From this week’s content, I would say that I got educated more on the topic of online trolling. Before this week, I had heard of the term and defined it as being a person that is critical, annoying, and can be abusive on social platforms. I thought that online trolling was just an umbrella for all cyberbullying that happens online. But I actually learned that online trolling evolved as social media came into play and then the term was used loosely. I think that it is important that we actually acknowledge that this word isn’t a formal or an umbrella term for cyberbullying because that kind of gives an excuse for it to continue (in my opinion).
Another insight I gained this week was about the major themes about the future of the online social climate discussed in ‘The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online’ written by Lee Rainie, Janna Anderson, and Jonathan Albright. To me, I have never really thought about the fact that online trolling is not going anywhere because it is supported by the social climate. For example, it mentions how “tangible and intangible economic and political incentives support trolling. Participation = power and profits,” and I didn’t really think of it like that. This article just insured me that online trolling is only going to progress and develop into something else because of the evolution of technology.
I have had my shares of being harassed online, especially when I was younger in school. From those experiences, I most definitely keep a supportive group of people near me to lean back on and grow from. I think it is so important for people to have that support system in those kinds of times because getting cyber bullied isn’t something you are prepared for, especially when it is in such a public space. If it wasn’t for the close family and friends that I had at the time, I would not be the confident and strong minded person I am today.
A social media app that I use is Instagram and they actually do a pretty good job at managing online trolls. This article from the Digital Information World called, ‘Instagram launches some new ways to silence trolls and cyberbullies’ discusses Instagram features that allows restricting certain words by deleting those negative comments, allowing what users can tag or share your content, and having a feature where you can pin positive or encouraging comments to the top of your comment thread. The article also mentions how “these features are a part of the anti-bullying campaign, and it coincides with the release of Facebook’s fifth edition of its Community Standards Enforcement Report, which shared enforcement data for bullying on Instagram.”
Read the article here.