Welcome to the inaugural post of the Internet Bully Watch.
The past decade has seen the emergence of a new online culture. In particular, we saw the internet give rise to voices which would have had no platform before. What’s more, these voices are now able to share and exchange information in real time. Finally, people can speak freely and without fear of repercussions on the web, if they so choose, as it is very hard to establish identities. While most of these developments are to be welcomed as enriching the culture, , there also has been a quite nasty and undesirable downside.
In short, there are people who have been abusing these privileges. People who use the anonymity of the web to malign people who don’t have the luxury of cowardly hiding behind a pseudonym. This is perhaps not surprising, as plenty of research has firmly established that anonymity unleashes antisocial and competitive behavior, while the lack thereof tends to foster cooperative exchanges. In this case, rapid sharing enables people to create a virtual mob of bullies to spread their venom.
This is unacceptable, as plenty of good people have come to grief over this hateful practice.
The realities of the web are such that it is unlikely to be changed in a top-down fashion. Yet, real people and causes are at a distinct disadvantage in the current system. Thus, this blog is aimed at providing the necessary balance. Two can play this game. Firmly believing that incentives can change behavior and make people come to their senses, we embark on our mission.
Bullies: I’m watching you. Be mindful of this.