How can platforms regulate the online harassment and sexism content on the Internet?

assignment 2

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The internet is a way of connecting people through physical mediums and software such as drives to share resources. The major social platforms are spaces for the public to gather, share and discuss information, and these platforms belong to large technology companies or SMEs, most of them with the ultimate goal of making a profit. Online algorithms help people to shape a good online environment, but no one realises that the lack of regulation of a small part of the content becomes a loophole for illegal elements. The third chapter is concerned with the methodology used in this study. The fourth section presents the findings of the research, focusing on three key themes that the gender stereotyping, online harassment, and bullying. Also, we will discuss the significance of platform regulation and whose responsibility it is.


Online sexual content with the young generations:

In recent years, there has been a huge increase in online discussions about gender antagonism and rights, and the younger generation has become addicted to social platforms and the Internet. The presentation of gender is something that constantly influences viewers in society, and it can help shape and regulate people’s sense of community, though in all popular media women are under-represented. The only medium that has more women than men present were magazines directed at teen girls. However, women are often given only sexy, beautiful, and dependent images in the media, sexism and disability are prevalent almost worldwide and women are often considered to be at the bottom of the social ladder (Mondal, 2014). Social media’s design elements have been exalted by the current generation, leading to new addictions that endanger their mental and physical well-being. These characteristics, which have grown to be tightly linked to one’s identity and self-worth, include likes, comments, tagging, and hashtagging. As a result, leading many girls have a weak sense of self-worth in adolescence and focus more on their appearance than on their academic knowledge, especially for people in poor areas.

In the TED speech, it was mentioned that most children’s media productions are also gender stereotypical, with only 32% female representation, and even in films and television productions where hair is ‘tinted’ to differentiate between males and females. Social platforms are the fastest way to access information nowadays, and young people in Norway suffer from depression and other bad behavior due to poorly oriented information on the internet. Therefore, when the creation of “fake news” and “misinformation” has taken centre stage, the mediation of political debate at a period of increased ideological divide has become especially crucial for informed political activity (Schlesinger, 2020).

-Attitudes towards Sexism on the internet:

In the news, under the reporter’s description the girl was assaulted and plied with alcohol doesn’t seem to be a choice, and there is a lot of description of the 45-year-old sexual predator, but it doesn’t really put into words the severity of the problem and the legal charges against him. Women who are the targets of male violence are always passive and dependent, their lives are always influenced by the will of men, yet she was just a 14-year-old teenager who faced such an encounter. Women are always presented as ‘victims’ in the news, and if the media do not report on the views of women judges, parliamentarians, or good women leaders, but always on cases of violent crimes against women, the public will not be aware of the importance of women in society (Byerly & Ross, 2008).

In the news women seem to be the playthings of men, and to a certain extent, such online information has brought about serious effects on the physical and mental health of young people. For adolescents in their formative years, the stimulation and temptation of online pornographic information for young people is very likely to make them struggle with the contradiction between desire and self-control, and even develop a criminal mentality.

Online harassment on the Internet:

The internet world is free and wide, so it also giving the ordinary people access to information and opportunity to voice their views. Moreover, it seems dissolved the dichotomy between public and private space. We can know that there are 40% adult have experienced the online harassment in the video. And Wolak’s report from 2007 on teenage internet harassment said that many young people who experience online abuse participate in interactive online activities. In the Australian Government’s cybersecurity report (2012), we can see examples of online sexual harassment, such as young women being photographed on publicly accessible websites, or photos being reposted with the label “obscene”. So, who can be responsible for our safety?

-How to stop the spread of the problematic content on the Internet?

Once upon a time, the media was controlled by the same people, but nowadays people have mobile phones, computers and various digital platforms that make the media decentralized and the information they receive diversified. People are no longer just senders and receivers but are gradually becoming participants in the media due to the influence of the Internet. New media are interactive, they disaggregate audiences and integrate use into everyday life. Internet information dissemination is a product of modern information technology, rectifying and regulating the order of online information dissemination, technology has become an indispensable means.

Internet censorship is becoming more widespread, and nations all around the world are actively using either required legislative intervention or persuasive self-regulation to control the Internet. In some nations, the creation of legal policies and regulations about the Internet is anticipated to protect children as a starting point for the regulation of Internet content; in other nations, it is advocated that through the Internet, governmental mechanisms of control will impede the quick spread of the Internet, the advancement of technology, the flow of information, and the spirit of free sharing, and will cause the use of the Internet to show signs of impropriety. There are currently about twenty countries with online censorship practices, for example, Singapore, Australia, and mainland China have separate laws governing the publication and dissemination of online content.

In addition to complying with legal requirements and avoiding the imposition of additional policies, social media platforms are increasingly taking on the duty of content curation and user activity policing to avoid alienating or harassing users, appease advertisers eager to link their brands to a vibrant online community, safeguard their brand’s reputation, and uphold their own personal and institutional ethics (Flew& Suzor, 2019). Therefore, content censorship is so essential, reviewing the content (text, images, audio, video) that users upload, post or share on social platforms. The main purpose is to filter and filter low-quality and vulgar content, to produce high-quality content, prevent degradation of the user experience and maintain a good content tone. At present, most platforms are using AI text detection technology, which is more efficient and can effectively identify content involving pornography, politics, advertising and abusive language, help users reduce the risk of violations, create a harmonious environment for users, and improve user experience.With the increased regulation in various countries, socially undesirable content such as violence, gore, politics, pornography, gambling and drugs targeting young people has become a key area of concern.

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With time, Internet users’ lives become more and more dependent on it for information, to the point that it may even become a necessary component of their daily routines (Diefenbach & Christoforakos, 2017). Last but not least, the government could enact more laws to regulate the content that platform users post. Since platforms typically only delete negative reviews that are pertinent to their interests, the government would be better suited to enforce these laws to maintain consistency in online content and improve the online environment.



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Mondal, P. (2014, March 25). Women status: Essay on the status of women. Your Article Library.


Byerly, C. M., & Ross, K. (2008). Women & media: a critical introduction. Wiley-Blackwell.


Wolak, J., Mitchell, K. J., & Finkelhor, D. (2007). Does Online Harassment Constitute Bullying? An Exploration of Online Harassment by Known Peers and Online-Only Contacts. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S51–S58.


Australian Human Rights Commission. (2012). 5 Current issues of ‘Internet censorship’: Bullying, discrimination, harassment and freedom of expression. Australian Human Rights Commission.


Flew, T., Martin, F., & Suzor, N. (2019). Internet regulation as media policy: Rethinking the question of digital communication platform governance. Journal of Digital Media & Policy, 10(1), 33–50.


van Deursen, A. J. A. M., van Dijk, J. A. G. M., & Peters, O. (2011). Rethinking Internet skills: The contribution of gender, age, education, Internet experience, and hours online to medium- and content-related Internet skills. Poetics (Amsterdam), 39(2), 125–144.


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Talks, Ted. (2017). Is social media hurting your mental health? [Video]. In YouTube.