Maybe the internet should have a cooling off period…
Why do people suddenly become more aggressive or even simply abusive when connected to the internet?
This is a complex question i know and many far better qualified than i will i’m sure have many technical and medical answers for this, But as a normal everyday guy i’m noticing it more and more in everyday life.
Its in the news, recently two Twitter users were convicted in a court of law for issuing hateful threats including rape on a female user who was at the time campaigning for Jane Austin to feature on UK bank notes. The two trolls had never met their victim and knew nothing about her.
In the last few days a footballer has been subjected to racist abuse and death threats over his commentary on a football match again on Twitter.
But its not just Twitter where this manifests itself, Internet forums are just as bad.. I know from experience that a few years ago the UK ebay forum could get very savage to the point that auction wrecking was commonplace as disputes between users spilled off the forum. Ultimately ebay did get it’s house in order and as far as i know its a reasonably sedate place now.. certainly in comparison to 5 or so years ago.
So why do people change their attitudes when on line? i suspect that most of it is simply down to the perception of being hidden and the ability to snipe and publish comments almost instantly where in normal everyday life just a second or two’s thought would simply override the desire to make a stupid or outright abusive comment.
Maybe we need something imposed where anything submitted online cannot simply appear without having a few minutes imposed on us to contemplate whatever we wish to contaminate the internet with.