Until you find yourself the victim of a social media attack, the whole thing seems kind of silly. You know, like in Primary: “Sticks and stones will break my bones or hurt me, but names will never hurt me.” Remember that one? I do.
Words are just words, right? You can ignore name-calling and nasty comments ― and just rise above it.
Well, I think it’s a troubling and important wake-up call for all of us in publishing, advertising, media, and social networking.
There’s an ugly storm gathering, and until it hits you, it’s easy to ignore.
When you post something on social media and you get attacks either on your tribe, skin color, political affiliation etc
This is weaponized social media. And you won’t know what it feels like until it’s pointed at you.
So, what can YOU do to fight back?
- Don’t accept anonymous posting on your sites or any sites you promote and support.
- Ask your peers and partners in the social media world to shift from anonymity to authored comment posting.
- Ask Reddit to replace pseudonymity with real names to foster authentic opinion and attribution.
- When someone with a real name takes a stand or makes accusations that you don’t agree with, stand your ground and comment back. I did.
- Set new standards for civility, conversation, and dialog. Get out of your filter bubble, and invite your friends to join you.
The only way that we allow the power of social media to be eroded into hate speech, threats, and trolls is if we don’t bring thoughtful and civil conversations and engagement into this important and growing piece of our digital society. We ignore the quality and tone of these conversations at the risk that it grows unfettered and becomes the new normal. If that happens, it’s too late to turn back.
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