Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Internet hate" label misses the point

Cries of "internet hate, abuse" are being heard again. But such arguments miss the point completely. First of all this "hate phenomenon" is not exclusive in "right wing circles" as is being insinuated. It happens outside such "circles" too, so such convenient label pasting is unimpressive to say the least.

Secondly Twitter, Facebook, blogs, discussion forums and the internet in general is akin to a street corner. All kinds of folks frequent this place, as they should and one hears all kinds of voices here just like one would in a street corner. Including the downright ugly ones. But internet is a place where people should come to listen to voices. If one does not like the abusive ones, and no one does, they must be tuned out if they don't add anything to any debate. Why insist on exercising editorial control over the internet? There are other well established forums for that.

It would be unwise to call for moderation or regulation of voices on the internet. The aam aadmi is not always nuanced or articulate in making his point. Which is exactly why he is not an influential member of opinion makers. But the internet allows him the space and freedom to rave and rant on everything under the sun. Listen to what he has to say. If you don't like it, tune it out. Opinion makers have their pulpits to make their points. Calls for moderation on the internet deny the freedom of voice. It defeats the purpose of an open, free from rigid editorial controls medium.

Opinion makers have their TV studios and column spaces to make their point. Leave the internet free for the aam aadmi to rant.

See earlier post on similar topic here.


Prashant said...

Well said Sir!

We need folks like you to voice the thoughts of citizens who are fed up with the system, but have no outlet to vent their anger. We need a medium to get in touch with like-minded people.

Television could have played that role, but it has been sabotaged by biased shows, carefully selected television audience and loaded surveys which merely push the channel's agenda.

Internet is the last hope of freedom and democracy.

We must protect it.

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