Incivility on social media

Posted on February 7, 2017 12:19 am

We live in an era where social media provides platforms for hatred, lies, fear and violence.It is well known that the art of deceitful behaviour on the internet is mainly perfected by women who lie almost twice as much as men in social media posts. Look at their social media pages and what you find is perfect lives.For me, the reason women lie isn’t a big deal as women tell lies to make others look good. With more of an emphasis on female species social media users to get the latest first, rather than be correct, half truths and rumours can quickly escalate into what the wider world believes to be fact. Unfortunately, this is as much down to women in social media as it is any other platform. While tools such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram have effectively turned everyone into citizen journalists if they find themselves in the midst of a story, lies and misinformation are now just as easy to spread as the truth largely because of women.Women tell lies on the internet, whether about their age, their marital status, their resume or just the all out envy making marvellousness of their lives. Before you accuse me of being stereotypical bloke, just ask any coder you know to help you use deceit algorithm which scores posts for truthfulness based on tell tale words and emoticons and then analyse male and female posts and you’ll come and kiss my feet!Therefore, no one can address the issue of online users lying but solution lies in being careful as to what can be interpreted as the truth, and stories that should invite more trepidation.One of the biggest issues is that even legitimate people are using unsubstantiated stories a claim to be true, while the body of the posts made merely note the existence of the rumour.In my view, holding the truth, goodness and usefulness are essential, especially in this current abundance of information and misinformation on social media. It has become a matter of ethics.The responsibilities related to the function of the freedom of expression should be to uphold the ethos of truth, second, openness, therefore facilitating exchange of ideas and aspirations and, assist the people in forming opinions.

Though the more responsible media have been respectful, careful and objective in reporting the events, there are still many that take advantage of social media naivety and sentiment in framing them, not to mention self-proclaimed zealots babbling on social media.It is perfectly normal to share and discuss topics on social media basically that is what social media should be about. However in order to make it useful truth should first be applied prior to uploading such discussions. Useful in the sense that the topic is open for discussion and facilitates an exchange of ideas, assisting participants in forming opinions and gaining new knowledge.Exchanging ideas based on a particular topic demands that it is open for discourse; therefore a healthy exchange can commence, leading to the forming of opinion and new knowledge. The problem with much of information circulating on social media is that they are based on presumptions, laden with bias and logical fallacies and directed toward predetermined conclusions.I know of several situations where evidence leads to opinion, rather the use of favourable evidence again, however unreliable, to support an already made-up opinion.Aside from the fact that the information does not come from or pertain to any good, arguments that follow it are thus full of logical fallacies.Such arguments lead nowhere, and arguing with someone who zealously holds on to his made up mindset with no intention of even considering the facts basically becomes a waste of breath. There is no discussion, no exchange of ideas when participants are not open to new or even in this case real views and ideas.I wouldn’t understand what would people gain from such exchanges. People could agree or disagree with the shared message but the discourse stops there. But don’t gain new knowledge to either build or challenge or even strengthen their opinion. Therefore such information for me serves us no purpose.It is a shame as social media has the potential to become the medium of discourse for the masses. Unlike one-way broadcast media in which the audience has no real way of being involved in the conversation, social media enables direct and personal involvement among the population.For example the potential power given to the populace in having a healthy and productive public discourse that boosts knowledge. However, this utopian situation can only come about if the knowledge material itself contains reliable, positive information open for discourse.Unreliable, deceptive or negatively framed information on social media thus eschews social media’s potential role of building humanity through a healthy exchange of ideas to promote new knowledge.

Contador Harrison