With the popularity of the Internet and the development of increasingly sophisticated online platforms, more people are using the Internet to access information. Digital technology has strengthened social connections, enriched the channels of communication between people, and allowed the integration of different virtual platforms and between virtual platforms and the real world to build a networked society. There is no shortage of knowledge, news from around the world or news from the government. However, when people access information through the internet, it amplifies negative feelings between people and accelerates the spread of falsehoods, hatred and other negative information.
In addition to producing their own content, users of online platforms also share and retweet the posts of others. Social media platforms thus empower new opinion leaders and expand their target audiences, but they also allow some messages to spread rapidly in a ‘viral’ manner. Falsehoods, fraud, pornography, terror, hatred, violence and defamation flood the virtual digital space. Digital platforms are a two-way accelerator: on the one hand, they increase the potential for rational dialogue between people and offer new opportunities for democratic participation; on the other hand, they amplify prejudice, indifference, anger and hatred between people, spreading a great deal of false information and even causing social unrest.
Because the internet is growing so rapidly and widely, many school teachers now advise students to use the convenience of the internet for learning. While there are many benefits to children and young people using technology to communicate, it has also been associated with cyberbullying and online harm. This includes, but is not limited to, pornography on the internet, false news, misleading knowledge and violent language from others on the internet. This all creates a more obvious hindrance and trauma to young people’s learning on the internet, and it is up to their parents as children to take responsibility for guarding their children’s safety online. According to research, the intervention of a child’s parents can reduce the amount of cyberbullying and brutalisation to which the child is exposed. In addition to this, it is also very important to know how to prevent cyber violence. The role of parents is very evident when cyber violence occurs before it happens, and they can find out if their child is being influenced in a negative way online by taking an active, restricted interest in the platforms and websites that their child opens on the internet. (Baldry, Sorrentino & Farrington, 2019) However, excessive parental involvement, such as controlling the child’s thoughts and life, or over-monitoring the child can put more pressure on the child. Such pressure can in turn alienate the child from the parents and thus acquire more online violence. (Baldry, Sorrentino & Farrington, 2019) Moreover, when parents are overly involved in their children’s online lives, it can instead lead to rebelliousness and thus more exposure to dangerous things. Therefore, it is necessary for children and parents to be healthy online, but parents should not be over-involved in their children’s online world either. Children should also be careful to identify which websites are healthy and which ones are bad and can bring harm to them when they are online.
Misleading, fake internet news
In addition to the conventional learning environment that the internet provides for children, it also provides a platform for more online citizens to relax. These include, but are not limited to, video sites, novel sites or gaming platforms. However, these platforms can sometimes be used by illegal elements, as they reach a wide range of people and make distribution cheaper than ever. In the case of Covid-19, which has become a global epidemic in recent years, some unscrupulous businessmen have been known to falsely exaggerate the dangers of the virus on various online platforms so that their medical devices can profit from it. Of course, there are also those with ill intentions who claim on these platforms that the new coronavirus is harmless, thereby letting down citizens who see the propaganda. But the good news is that the platforms are aware of the emergence of this phenomenon and have taken measures to address it. For example, when users search for information about Covid-19, the platform algorithm will automatically refer them to official sources. At the same time, some platforms remove and block false, misleading and harmful information in the background. In addition, platforms such as Twitter, Youtube and Facebook have announced that they are working with government medical agencies to crack down on advertisers selling Covid-19 medical devices. (Combatting COVID-19 Disinformation on Online Platforms, 2020) It is not enough to be warned by the platforms. Still, users should also be careful to identify similar misleading information when engaging in relaxing activities on online platforms, as they are their own protectors.
Disinformation that disrupts the national order
In addition to the above-mentioned problems that people tend to encounter when surfing the Internet on a daily basis, there is a particularly damaging and nationally relevant cyber problem. These problems usually arise when hackers or politicians from other countries post false information to confuse the population of the target country, thereby disrupting the normal administration and functioning of the target country. A similar problem was seen in the US presidential election in 2016 when it was revealed that Russia had attempted to manipulate the US presidential election. Russia’s then-President Vladimir Putin ordered “Operation Influence”, which was carried out by posting false information on social media in order to manipulate citizens’ opinions and views and undermine the country’s democratic political legitimacy. This indirectly influenced the outcome of the vote for “Donald Trump’s” rival at the time, “Hillary Clinton”.
Interfering in the politics of other countries is unquestionably illegal and despicable, and it is also very unfair to the people who elect candidates and exercise referendum power in other countries. Apart from the use of online platforms by one country to interfere in the politics of other countries, there is also the use of similar tactics by unscrupulous organisations to brainwash the citizens of other countries to glorify their illegal actions. The most representative example is the ISIS terrorist group, which uses online platforms such as YOUTUBE or Twitter to promote and glorify its terrorist actions. It even brainwashes young people, claiming the legitimacy of “jihad” and encouraging people to join their illegal actions. Unfortunately, some young people do get brainwashed by their propaganda videos and texts and join their evil actions. There are many more problems like this on the internet and the government still needs to make a huge effort to stop this illegal content from appearing. In addition to this, it is even more important for the government to respond and adjust to similar situations as they occur. These false and illegal contents on the internet are very confusing, but as citizens, it is more important to think independently and distinguish between right and wrong.
Baldry, A. C., Sorrentino, A., & Farrington, D. P. (2019). Cyberbullying and cyber victimization versus parental supervision, monitoring and control of adolescents’ online activities. Children and Youth Services Review, 96, 302–307. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.11.058
Arayankalam, J., & Krishnan, S. (2021). Relating foreign disinformation through social media, domestic online media fractionalization, government’s control over cyberspace, and social media-induced offline violence: Insights from the agenda-building theoretical perspective. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 166, 120661–. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2021.120661
Combatting COVID-19 disinformation on online platforms. (2020, July 3). OECD. https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/combatting-covid-19-disinformation-on-online-platforms-d854ec48/
Jardine, E. (n.d.). Beware Fake News. Centre for International Governance Innovation. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://www.cigionline.org/articles/beware-fake-news/?utm_source=google_ads&utm_medium=grant&gclid=CjwKCAjwp9qZBhBkEiwAsYFsb_aYtaofZ0vc_0HPBgTzg7TWlZ8a0WbPw_2rsDxLQfxGPJJOR5s_9hoCDLsQAvD_BwE
Ryan, M., Nakashima, E., & DeYoung, K. (2016, December 29). Obama administration announces measures to punish Russia for 2016 election interference. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-administration-announces-measures-to-punish-russia-for-2016-election-interference/2016/12/29/311db9d6-cdde-11e6-a87f-b917067331bb_story.html?utm_term=.421db51a055c