by Cyber-hate.
According to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, almost 10% of the most recent incidents and 6% of those termed as the most serious experiences of discrimination were committed on the internet. A case in point is the plethora of racially abusive words projected at John Obi Mikel, a London based footballer over the social network site twitter after a blunder in a Champions League game against Juventus football club. This led him to close his twitter handle.
International terrorist groups have also taken to using the internet to propagate threats to their terror targets. Al Shabaab militants in the horn of Africa issued threatening statements against Kenya after the Westgate Mall attack causing fear among many residents of the nation.
It is through the internet that public and private life intermingles. People have reported sexual harassment over the internet, more so, through the social websites like Facebook. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights reported that sexual harassment through the information and communication technologies was rampant among young girls aged between15 and 20 years. Older women were less harassed as compared to young girls. Statistics had it that about 10% of the women had been sexually harassed over the internet since the age of 15. There is a trend occasioning trauma among women especially the young ladies due to the exposure to explicit messages, images and videos that are inappropriate.
Racism and anti-Semitism has also been reported in recent years. Discrimination against the Jews is of particular concern since it shows that Anti-Semitism is still a problem. Of the respondents to the questionnaires by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 75% considered it a big problem while 73% observed that it had risen incredibly over the past five years. Racial abuse levelled against Chelsea midfielder, Obi Mikel is a good example of racism in cyber space.
The social media has been very instrumental in my life. The internet is a source of information for many a people. I have used it for research on many occasions and have a positive picture of the same. Though previously I have fallen victim of trauma due to Cyber-hate, it is now that I have realized how serious it is due to the societal dysfunction. Cyber-hate is more pronounced to young girls as compared to the older women. In addition, it is subjected to more ladies more than it is to men.
As much as one may argue of the importance of the internet as a cheap source of information, he should consider the information as provisional since internet based information has not been approved in many instances thus being full of propaganda. Explicitly erotic content are found on YouTube and other video showing websites that are inappropriate. It is important for institutional systems to put firewalls or proxies in their systems to prevent showing of explicit content. This will at least deny students the access to pornographic sites such as would degrade their morality.
Citizen Journalists, Unreliable Biased Opinions
Citizen journalism can be described as the practice of non-journalists doing journalistic works. These include collecting, analyzing and reporting news and information to a large group of people. Courtney Radsch opines that citizen journalism is meant to cover for the shortcoming of the mainstream professional journalistic field.
In fact, it is reported that citizens stormed into journalism because they felt that the professional journalists controlled the way information is disseminated. The former chose what to cover and what not to cover and give unwarranted attention to some parties or groups while unnecessarily restricting others. Citizen journalism causes more harm than good; the main reason being its unreliability. Whereas there could be professional and reliable citizen journalists, majority of them are just doing it for fun and others do so for purposes of attracting attention.
Recently, on the social websites of twitter and Facebook, it was rumored that the President of Rwanda was dead. That was the work of citizen journalists with their main objectives perhaps being to attract attention. Another example can be borrowed from the illness of Nelson Mandela. In fact, he was killed several times before he died. Such news once received by friends and relatives of the victim of the propaganda may have detrimental effects especially in relation to panic attacks.
Citizen Journalism belittles the well-established media organizations. In fact, they compete with the media houses at times eating into their market. This may cause adverse effects to the economy of a nation since the media organizations pay taxes to the government while the latter do not. Expertise experience, as well as talent, is wasted in the course of the competition between citizen journalists and the main stream professional journalists.
Bloggers have been observed to deliberately post materials on the internet they know are untrue. A case in point is the herein mentioned several deaths of Madiba and the cyber killing of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Such contents may confuse people on the facts of the matter thus keeping them in the darker in worse situations than they were before the false information spread.
Of much greater concern is the fact that several bloggers may post different conflicting stories about the same issue thus causing confusion among the readers; for instance, cases of football fans of the Barclays Premier League posting untrue results of matches yet to be played or agents posting untrue transfer rumors. I call these dire detriments because there have been several cases of suicide by fans of such teams consequent of the false news.
Some people may decide to incorporate the citizen journalists into the mainstream professional journalism. This may jeopardize the image created by the media company in that the citizen journalists relaying poor content and false information onto the websites of mainstream media organizations. Some citizen journalists may as well post inappropriate images or videos which may steer the morality of a society to the dogs. In fact, Andrew Keen defines citizen journalists in low terms. He argues that untrained people who try to perform acts of journalism are like an infinite number of monkeys banging on an infinite number of type writers; the end product would be garbage whereas an occasional gem would be accidental.
Otherwise, citizen journalism has done more harm than good. Given that a nation has several mainstream professional media organizations; the possibility of all of them being biased to the extent of amateur journalist chipping in is the zeros. All in all, the citizen journalists cause more chaos than order in the news arena. Since their posts do not attach liability, however, misleading they may be, some choose to post unqualified reports.
Social Media, an Addicting Obsession
Had Facebook been a country, it would be the 6th most populated nation in the world. The175 million subscribers it has is no joke. Other social websites also in existence today include MySpace, Twitter, Linked In, Google+ and the mobile based Whatsapp. They have gained popularity among the youth because they are cheap and readily available given that most people own laptops and smart phones.
Social media addiction has severely impaired the creativity of its users. The time and resources that would hitherto be used to create constructive projects are spent on the social media either on chatting with friends or on You Tube watching music clips. This makes the statement that one major innovation severely affects innovation of subsequent ones essentially true.
The social media websites such as twitter are known to propagate hate speeches. As earlier observed, the social websites may be the platform for cyber-hate and cybercrimes. Crimes could be organized on the social website and executed without the realization by the authorities. Many young people interact with mature adults who exploit them sexually. In addition, explicit pornographic videos and images are posted on the social websites such as Facebook, Twitter as well as on You Tube.
Some of the later revolutions have been fomented and steered through Facebook. Ben Ali of Tunisia was ousted from power through a revolution steered through the social platform of Facebook and Twitter. Such led to several loses of lives and left millions homelessness. Though the fruits were sweet, the means used were absolutely unconventional. Facebook itself has provided the platform for bloodshed. Such are the effects of the social websites. Youthful minds are corrupted into following certain ideologies that are otherwise contrary to the law and morals of a society. Had there not been Facebook or Twitter, perhaps the Tunisian revolution would not have been that widespread.
Social media addiction has the effect of connecting people beyond boundaries. The young and the old meet on the same platform. Some of them use different names and identities. Children and parents have in the process interacted in ways that insult the decency of parentage .
In conclusion, though the social networks were designed to benefit humanity, it has unfortunately failed in that respect. However, it has resulted substantially into the degradation of morals more so among the younger generations. They experiment on life processes and matters such as sexual activities and share the same unashamedly on Facebook and Twitter. It is through the social websites that peers are formed. So many people especially the youth finding it difficult to acquire internet enabled gadgets find it extremely difficult to fit into the social groups of their choice; they feel left out. This injures their self-esteem, which in turn negatively affects their academic performance.
The ” Have-nots”, worse off because of social media
Ignorance is the lack of knowledge. In modern society, ignorance may be earned merely on account of failing to access the basic sources of information. It is this paper’s postulation that the inaccessibility of the social media does not make one ignorant and or poor for that matter. However, the lack of access to social media may impede one’s progress towards better financial standing and by extension quality of life.
In fact, those who have devices that are capable of navigating through the social networks are better off because they have a choice; to construct their lives with them or ruin their lives. One thing is for sure; one can never be better if he does not try. One who tries and fails is better off that he who fails to try. In fact, the haves may as well decide to capitalize on their assets, that is the internet enabled assets to form business networks or even charity networks to help the under privileged in the society.
Businesses flourish because of the social media and campaign for elections through the social media such as Facebook and twitter. President Barrack Obama is a classic example. He even used the social media to raise funds for his campaigns. Where one is enabled to access the social websites, he can be able to keep in touch with family members. This is cheaper and more convenient since text messages and phone calls sometimes do not give the proper image on the position and situation as they are. The social network sites enable one to keep in touch with friends and relatives. For instance, one can upload pictures on Facebook or Twitter and tag his beloved ones. People may as well use the social websites to create professional networks. Linked In to be specific is a special professional network where professionals meet to share ideas. Academics may also meet on the social networks and brainstorm on ideas. Business people and professionals meet their clients on the social websites too. There would be a clear manifestation of unfair competition between the have-nots and the haves since the haves are able to cover a larger market online .
The Japanese are also well versed with social website advertisements. They employ the same for their car models. Facebook pages have been created bearing their names. Therefore, owning such gadgets does not necessarily commute to addiction to the social websites and related applications. One may own a laptop with which he accesses the social websites to update himself on important international news such as the BBC and CNN news updates.
Through the social websites, one gets to meet and interact with celebrity role models such as great musicians like Rihanna or great footballers like Messi, who give them inspiration and insight. It should never be assumed that those who have are feeding themselves with evil information. In addition, people meet and date on Facebook which lead to marriage.
The have-nots have no rights to criticize those who have because they really miss a lot on the social platform. Ignorance is a disease that needs a cure. People who have no gadgets able to access the internet are living in the dark. They can be compared to the people in the cave as captured in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Such are ignorant to change because they have not tasted it and maybe are unwilling to because they find it too difficult to comprehend.
As much as people misbehave with technology just because they have the capacity to access it, they are kept up to date at the least costs. Those who do not have the capacity are free from the vices that come along with the social websites, but still miss out on the benefits that accrue with the same.
Cabral, J. Is Generation Y Addicted To Socisl Media? Strategic Communications. Elon University, New York.
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. (2013). Challenges of Cyberhate. London: London Publishers.
Houston Chronicles. (2014, January 20). Chron. com. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from Chron: http://smallbusiness. chron. com/advantages-social-network-sites-32069. html
Keen, A. (2007). The Cult of the Amateur: How the Democratization of the Digital World is Assaulting our Economy, our Culture and our Values. Chicago: Chicago Publishers.
Kelly, J. (2009). The Rise, Challenge and Values of Citizen JOurnalism. London: Reuters.
Plato. (2010). Allegory of The Cave. Chicago: P & L Publishers.
Spring, J. (2007). Deculturalization and the Struggle for Equality. Boston: McGraw Hill.
The Mirror. (2012, September 20). Mirror. com. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from Racists target Mikel: Chelsea Star Closes Twitter Account After Juve Slip Sparks Abuse: http://www. mirror. co. uk/sport/football/news/chelsea-john-obi-mikel-closes-1335081#. UulxraBAQ4Q