Saturday, October 26, 2019

Censoring Media

No matter what the most advanced communication medium that exists is, it will inevitably be used to share bad ideas and hatred. That’s not the fault of the medium, but the fault of the humans who have bad ideas and hatred. Is hatred worsened by Facebook? Of course not; it just brings what has been hidden out into the open. Should we put the Internet on trial for openly parading racism and xenophobia? These behaviors have always been there, going back long before the Internet, just conveniently kept out of sight... until now.

Are we attacking the medium for displaying the message? If so, it’s unproductive, incorrectly shifting blame, and ultimately playing into a sensational fear of technology rather than providing optimism and hope to people of the true promise of technology. What we should be is thankful for all these platforms on the Internet, because what these communication mediums do is reveal to us the truth that has been hidden for too long. You cannot change what you don't know about. If we can address the bad ideas at their core and help people eradicate such hateful practices from their minds, then Facebook won't be used to spread hatred. The medium then becomes used for good rather than bad.

It may be that bringing the dark to light on today's Internet platforms is a clear mark of progress. While bringing dark truths to the surface may be the very reason we are currently facing such increased societal division and conflict, it may also be for this reason that we’re finally seeing what’s always taken place behind the scenes. Now, with awareness of these negative aspects of our culture and the monsters these ideas have spawned, we may collectively feel forced into a war to right these wrongs. Our fear and anger may be being triggered to deal with the social demons that the Internet has revealed.

How long have men raped women in the shadows? How long have businesses and politicians created back-alley deals that exploit the average citizen and turned nations into oligarchies? How long has the black community been unjustly profiled, arrested, and assaulted in America? Thanks to the Internet, we now live in a time where people of color, women, LGBTQ, and those in lower socio-economic brackets are finally able to express their perspectives with the world at large on a more egalitarian basis — to communicate and cooperate, to reveal the truth that’s long been largely unrevealed.

On the flip side, racists, sexists and elitist individuals may also use these mediums to communicate their messages of animus. But now we have proof of their character. We can look at their tweets and emails, screenshot their messages, and bring them to light for justice that is due.

It may seem like a long time coming, but the tide is turning, and the fear of expression being displayed is a normal human reaction — not a technology failure. We should feel fortunate to have communication medium like Facebook. Any platform that allows us to lift up the bold and courageous who wish to reveal the evil that has long been lurking in the shadows should be a good thing. Without the new medium platforms, humanity's dark side may have never shown its face to such a degree, and just remained out of sight as it has throughout the ages, brushed under the carpet as “just the way things are,” leaving us the convenient excuse of “well, I’ve never seen it, so I can’t pass any judgment.”

By exploring what we’ve collectively uploaded online, the diseases that have for too long contributed to societal injustice may be revealed. Mental illness has thrived, thanks to a culture that has allowed racism, misogyny, greed, selfishness, and all forms of hatred to go on for far too long. The last thing we want to do now that everything is exposed to the light is censor these new forms of communication and hide our illnesses once more — losing sight of them and again becoming unable to heal them.

We no longer have an excuse to be naive. Today's technology is to thank for that. Maybe in the past, what we couldn’t see, we couldn’t fight, but now that our eyes have been opened, we can fight. We live in an age where we can no longer hide from our own disorders. We have to either grow up and finally become a mature species that can use its tools responsibly, or we can continue to be at each other's throats and blame technology for our own hypocritical hatred and violence.

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