Online Hate Speech and Censorship

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.

Image from Google URL.

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.

Image from Google URL.


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.

Image from Google URL.

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.



  1. 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 criminology57(6), pp.1462-1481.
  2. Resnick, P. and Miller, J., 1996. PICS: Internet access controls without censorship. Communications of the ACM39(10), pp.87-93.
  3. Reynolds, E. (2019). Online freedom is a ‘human right’ that must be protected, says UN. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Apr. 2019].
  4. Tsesis, A., 2001. Hate in cyberspace: Regulating hate speech on the Internet. San Diego L. Rev.38, p.817.


Collective Action

Nowadays, plenty of organizations and platforms have used digital media for collective action, which also plays an important role on determining the way that people use the symbolic language to arrange collective action (Postmes and Brunsting, 2002). Therefore, in this blog, I will address the positive influence on political field with specific example.

Image from Google URL.

In general, collective action refers to “behavior or actions of a group working toward a common goal” (, 2019). Through social media platforms, the properties of collective action and the way it is used determine that it could make a splash on political fields (Vromen, 2016). In contrast, Dolata and Schrape (2016)believed that digital media would increase unnecessary panic in public especially related to the violence stuffs. Otherwise, it did produce a positive consequence. For example, Arab Spring in 2011, “a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions spread in the Middle East” (Lotan et al., 2011).It was triggered by the protests in Tunisia and fought against the domineering regimes and low standard of basic living in society.In this revolution, social media has been announced as a force to promote revolution to a wider range, as the successful stories shared by other countries have sparked new protests (Khondker, 2011). In addition, the rapid dissemination of information has expanded the broader people’s base and made the revolution more influential, which definitely pushed citizens to a more radical stage of the revolution. Social media was regarded as solicit role in this campaign and it is hard to imagine the unifying effect of this revolution (Khondker, 2011). Therefore, it could be concluded that social media leaded a successful collective action on political field and truly made a great influence on the digital society.


Image from Google URL.

In conclusion, use of social media for collective action does contribute some positive influence, but it also remains drawbacks relatively, as the social media is uncontrollable and unpredictable. Therefore, it should be treated critically and use suitably.




  1., 2019. What is collective action? definition and meaning. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2019].
  2. Dolata, U. and Schrape, J.F., 2016. Masses, crowds, communities, movements: Collective action in the internet age. Social Movement Studies15(1), pp.1-18.
  3. Khondker, H.H., 2011. Role of the new media in the Arab Spring. Globalizations8(5), pp.675-679.
  4. Lotan, G., Graeff, E., Ananny, M., Gaffney, D. and Pearce, I., 2011. The Arab Spring| the revolutions were tweeted: Information flows during the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. International journal of communication5, p.31.
  5. Postmes, T. and Brunsting, S., 2002. Collective action in the age of the Internet: Mass communication and online mobilization. Social Science Computer Review20(3), pp.290-301.
  6. Vromen, A., 2016. Digital citizenship and political engagement: The challenge from online campaigning and advocacy organisations. Springer.

Copyright influence our digital societies.

Nowadays, with the development of Internet in our digital societies, plenty of cultural ramifications, achievements on scientific research or other creative works have been produced. In this case, piracy and copying has become a serious problem. Therefore, in this blog I will demonstrate how does copyright positively influence our digital societies.

Image from Google URL.

To clear, copyright is a kind of intellectual property and it refers to “the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material”(Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2019). Besides, it means copyright holder could transfer their rights to other individuals or companies to use.

Image From Google URL.


In terms of the influence, firstly, it protects creators’ profits and rights. Copyright makes sure that original works could not be used by other people without creator’s permission. However, some experts said time and modest costs involved in registering copyright is too difficult and complex to complete, and the cost would be relatively high (, 2019).Also, the money and time spent upfront will not pay off equally later. Otherwise, it is voluntary for creators to register copyright. According to Vaidhyanathan (2017), copyright does provide numerous benefits for copyright holders, especially when they face the copyright against fraction. Secondly, it encourages more people to produce creative works (Vaidhyanathan, 2017). Because of the forcing protection, creator could get money and other profits from their own works and it is a method for people to make a living in the society. With this purpose, people might prefer to come up more creative ideas and undertake it to the society.

Image from Google URL.


In conclusion, copyright brings benefits to those creators and encourage others to be creative in our digital societies, especially in the world of education and technology. While some people hold opposite opinions. It still needs to be improved and keeps pace with the time.



  1., 2019. Copyright Registration Advantages & Disadvantages. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Apr. 2019].
  2. Oxford Dictionaries | English., 2019. copyright | Definition of copyright in English by Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Apr. 2019].
  3., 2019. How Can Copyrights Affect You?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Apr. 2019].
  4. Vaidhyanathan, S., 2017. Intellectual Property: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.

State Transparency

State transparency does contribute a more open and connective society, but it still needs deeper and more critical exploration.

Image Google URL.

In recent years, the growth of freedom of information legislation has spread wider around the world. The past decade has seen the rapid development of legal transparency frameworks in many countries, such as UK (2000) and China (2007). Whether the state should public national information as much as possible or not, state transparency becomes a serious question for the society, and it deserves a thoughtful response.

Therefore, the objective of this blog is to develop how does state transparency influence our digital societies.

Image from Google URL.

With the positive development of digital tools, firstly, it helps the state and their institutions public official information and receive citizens’ responses (Brooke, 2011). Secondly, transparency through digital media could analyze mass data to investigate quantity condition and collect public wisdom to make better decision. Thirdly, it helps government improve the trust levels among citizens and let more citizens take part in the process of decision-making which could lead a more democratic society (, 2019). Fourthly, it would prevent or reduce corruption in the government or social organizations (, 2019). Because every move is subject to public supervision and those of power would feel pressure if they do what the laws and citizens prohibited.

Image from Google URL.

However, the study by Fenster (2010) indicated that transparency within a governmental setting could actually create unnecessary panic in public, because of the accessibility and relatively insecurity of digital technologies, some information or data could leak to public without official permission. For example, Edward Snowden, who leaked the USA national data and disclosure that every American is under the government’s surveillance through their own social platforms and digital devices, causing dissatisfaction and panic among the masses.


In conclusion, state transparency plays an important role in our digital societies. It could help government to manage the society conveniently. In addition, it still exists inappropriate points which need to be discussed critically and in depth.




  1. Brooke, H., 2011. The revolution will be digitised: Dispatches from the information war. Random House.
  2. Fenster, M., 2010. Seeing the state: transparency as metaphor. Administrative Law Review, pp.617-672.
  3. info. (2019). Transparency and the right to information | Forest Transparency. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2019].
  4. org. (2019). Top 10 Benefits of Transparency. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2019].

Disinformation In The Political Field

Nowadays, lots of people cannot live without internet which is the main way for people to gather new information and news from the society. However, not all the information is correct. The incorrect is divided into two different categories, misinformation and disinformation, which intensely connected with our digital society (Week 1 Lecture). Today I will focus on the influence of the political field.


What are these two concepts mean? Misinformation is like honestly wrong information which made by accident. Disinformation is purposefully incorrect information which leads by individual or organizations. Misinformation does not need to worry too much because it is not purposeful, and everyone might make mistakes in some situation (Week 1 Lecture). However, disinformation, which is more severe, is not. It is tangible that disinformation happens through the political field and economic ways. According to Kates (1998), it is stated that the party used digital media platforms to publish fabricated content or misleading content to confuse the public, in order to gain more votes from citizens. For example, during the period of election of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, mainstream media have different priorities and the structural components of the two media are quite different (Faris et al. , 2017). They all cover the negative news about two candidates, but the general trend still follows Donald Trump, especially the various scandals about Clinton Foundation when they reported Hillary. Reports like this play up trump’s strengths and undermine Clinton’s competitiveness, and that will confuse the public and influence the final result of a political campaign which is relatively unfair in our digital society.

Fake news word tag cloud. 3D rendering, blue variant.

Above all, misinformation and disinformation play an important role in our digital societies. They produce plenty of problems which wait to be solved, and that boosts the society to take actions to prevent, make laws or regulations to improve and ameliorate the current deficiency of information.


  1. Faris, R., Roberts, H., Etling, B., Bourassa, N., Zuckerman, E. and Benkler, Y., 2017. Partisanship, propaganda, and disinformation: Online media and the 2016 US presidential election.
  2. Kates, S., 1998. A qualitative exploration into voters’ ethical perceptions of political advertising: Discourse, disinformation, and moral boundaries. Journal of Business Ethics17(16), pp.1871-1885
  3. Week 1 Lecture. Intro to the module and misinformation.

Data strongly influence our political life.

Nowadays, most of the citizens around the world use the internet in daily life and we leave our online footprint in the internet space. That becomes the target from political campaigners or economic fields. Today I would like to focus on how data drives political campaign.

Sarah A. King for The Washington Post

What is a political campaign? It is like an organisation trying to affect audience to make a decision related to political kinds of stuff, such as election, through some simple techniques, like the advertisement, hustings(Week 9 Lecture). Besides, it is found that moderns political campaign has already built a database including citizens’ information which is directly valuable and related to the final campaign as much as possible(Nickerson and Rogers, 2014). That will analysis the possibilities of citizens in political fields. Because of the importance of the political campaign, each country sets law to restrain it but it still exists. For example, the 2012 US presidential election, Barack Obama won re-election. The Guardian reported that Obama’s big data strategy contributed to his success. Large-scale and in-depth data mining helps Obama play an important role in obtaining effective voters, advertising and fundraising. The Obama campaign says big data is a big advantage over Romney. And the final result proved that(The Guardian). After that, there is an increasing trend of using data to drive political campaigns, attached with strong concerns(Week 9 Lecture). It is not easy to prevent the effect of online data.

In closing, we call on every politician using internet and data correctly and appropriately. Every campaign should announce clearly what and how they deal with data and make sure of the security(ICO, 2017). Because politicians are the main character of each country and it forcefully affects the future of the country. Political campaigns should be cautious so that it is justified for each citizen. 


  • Nickerson, D.W. and Rogers, T., 2014. Political campaigns and big data. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 28(2), pp.51-74.
  • Week 9 Lecture. Data-driven marketing & political campaigns.

Privacy and Surveillance Boosts the Development of Digital Society.

Nowadays, people used to think they might be safe on the internet space. But, snapchat always owns all the photos that you posted, though you have deleted them (Muscanell and Khalid, 2015). However, most people do not know this privacy rules. And people also like clicking the “accept cookies” without thinking. Today I will focus on Facebook and the Chinese system to find deeper meanings.


The surveillance is divided into three parts, peer surveillance, corporate surveillance and state surveillance(Brey, 2005). As we all know, being a citizen of our home country is like giving state limited right to keep eyes on us(Taylor, 2002). For example, in China, the government also use online surveillance and produce national credit social system to track citizens whether they have untruthful activities or not(Week 7 PPT). This kind of surveillance aims to encourage people to be a truly worthy one instead of untruth. Therefore, they could get more benefits from society. Besides, company surveillance is common. The company uses online surveillance to track internet usage to find what users always looking at and personalised advertisements for users to make profits, like Facebook, the wildly used social app. They monitor users’ information whatever they received or posted on Facebook, the card details users used, even the device information including file names, location (Facebook Privacy Policy). It sounds not too justify. Every data and information the company collect should be based on their own platforms instead of all private stuff.

In conclusion, people feel unsafe about this and they think their privacy rights are violated. Each country should take actions to forbidden this and make a law to protect citizens, also punish the company which violates(Albrechtslund, 2008). Otherwise, our digital society will not be completely perfect and cannot make each individual feel they are respected by others.

Bibliography :

1. Utz, S., Muscanell, N. and Khalid, C., 2015. Snapchat elicits more jealousy than Facebook: A comparison of Snapchat and Facebook use. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 18(3), pp.141-146.

2.Brey, P., 2005. Editorial introduction–Surveillance and privacy. Ethics and Information Technology, 7(4), pp.183-184.


4.Albrechtslund, A., 2008. Online social networking as participatory surveillance. First Monday, 13(3).

5.Taylor, N., 2002. State surveillance and the right to privacy. Surveillance & Society, 1(1), pp.66-85. 

6. Week 7 Lecture. Privacy and Surveillance.

Digital Divide in Education

   Nowadays, the internet has become widespread and to be a necessary tool in daily life. However, there still exists a digital divide which is not only limited on the divide of “access” to the Internet, but also about the effectiveness of using the internet. Today I will focus on the digital divide in education.

Whether we believe or not, the internet does provide plenty of resources for education careers. However, according to Radovanović, Hogan and Lalić(2015), they found that the inequality of digital divide in education mainly because of less digital and media literacies and articles and lack of ability of critical thinking. It is found that in the developing country, such as poor Africa area, they do not have well infrastructures,

such as smartphones or computers(Fuchs and Horak, 2008). However, teenagers now are growing up with the high connection of social media and other internet works, whatever in education or routine life. The people in the poor do not have chances to surf the internet, they only care about how to survive instead of education. The children are taught by their parents that they only need to make a living, they do not need education. Currently the news or knowledge even academic articles always available on an electronic way, spreading on high speed by technological devices, that causes people who cannot get access to the Internet become lack of knowledge generation after generation. And because of that those teenagers lose of the competitiveness(The Guardian). It is like from the digital divide to different opportunities(Kuttan and Peters, 2003).

Above all, the digital divide gives different teenager different opportunities to get known about knowledge and it does influence the educational level of the specific area. Therefore, decreasing digital divide is crucial for the whole world to take actions so that the world will become better because of the high level of education everywhere.

Bibliography :

1.Kuttan, A. and Peters, L., 2003. From digital divide to digital opportunity. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

2.Wei, L. and Hindman, D.B., 2011. Does the digital divide matter more? Comparing the effects of new media and old media use on the education-based knowledge gap. Mass Communication and Society, 14(2), pp.216-235.

3. Radovanović, D., Hogan, B. and Lalić, D., 2015. Overcoming digital divides in higher education: Digital literacy beyond Facebook. New media & society, 17(10), pp.1733-1749.

4.Fuchs, C. and Horak, E., 2008. Africa and the digital divide. Telematics and informatics, 25(2), pp.99-116.



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