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Can Social Networking Platforms Stop The Angry Trolls?

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Everyone knows what kind of horrible place the Internet can be. Which is too bad because it demonstrates how awful humanity is. This comes at a particularly bad time, in my opinion, as the negativity only begets negativity. The only way to stop that kind of thing is to come up with ways that make the world more positive. More specifically, we need to understand how social media affects our daily lives. If I post a photo of myself publicly, and I don’t have positive followers, there’s a chance that I will hear about everything that is “wrong” with me. Can social networking platforms actually stop the angry trolls?

Maybe. Recently, YouTube disabled comments on tens of millions of videos featuring minors in an effort to prevent predatory behavior in the comments sections of these clips. While I think this is a great move, it kind of proves my earlier point – the Internet can be a horrible place. I mean, who is taking their insecurities out on a child? I’m not saying that I can get behind adult bullying, but it makes “more” sense to me, than bullying a child. But apparently that’s what’s happening, and it isn’t the first time that YouTube has had to deal with this. In fact, they have been dealing with users sexualizing children on their platform since 2013.

I’m always advocating that people have the right to free speech – even when that speech is less than kind. But to make comments about children – whatever those are – takes it too far. I’m also a big proponent of the social networking platform to put measures in place to help prevent some of these incidents. But today I’m going to take a different angle – people need to grow the eff up and stop saying such horrible things to other people – especially children.

In addition to YouTube, Twitter is also working on a way to help with unwanted comments. They are working on a “Hide Tweet” feature that will allow you to hide and unhide tweet replies. Their idea is slightly different:

“With this feature, the person who started a conversation could choose to hide replies to their tweets. The hidden replies would be viewable by others through a menu option. We think the transparency of the hidden replies would allow the community to notice and call out situations where people use the feature to hide content they disagree with. We think this can balance the product experience between the original Tweeter and the audience.”

Michelle Yasmeen Haq, Senior Product Manager, Twitter

While my previous statement might have been harsh, I stand behind it. The world is changing and it feels like there are more people out there who want to see you fail than succeed. Unfortunately, these people are the loudest, but it looks like there is relief coming. It may not be the answer, but it will certainly help reduce the negative (and dare I say, horrible) comments floating around on the Internet. You can apologize for saying something awful, but you can’t untweet something that you posted online. Think about that before you post something that you might regret in the future.

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