The internet and internetworked technologies are evolving with time and are assumed to bring honor to each user and opportunities to explore a knowledgeable world. Though, Kim et al. (2011) state that along with the opportunities, the internet brings its dark side to the world through content posted on digital platforms which includes hate, harassment, cyberbullying, etc. The essay aims to address the history, culture, economy, and politics of the internet involving hateful content, social and cultural issues raised by them, and the responsible body involved to control the hateful and violent content. Firstly, the essay discusses the history, politics, economy, and culture of the internet around hateful content. Further, social and cultural issues raised by problematic content are discussed. Lastly, the responsible bodies who should stop the hate content are identified.
History and Politics of the internet
Over the years, the internet has been increasingly used to spread hate, bullying, and consumption of porn, and also used by political parties to fulfill their political agenda and insult the opposition parties. Internet use was minimal in the earlier days, but over the years with the advancement in technology, anyone could post their content on the internet including hate, bullying, and harassment, and the consumption of pornography also increased due to easy access to technology such as adult websites (Nemes, 2022, p.198; Camilleri et al. 2021). This indicates that the internet has made it easy for people to spread hate on social media and access pornography due to the easy availability of internet technologies. Moreover, the internet has increased hate and insult spread by the political parties through their live speeches and conversations based on exploiting the reputations of the rival party on social and national media platforms (Kahn & Kellner, 2005). This shows that the internet is used by political parties to spread hate, humiliation, and insult opposition political parties. Thus, Over the years, the internet has been increasingly used to spread hate, bullying, and consumption of porn, and also used by political parties to fulfill their political agenda and insult the opposition parties.
Economics and Culture of the Internet
Pornography and hateful content on the internet are major sources of economical growth and have become an internet culture as people are paying to consume and advertise hateful content and spread hate through social media which increases the popularity of the internet. Internet economics is increasing due to Pornography and advertisement technology as a large number of users subscribe to access and upload porn and pay advertisement technology providers to run their ads including hate content to earn money by drawing an audience (Doran, 2009; Thompson, 2022 ). This indicates that the internet has made it easy for people to consume porn and hateful content which helps the content creators and advertisement providers earn money, further adding to the economy of the internet. Moreover, hate and bullying have become a culture on the internet as children and adolescents are spreading hate content on social media through comments and videos, and some communities who feel superior to others based on their skin color post inappropriate and offensive content (Tynes 2005; Klein, 2017, p. 102). Thus, pornography and hateful content on the internet are major sources of economic growth and have become an internet culture as people are paying to consume and advertise hateful content and spread hate through social media which increases the popularity of the internet.
Social and Cultural issues
Social and cultural issues raised by hate, violence, harassment, and pornography content on the internet include:
- Mass shootings, murders, and bullying toward minority groups are based on the discrimination of ethnicity, racism, gender, etc. (Laub, 2019).
- Increase in suicide cases due to harassment and bullying on the internet (Rohlfing, 2014).
- An increase in the number of rape cases due to the easy availability of pornography which depicts misogyny (Zillmann, 2012).
Kidnapping or enslavement of women and children due to child pornography, violent or hate content available on the internet (Mengü & Mengü, 2015).
Responsible Bodies to stop the spread of hate
One of the responsible bodies that should stop the spread of hate and violent content on digital platforms is the digital platform themselves with the help of artificial and human intelligence and terminating the accounts of guilty users. Digital platforms should take the responsibility to control the spread of inappropriate content on their websites using artificial and human intelligence by filtering, removing, and blocking inappropriate content (Marina & Sić1, 2021). This indicates that digital platforms can stop the spread of hate and misinformation based on the keywords used in the content such as the use of foul language, visuals containing violence and vulgarity, and the spread of incorrect information about the covid-19 vaccine. Moreover, digital platforms can terminate the accounts of the users who are frequently involved in inappropriate activity to create a sense of fear among the users to stop hate and harassment. Thus, digital platforms should be one of the responsible bodies that should stop the spread of hate, violence, and harassment by filtering, blocking, and removing the content and if continued, terminating the account of the user.
Another responsible body that should stop the spread of hate, violence, pornography, and harassment over the internet is the government by punishing and penalizing cybercriminals and enforcing guidelines for private digital platforms. Government should impose strict policies, laws, and punishment against cybercrimes such as cyberbullying, cyberstalking, revenge porn, etc., and punish the criminal with imprisonment up to 3 years at least or penalization to stop the spread of the problematic content online (Broadhurst, et al., 2014). This shows that the government imposing strict rules and punishments against crimes including online harassment, and leaking someone’s private picture without their consent over the internet, can potentially stop people from indulging in these offensive activities as it could imprison or penalize them. Moreover, the government should enforce rules and guidelines for private digital platforms to moderate their content and ban the accounts of users who are indulging in any kind of hate speech or offensive activity. Hence, the government can stop the spread of hate, and other offensive activities by enforcing strict punishment and penalization against criminals and rules and guidelines for digital platforms.
Society can also stop the spread of hate by blocking and reporting the content and account of the bully, and by supporting the victim. If a person is being bullied on social media platforms, then the account of the bully should be reported by the victim to let the digital platform know about the situation (UNICEF, 2022). This indicates that addressing the crime is important as the digital platform will only be able to recognize the hate or harassment if the content or the account of the criminal is reported. Moreover, society should stand up to support the victim and criticize the criminal to stop the spread of hate and crimes against a community such as discrimination and murders of Afro-Americans (UNICEF, 2022). This shows that the spread of hate can be stopped if society supports the victim and raise their voices against the criminal which will further help digital platforms and the government to recognize the issue faster and take action against it. Hence, society can stop the spread of hate by blocking and reporting the content and account of the bully, and by supporting the victim.
The essay aimed to address the history, culture, economy, and politics of the internet involving hateful content, the related social and cultural issues, and the responsible bodies that should stop the spread of hate. History and politics of the Internet involved increased use of the internet over the years, consumption of porn, fulfilling the political agenda, and insulting the opposition parties. Moreover, the economics and culture of the internet have been majorly contributed by pornography and hateful content as revenue generation is dependent on hateful ads and subscriptions to adult websites. Further, social and cultural issues included mass shootings, an increase in the number of suicides and rapes, and enslavement of women and children due to hate and pornography. Moreover, responsible bodies who should stop the hate were identified including digital platforms, government, and society.
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