Image courtesy of SPIN.com
Moderating the media is an important debate today. ‘Produsers’ (Martin 2013) are increasingly active, and no longer passive in the media they consume by providing feedback and igniting discussion. I think this is an important feature of any democracy, as it allows a melting pot of ideas and opens up discussion of important issues. However, this open discussion also allows for abuse and harassment in the public virtual space.
It is easy to watch any video on Youtube and to see heated arguments and cruel insults below in the comments section. The ideas of trolling and keyboard warriors have become an acceptable and common part of the internet. The question for players in this debate is ‘what can be done about the ease and anonymity of online abuse?’, besides switching off completely, which seems an unfathomable idea for many of us.
Image courtesy of Anorak
Frankie Boyle is a comedian well known for his distasteful, offensive and vile tweets targeting celebrities and non-celebrities, an example of which is above. I think prominent people in the media like Frankie Bolye, with his influence, should be made accountable and liable for what they write, and suffer the consequences of posting offensive tweets, such as the tweet pictured above. This can be deemed by common decency and by society’s standards, a majority of Boyle’s tweets I don’t think would pass. The repercussions of this lack of moderation of social media can result in harm to others and in the worst case, suicide. Another case is American rapper Azealia Banks who was recently forced to delete her twitter account by her record label after months of derogatory and hateful tweets made headlines around the world.
Image courtesy of Miss Casey Carter
Where do we draw the line? There are defamation and anti-discrimination laws in place, however in this age of consuming social media and multiple platforms to voice ones’ opinion, how effectively can we moderate online activities? Is this answer self-censorhip, or a ‘nanny state’ that moderates and limits our behaviour and speech online? Should there be tougher consequcnes for offenders? I think the future of the monitoring of media will lead to tighter laws and regulation regarding online harassment and abuse, however how to prevent this will be a dilemma for key players.
Anorak, ‘Frankie Boyle says Jimmy Savile is shagging Madeleine McCann in heaven’, 2nd October 2012, accessed 22nd May 2013 <http://www.anorak.co.uk/335416/madeleine-mccann/frankie-boyle-says-jimmy-savile-is-shagging-madeleine-mccann-in-heaven.html/>
Martin, F, BCM310 Lecture Moderating the conversation: inclusive dialogue in online news, 20th May 2013.
Nick Couldry (2009): Rethinking the politics of voice, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 23:4, 579-582
Wood, S, The Mirror ‘Rapper Azealia Banks calls Perez Hilton a ‘fa*got’ and tells him ‘you should just kill yourself”, 5th January 2013, accessed 22nd May 2013 <http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/rapper-azealia-banks-calls-perez-1519509>