With the huge growth in social media use amongst many different platforms from users of all different ages we now have to consider how to handle bans and blocking users more than ever before. Since most people now and days either have a smartphone, tablet or computer they most likely are on some type of social media platform expressing their views and opinions, and not everyone is going to agree with what he or she is saying. Which is ok. That is not the issue though. The issue is how people respond to one another. Now and days people feel comfortable being rude and ignorant because they don’t agree with the post or think it is funny to try and intentionally hurt someone’s feelings. Mainly because they don’t know the person or think because they are online they are untouchable and nothing can happen to them. But what are some solutions to help put an end to this toxic behavior and make these social media platforms a more enjoyable/safe space.
First I feel like there will never be a truly non toxic environment where people state their views and opinions and everyone interact with one another with common sense. That just is not possible in the real world because no matter what there will always be people who just have a toxic mindset. Yes, they can get banned or blocked but things like that take time. Blocking someone is quick and easy but the person who has been blocked can easily make another account and continue with harassing someone if they truly wanted to. But, if you want someone banned so they can never use that account again most likely that person’s account needs to be reported a numerous amount of times. Even then some platforms try to ban for a certain time period before permanently banning that account. For example, on Xbox Live you can get a chat suppension where you can still play online but won’t be able to communicate for a period of time. Which then can lead to a service suspension and eventually a console banned. But as you can see it is not that simple to just get someone kicked off from that service. Twitter has things in play to control their users as well. For example “Twitter Jail”, this limits a user to 100 tweets per hour and a 1000 a day. This way someone can not spend hours spamming another user. But Twitter also allows you to block someone or block certain words and phrases so a user can avoid tweets with certain content that wish to not see. Also you can block sensitive content for users who are underaged. On instagram you can also block users and report profiles, and the same thing for FaceBook and Snapchat just to name a couple of the popular ones.
The thing is all of these apps have community guidelines that users are breaking everyday simply because nobody is saying anything. People aren’t reporting these toxic accounts instead they are just blocking them or log off for a bit and come back later. That doesn’t help though because then that allows the person who is being rude to go and bother someone else. After looking somethings up online I found some useful things all of us can start doing while online. For example, pause before replying. Which basically means before flipping out on someone take a few minutes to think of a logical response without being rude. See most of respond back with pure emotions and don’t think about if what we are responding back with acceptable or not. That is just one of the many steps you can find from this article i found on “News.Microsoft”
But then people make the argument saying that you should make your accounts private therefore you are in control of what media you see and who sees your media. But I feel like that is not fair because then in a sense you are limiting your experience online and muting yourself kind of because then you’re not getting your message out their as you would like to. Which is why I feel like the main solution to this problem is you have to have tough skin if you are going to post things online. Since there is no true way to make the internet completely safe no matter what kind of A.I. algorithm someone develops or how many accounts get blocked banned the trolls will always be there. Sometimes you can take the rude things people say and laugh it off as a joke especially if you know it is coming from someone you don’t know or what is being said is not true. Jimmy Kimmel is a perfect example. He has a segment on his show where he gets celebrities to read mean tweets people have posted about them.
He has managed to make a whole serious out of the rude things people say and turn it into comedy. I understand not everyone can laugh things like that off of but if you can give it a chance you could take some of the power away from the trolls.
Images below are from broadbandsearch.net
As you can see as I said earlier practically everyone is online in some form, and 87% said they have seen cyber bullying. If people would speak up and defend one another online when they see this behavior then that would be a great start to getting this issue under control. But instead people rather turn their head and act blind to the situation since it doesn’t involve them or somebody close to them. But that is a habit that needs to end now.
As you can see the internet is a real complex place and even with rules and regulations in place people will always try to find a way to beat the system. Which is why some important takeaways from this are, don’t allow people to be bullied if you see it say something. If you aren’t ok with saying something then report the person at least. Also don’t allow someone else’s ignorance ruin your day or hurt your feelings.