Nowadays, social platforms become a mainstream method for people to speak out or abreact their emotions and opinions. However, how to use these internet platforms appropriately is a controversial question for the users and state governments. Therefore, in this blog I will discuss how do hate speech online and censorship influence our digital societies.
Tsesis(2001) pointed out that Online hate speechhas caused social dissatisfaction and hot discussion relatively, especially related to some sensitive issues. An example of this is the study of carried out by Lewis, Rowe and Wiper (2016) in which “online abuse of feminist really does harm to the women and girls”. They stated that although currently, cyberspace is regarded as a democratic and justify environment, there still exists plenty of gender inequalities, especially for feminists.
With the hate speech problems showing up, censorship comes out to renovate and tries to build a better cyberspace through setting the official policy and implement those in reality. However, Reynolds (2019)believed that under the current democratic system, everyone has the right to free speech, but censorship infringes that right relatively because to some extent, it prohibits particular words that people could not express online. In contrary, according to Resnick and Miller (1996),the consequence of absolutely free speech is worse and hurts more than the limitations of censorship. In order to manage the online hate speech, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube signed code of conduct with EU (May 2016), including a clear review of the content process and gives the platforms the right to remove illegal content. Therefore, the censorship has created a better network environment so as to alleviate the relevant social contradictions.
In conclusion, hate speech online still exists and makes some negative effects, but censorship also tries to cover wider range of those negative issues and build a better cyberspace.
- Lewis, R., Rowe, M. and Wiper, C., 2016. Online abuse of feminists as an emerging form of violence against women and girls. British journal of criminology, 57(6), pp.1462-1481.
- Resnick, P. and Miller, J., 1996. PICS: Internet access controls without censorship. Communications of the ACM, 39(10), pp.87-93.
- Reynolds, E. (2019). Online freedom is a ‘human right’ that must be protected, says UN. [online] Wired.co.uk. Available at: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/un-condemns-lack-internet-access-human-rights-violation [Accessed 28 Apr. 2019].
- Tsesis, A., 2001. Hate in cyberspace: Regulating hate speech on the Internet. San Diego L. Rev., 38, p.817.