Bad to the extreme network environment: who should be responsible?

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The booming development of electronic network platforms has brought about a rapid transformation of the information industry and, at the same time, propelled society into a phase of information explosion. With the expansion of information brought about by the digital information age and the transformation of digital platforms, the boundaries between the audience and the media itself are increasingly blurred among digital media, the audience has more initiative, and the participation of Internet users in information is greatly increased, with each user being an Internet Every user is a recipient and participant of information on the Internet (McQuail, 2013). However, with the increasing amount of information and the unevenness of information on Internet platforms, Internet violence and Internet crimes have gradually become a persistent problem that needs to be solved in front of society and platforms. In addition, with the emergence of various social networking sites, which link the public space of society with private life, users can express their views on events and comments on others in a public or anonymous manner on such platforms, and this mode of extreme “freedom of speech” has also laid the ground for many illegal or unethical incidents. This mode of extreme “freedom of speech” has also laid the groundwork for the occurrence of many illegal or unethical incidents.

One of the most significant and egregious cases is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is the harassment and bullying of others through electronic means or Internet social media platforms, and generally involves the bully posting rumors and threats on social media platforms, or publishing personal information about the bully and hate speech against the victim. Moreover, the perpetrators and victims of cyberbullying are mainly concentrated in the youth and gender-racial communities. According to a survey, about a quarter of children and youth in Australia have experienced or are experiencing cyberbullying, making Australia the country with the second highest rate of cyberbullying against youth. The remaining 80% of children who are cyberbullied are left alone with the stress and trauma caused by cyberbullying (Dudley-Nicholson, 2022). In addition, cyberbullying is not as easy to escape as physical bullying, will continue to haunt the victim, and the potential anonymity and ease of evidence destruction make it difficult to investigate the bully. This type of bullying also causes ongoing psychological, physical, and academic trauma to the victim, who is more likely to suffer from poor school adjustment and performance, as well as depression and even suicidal behavior (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022).

At the same time, various types of bad behaviors occur on social media platforms on the Internet. The excessive proliferation of sexual information on social media also has an impact on adolescents, as movies, television, music, and magazines may be a “sexual super-companion” for adolescents seeking sexual information (Jones, 2006). Unmanaged and unscreened sexual information can have a negative impact on the development of a healthy sexuality among adolescents. Therefore, it is crucial to manage the bad information on social media platforms, and this paper will discuss the management of Internet media platforms from the government, the platforms, and the users themselves, which are the three important aspects that directly form the information society.

Moderate government policy management

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As the most important role in maintaining social stability and long-term stability, the government’s regulation of the network environment must be the most important and effective means. In the current social media platform environment, the role of the government does not seem to be greatly reflected and played, and the lack of government role is precisely one of the important causes of the impact of the new social media platform on the old system and the occurrence of chaos in the Internet environment (Gillespie, 2017). The government should promote the improvement of laws and regulations for the bad behaviors on the Internet, and the restraint of these behaviors is the most effective to a certain extent. Countries around the world have also enacted laws based on their own circumstances. The Australian government has enacted new social media legislation against online violence, which aims to hold social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook accountable for harmful content posted on their platforms and to provide necessary user information in a timely manner when prosecutors’ request an investigation (Marsh, 2021). In addition, the highly liberal and covert nature of social media platforms makes it extremely difficult to track down online abusers. For this reason, Chinese authorities have asked local social media platforms to open up data on users’ IP addresses in order to effectively reduce and stop the generation of undesirable speech and online violence on the Internet (Reuters, 2022).

Transparency of the platform’s own rules

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Social media platforms have a high degree of freedom and openness, and this characteristic, to a certain extent, provides a wide space for online socialization and freedom of expression, but this high degree of freedom also contributes to the spread and occurrence of bad ideas and bad behaviors to a certain extent, so a fair and transparent management standard system to serve as a regulation for platform information management seems to be necessary (Gillespie, 2017). As a new vehicle for information dissemination, social media platforms are more efficient than third-party regulatory platforms in dealing with bad information and behavior in the first place. The Facebook website has established a policy that applies to all people around the world and has defined the types of messages that are prohibited and the categories of posts that need to be restricted, as well as the review and removal of content that could lead to harm to personal safety and hate speech (Meta, 2022). In terms of hate speech, Facebook has set extensive and detailed criteria for banning words and has adopted a double-checking mechanism to identify, remove, and punish text, images, and videos posted on the platform (Allan, 2017). According to Facebook, in the first half of 2022, a total of 28.6 million bad speech tweets were processed and the probability of users seeing offending content has been stabilized at 0.02% through increased auditing.

Users’ control over their behavior

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As direct participants in social media platforms, it is also important for users themselves to control and manage their own behavior. The popularity of Euphoria has received widespread attention from all sectors of society, and to a certain extent, it reflects the powerful influence of social media on adolescents, whose social, psychological, and behavioral growth is closely linked to social media (Kaufman et al., 2021). Therefore, as users themselves, they should take steps to participate in the fight against bad behavior, both for the sake of a better community environment and for the sake of creating a better environment for youth to grow up in. At the moral level, as a good community participant, one should consciously reduce or avoid posting controversial content and topics, and proactively report bad content to help create a good social media platform. On the institutional level, complying with the system of social media platforms and taking up the weapon of the system to protect oneself when one’s rights are violated is also a powerful counterattack against the bad behavior of the Internet.

In general, the proliferation of undesirable content on social media platforms is essentially based on the high openness of social media platforms and the transformation of users’ roles in the new Internet era, and because the government and the platforms themselves do not regulate the content and the rules are not clear enough, so that users with undesirable purposes have the opportunity to take advantage of it. The government’s improvement of platform legislation and the platform’s strengthening of supervision will eliminate undesirable content at the institutional and management levels, and also require users to control their own behavior. Internet platform is a double-edged sword, for users, within the scope of reasonable use it will greatly bring convenience to users, but if not controlled, its negative effects will also cause harm and loss for society and users themselves.


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