Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cyberhate Arms Race - Making Better Haters


Cyberhate is only getting worse. More vicious, insidious, malicious and more technologically driven.

Online hate, either combating it or perpetuating it, requires the participants to continually escalate their position in an attempt to out-maneuver the opponent. An endless cycle of  anti-hate and more hate.

At the same time as we oppose haters online, we also make them better at hating. The numerous times David Duke's websites and YouTube channels have been taken down has served to teach him how better to evade the rules of the various platforms. The haters also make the anti-hate community larger, stronger and more innovative.

Cybrehate predates the internet. Active hate communities existed on pre-internet dial-up networks. Bigots, racists and misogynists have always invaded new digital technology as quickly as possible. Technology platforms have a checkered past when it comes to responding to hate, but the public and community organizations have been responding from the earliest days. ADL's first report on cyberhate was produced in 1985.

Unfortunately the cyberhate arms race often has the same  result as any arms race; someone loses control and shooting begins. James von Braun, Frazier Glenn Miller and many others who committed murder sprees were veteran protagonists in the cyberhate arms race.

When most of us lose a debate or an argument we do not pick-up guns. However, in a culture where people increasingly refuse to take responsibility for their own failures, winning the cyberhate arms race is important and not without responsibility.

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