Hate Speech

 

Hate Speech over the Internet

Introduction:

Rights come with responsibility. While given the freedom of speech, people should still be responsible for what they have said. The internet has provided us a free-writing space to release our feelings and emotions conveniently. Most of the chatting and blogging sites (such as facebook and wordpress) nowadays require an account to create posts and start forming conversations. Nevertheless, these accounts can be easily faked and the language that the users have chosen are often found unpleasant and disrespectful. Not to mention other discussion-encouraging websites that does not require any login information. It is just horrible. Unlike physical attacks (which cannot be dodged easily if a person is not in shape), language abuse can be easily avoided by closing the browsers or the eyes for any offended subjects. Regardless, the impact of words might just be more powerful than any physical damage to a human body because words are inspiring and can manipulate the human’s mind directly. As a result, in order to avoid any unnecessary fights and chaos into our society, the government should enforce a law to prohibit internet use for any hatred communication towards a target groups or individuals.

Hate Speech

Animals, including humans, are emotional sensitive. Since we are allow to express and share how much we love a certain event or group of people, there is no reason to limit the spread of hatred, which is just another form of our feelings. Just out of the interest and searched the question, “What to do if I hate someone?” on the internet. The answers displayed are mostly “avoid them” and “ignore them”. However, what if it is someone that is unavoidable? It is impossible to ignore and stay quite all the time as the human toleration has its limitation. We all need some form of release. By telling the hatred to the general public, we can determine whether or not this feeling towards the group or event is justified by finding people in agreement. The society needs the opposite force and negative speech to realize its imperfectness. Nonetheless, while I agree that the existence of hate speech in our society is significant, hatred talks should not appear anywhere over the internet.

Why not Internet?

The difference between making hated discussion on the internet and actually presented in front of the audience is its anonymity. Although anonymity is not really anonymous because it is still possible to track down the IP address and more to figure out who this user is, people has a tendency to feel that they are not exposed as long as their faces were not on display. This way of thinking makes highly educated people uneducated and feel free to do anything. They may not be the polite and respectful self as they appear when comprehending face-to-face to the others. Words can just come out like that without filtering by the brain first. It is by no means making negative comments for improvements, but a string of pointless characters.

Secondly, the anonymous article or comments might be written by somebody with no education background at all. This can be bring misleading hatred information to the general audience as they do not have the access or methods in finding out who wrote it. In this case, it might be fine to Canadians because the majority of the people have at least high school diploma. They have a good sense of what actions are socially acceptable “right” and “wrong”. However, countries such as China still have citizens that are too poor to afford education that misleading speech and uncredited documents can easily guide them to revolting against the government. If given the identity of the writer, the people can at least distinguish the justice based on the record of that writer.

Thirdly, feeling good after expressing the hatred towards a group over on a internet is most likely to be the only positive effect. No other benefits will be given both to the writer or the target. The targeted group of individual will certainly be hurt by the unwanted statements and despise the writer. The writer’s life will be in danger as well as he/she creates more enemy. In a sense, giving the restriction on posting hatred on a website or any discussion forum is protecting the attackers also.

For example, the Vanguard New Network is an online newspaper distributing issues periodically that holds grudges against Jews. According to Waltman and Haas [1], the readers can find the names of the editor and other 22 writers. They also notified the readers that they are “… a group of disgusted and disaffected writers driven out of academia and journalism by the Semitrical Correctness that has denatured our culture.” [1] This is a perfectly rigid website for expressing their hatred because they have defined who they are and gave the readers warning of the contents. It is easy to tell that these group of people are really expressing their view and will take responsibility of their words.

The Power of Speech

By now, we should realize how powerful the language is. An good old idiom [2] by an English novelist wrote, “The pens are mightier than the swords”. The more people one can convince, the greater strength they will receive in defending their position. For instance, during election period, we always find candidates giving speeches that list all the benefits that they may or may not accomplish within the given power. Religions also gain the fame and status by giving speeches to spread their ideas and beliefs throughout the world. Language is a powerful tool to control the human’s mind and to manipulate our way of thinking. Therefore, we should always ensure to use this powerful tools properly and not using it blindly like machine guns. Then again, it’s the government’s duty as a parent to protect its citizen.

The Government

One of the government’s job is to create a safe environment for the people to live peacefully together. In order to accomplish so, they want to decrease the amount of the causes of fighting as much as possible. The freedom of speech on the internet, which can be read and discussed all over the globe, is the hardest control flow that the government can intrude and take judgements. The government should enforce a law on preventing internet hatred.

Conclusion

Because Internet allow users to hide or fake their identity easily, people don’t take responsibility for what they have written down. Language has the greatest potential impact on the humans. As a result, the utilization of the language should be carefully watched over by the government for it to ensure that peace is maintained and do not result any civil wars.

References

[1] M. Waltman and J. Haas, the communication of hate. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 2011, pp. 64-65.

[2] English language cyber center, English Idioms and Proverbs. 2005. [Online]. Available:

http://oels.byu.edu/student/idioms/idiomsmain.html. [Accessed Feb. 28, 2013]

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How technology benefits our social skills

Introduction:

What are friends? Friends, along with family, are the people that we interact with everyday. While we cannot choose what family we wish to born in or who these members are, we have a choice for making friends. Friends are usually those people who share common interest and develop interesting conversation. We all have different definitions of fun in our mind; friends are those who understand and agree the fun is indeed, fun. With the innovation of technology, we are given the opportunity to meet a wide range of people across the globe without any physical boundaries, and we can still keep perfectly in touch with our old friends. We can express ourselves more freely. We don’t need to worry about how terrible we may look physically as we use social media to form conversation. There is no need to waste time putting on make-up or thinking about what clothes to put on. With these social technologies, we talk and chat anytime and anywhere. Technology and other social tools widen our network circles and improve our abilities to interact with the other human beings.

Phones:

Smart phones these days allow us to connect with the contacts more easily. With the development of 3G and wireless networks, we can call or text them any time. For example, a person can call his/her friends to join for a cup of coffee while feeling too lonely studying for exams. Beside the fact that the convenience of getting in touch with the others, imagine the case the following case:

You are sitting at the back side of the bus. The seats arrangement is designed that you are facing directly at the people on the opposite side. To avoid the uncomfortable eye   contact   with strangers, you took out the phone the pocket and started messaging or         performed      other activities that you can do with your phone. Just then, you heard a voice over the    shoulder saying: “Hey, is that the new Blackberry Z10?”

This is speaking from a personal experience and this is most likely considered to be a rare case. Normally, if a person ignores the other, that other usually ignores it back. The scenario presented is just demonstrating that if people have the desire to talk to another, they will find every little interesting topic about the thing you do regardless of the activity. In this sense, cell phone technology not only allows us to connect with the ones already in our contacts without the bound of time and place, but it also provided us another common interest to perform interactions with strangers.

Internet: Equality

Many social tools on the Great Internet only acquire account information and no require field for personal information (such as photos, heights, or race). This means that everyone can speak equally and chat with no discrimination. Because there is no worry regarding the physical appearance, the people can express their feelings and minds more openly. With services like facebook or line, people can share their feelings or emotions to all their friends and start conversations, or send private messages to particular individual. They can choose the audience that they wish to present. Similar idea applies with most of the online multiplayer role playing games. The gamers are allowed to customize their characters in their dream and portray the actions that they justified as heroic in the virtual gaming world. To be able to create a new character is actually the first step to help the user build up their confidence. This encourages the users to interact with other characters in the game more freely and equally. Without giving away the physical identity of what a person look like, he/she is able to express their innermost feelings and be their real self.

Internet: Privacy

Because most of the social networking tools allow users to hide their identity and value the users’ privacy, organizations actually use it to help and solve issues that some people have encountered. For instance, Nancy Lublin, a CEO member, described in her video [1] that because texting is quiet and private and teenagers are just that familiar and comfortable using the device, they are more willing to ask for assistance with the personal matter by sending text messages to the organization. Not only does technology improves the interactions with the other people, but it also resolve many private problems that humans do not normally feel comfortable meeting an counselor, talking face-to-face to seek for help.

Technology and New Friends

For more people who would like to meet real world friends, there are many tools that help the users of this form too. Badoo, for example, is a social dating online service that makes sure that the account created isn’t a fraud. It needs confirmation from a text message and facebook account. Then it requires a real photo of what you look like to avoid fakers before giving the permission to start conversation with the other users. The program determines the user’s approximate location and recommends friends mainly base on that for people to meet up. Like other messaging tools, users can fill their interests so that they can find people of their kind more easily. Although it defines itself as a dating site, users can also choose to make new friends instead of flirting. Services like Badoo protects the users by making a “no fraud zone”, breaks the ice by having the user interact through messages, and meet up if they wish to.

Inefficient communications

Comparing the speed of texting with two fingers and talking to another person directly, we are losing a significant time as forming conversation in the real-time. In order to get the messages across more efficiently, people reply with only the important words and losing the accuracy in grammar and spelling more critically. This leads to a new revolution of the language. According to [3], text messaging brings a negative impact on adolescent’s grammar skills. And, of course, spelling errors is a more critical case as the smart phones nowadays have auto-correct or word-guessing features for the users to save time from typing. But, the ability to spell correctly might not be as necessary skill to have in the future. There is no need for human beings to memorize exactly how a word is spell because software applications can just autocorrect the errors for us. Documents and papers in the modern world are in printed format instead of in handwritten form. Even when having a face-to-face conversation with another person, there is no problem with the spelling either. Although not quite mature yet, there are voice recognition programs that compute all the words for humans. Thus, spelling is not a practical skill for the future generations.

As in business, companies in the modern society must have use these communication tools. Firstly, most middle or larger businesses have at least an email or phone contact for the customer services. Companies have different sorts of contact information released to the public. Secondly, on a global scale, communication for meetings between countries is possible through video chatting.

Emotions and Text

Not only we are losing accuracies in the original language, people believe that texts do not show the emotions. It is difficult to tell how we feel about a subject when we cannot see the others’ facial expressions. It is possible to get through with emoji and emoticons, but the icons are limited and when people sent these small pictures, the receiver often think that the sender is in a good mood. This should actually be an advantage with using texting or messaging tools because people can hide their “ugly” side. For example, Tina sent a message to Tom saying that she and Jimmy are going out. Tom loves Tina, but she saw him nothing more than a childhood friend. With the expressionless texts, Tom can be crying or cursing, but wish her for the happy in reply at the same time. By utilitarianism, it might be a good end since Tina and Jimmy are happy, and Tom can probably still keep his friendship with Tina. Because we all prefer people to see our brighter side and dislike being seen when feeling down, having conversation without revealing the true feelings is rather more desirable.

The safety concern with meeting new people online has raised the attentions. There are all kinds of stories from the local or global news such that people are murdered, being fooled with money, etc. when meeting online friends in real life.

Another problem that people believe in chatting with technology tools is that we are losing the ability to solve problem face-to-face. People are not making proper eye contact and get nervous easily when having conversations without the protection of screens. While it might be true that proper eye contact and uneasiness with direct conversations, we are not losing the ability to solve problems. Messaging tools is a slow yet refine process. Because our typing speed is not as fast as speaking out the words, we are giving more time to think about what the problem is and what would be the best reply.

Conclusion

The purpose of developing technology is to better humans’ lives. Social networking tools allow people to meet a variety of new friends while keeping in touch with the olds. The networking websites provide the features that allow people to find the others with common interests more easily. Although holding conversation over screens or devices can result language discrepancy and problems when dealing face-to-face problems, it might not be as critical because we are not likely to deal with these problems in the future. There is no need to solve problems face to face when we can have done it in a more thoughtful, efficient way such as talking over the phone or messaging. Technology helps managing people’s relationship which is what benefits our social life.

References

[1] N. Lublin. (2012, Feb.). Nancy Lablin: Texting that saves lives. [Online] Available:

http://www.ted.com/talks/nancy_lublin_texting_that_saves_lives.html

[2] L. Suval. (2012, May. 2). Does Texting Hinder Social Skills? [Online] Available:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/05/02/does-texting-hinder-social-skills/

[3] D. P. Cingel and S. S. Sundar. (2012). Texting, techspeak, and tween: The relationship between text messaging and English grammar skills. [Online] Available:   http://nms.sagepub.com/content/14/8/1304

Women Take the Page

The news item discussed in this paper is:

Sergejew, Kyla. 2011. “Women take the page.” Metro, March 30. Print.

 

The word “equality” does not exist anywhere in the modern world nor will we find its occurrence in the future. Sex inequality is still a main international issue in our current society. The Metro news article, “Women take the page” by Kyla Sergejew, discussed that even it appeared that “women had finally won the battle for equality,” truth is otherwise. Sergejew specifically points out the unbalanced executive positions hold between sexes and most dominantly by men. She further quoted Kathy English, “It’s easy to say look how bad [the status of women] used to be, but it’s not good enough yet.” But how much is enough?

The history of women is rather tragic. According to Fernandez-Armesto, women were being treated as object in the past. Japanese women in the fourteenth century were restricted to self-expression. Chinese women in the seventeenth century bind foot for the interests of men. Women were considered mostly to be the properties of men worldwide and were thought to be incapable of surviving on their own. It was not until the sixteenth century when the women finally gain acknowledgement from the opposite sex. The women rulers were starting to be recognized in Europe. “Men praised [the female rulers] for ruling like men even though they were women” (Fernandez-Armesto 2010, 538). Gradually, the status of women raised as the demand of human labour increased when the huge loss of men in the nineteenth century. Thanks to the attributes of the women suffragists in the past, occupations in the modern world is less bounded between sexes.

Nevertheless, women were being protected by the traditional point of view that stated women are reliable on men. For instance, during the plague era in the fourteenth century, the mortality rate of women was found lower than the men. As Fernández-Armesto reasoned, women “led relatively more secluded, and therefore protected, lives than men” (2010, 460). Women were also less involved in fighting or participating in the two World Wars. Even if they were involved, they did it voluntarily as nurses instead of being forced to face the front as male soldiers did. Lower risks jobs were assigned to the women under this stereotype. According to the recent research of American Psychological Association, men in the study who said they had more traditional gender role attitudes made an average of about $8,500 more annually than those who had less traditional attitudes (2008). Men with the traditional view of women were to believe that they feel more responsible about taking care of the rest of the family and therefore have set higher goals.

The stereotype brings women less competitive with men because not many women envision themselves as superwomen. However, it will not bind the success of women with strong will. Everyone at some points experiences discrimination. Women now are given the opportunities to apply the same job as men even though the chance between sexes is not at the fully equal yet. According to the BBC News profile of President Ellen Johnston-Sirleaf of Liberia, who was the first woman elected as an African head of the state in the twentieth century, before she gained her position, she was being imprisoned and sent exile twice for her criticisms.(2005) Before she was finally accepted by the citizen, she spent a lot of effort on the twist to her feminist arguments. Women’s way of success is the same as men where it requires time and efforts.

It is natural for men to dominate the world because of the history of the roles of women were set up unimpressively. Judging from the current situation, men are still more powerful than women at the current state. The traditional views of women still exist worldwide. To seek for more perfected gender equality, women must first build up our ability and show some actions that we are equal or exceed men’s capabilities of accomplishing tasks. Nothing is equal from the start, thus instead of hoping from other people in giving the equal conditions to both sexes, women have to overcome this prejudice as one of the difficulties to reach their goals.

 

REFERENCE

“AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION; Sexism pays; Study finds men who hold traditional views of women earn more than men who don’t.” Women’s Health Weekly (2008): 24. Accessed March 30, 2011. Digital.

Fernández-Armesto, Felipe. 2010. The World: A History, vol. 2, Since 1300. 2nd ed. Toronto: Prentice Hall. Print.

“Liberia’s ‘Iron Lady.’” BBC News, November 23, 2005. Accessed March 30, 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4395978.stm