24 October, 2020

Netiquette, Not Censorship

Right-wing hatespeak on social media needs to be monitored

Netiquette, Not Censorship

The net is dead, long live the net. Block one website; hundred others may be born almost instantly. Like an enraged Cyclops playing whac-a-mole, the government, in a bid to combat rumour-mongering and hatespeak, even blocked parody Twitter accounts of the prime minister. Satire is clearly lost on the home and IT ministries for whom social media has become the new enemy. It is the target of antediluvian bureaucratic suspicion; authoritarian politicians are busily spotting Maoists in online cartoons.

Social media is not the enemy. It is simply an amoral technology, a busy highway, waiting to be used by all. If dissenters and propagandists are using Twitter to spread their message, then the government must also jump in and use social media to fight the information war. Twitter has created an entirely new world where public figures are no longer distant idols but readily accessible. Barack Obama’s massively successful Twitter campaign reveals how well politicians can use new media.

Hatespeak on social media, not social media itself, is the real enemy of a...



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