Hitting Big Targets
There is no denying the staggering magnitude and impact of hate on the Internet. But the Internet is not inherently hateful. Software and applications are not inherently hateful. Companies are not inherently hateful. So why, do anti-hate champions beat-up the companies, and then only the largest ones?
Let’s be honest - hate against companies and platforms comes from Internet users, a comparatively small percentage of users. They are usually a group of haters with too much time on their hands and a twisted thirst for attention.
It’s almost understandable. The policy decisions of any one of the major platforms can inconvenience and frustrate countless people. A change on a small start-up goes unnoticed. Equally, offensive content on a major website is not more vicious than hate on a lesser site, but can be seen by millions. As a result, while Facebook, Twitter and Google are pilloried by haters others like Reddit, Veterans News Network, countless blogs and even major hosting companies get a free pass.
Critics are quick to point out the legal decision in Europe against Yahoo, Google, etc as validation of their perception. Those same critics conveniently neglect to research or mention the numerous and continuous ToS changes voluntarily made by these companies.
There are the conspiracy crazies who cry that any content policy is an effort by some group or another to take over the world.
Big targets are easy. It’s easy to be jealous of success or leery of big corporations. Big, diversified companies also make more mistakes than small focused companies. Big companies tend to be unfazed by repeated complaints that are unfounded or based on rumors Nothing gets a complainer more irate than ineffectuality or indifference.
It is much harder to think about the problems of the Internet as a whole, to try to formulate workable solutions, advocate for change and champion common sense.
Finally, the Internet lets us all believe we are important. Supposedly, Internet companies listens to important people. So when people are not heard, they would rather believe the fault is with the companies, rather than with themselves.
When we, as Internet users, are informed enough, knowledgeable enough, maybe we will get big enough to include ourselves as targets.