Has the net become a more hostile place?

A few days ago I had some discussions online with an online friend who, like me, had been blogging for well over a decade. We both agreed that we self-censor a lot more nowadays compared with the early days of blogging. I’m very reluctant to promote political posts on Twitter, for example.

It might be that we’re both slightly older and wiser and more aware that we could tread on people’s toes with careless words. But I don’t think that’s the whole story; the growth of social media has made the net a more hostile place.

Sites like 4chan, Tumblr and parts of Reddit spawn toxic communities that don’t play nice with the rest of the net. It’s also it’s far easier nowadays to end up at the wrong end of a social media witch hunt if you say anything that someone with a substantial bully pulpit doesn’t like. I’ve had to remove posts in the recent past because the comments section turned toxic after a major figure linked to it.

This is sounding a bit like a grumpy “Kids, get off my lawn” post, I know. But I do think somewhere along the line, something good has been lost

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One Response to Has the net become a more hostile place?

  1. Amadan says:

    Back in the CompuServe days, I incurred a lot of indignation because I expressed the opinion that I kind of liked it when CI$ was expensive enough that you generally only saw gainfully employed people there, almost no kids, and far fewer college students. Which raised the quality of participation and conversation (and roleplaying games).

    This was “elitist” of course, and nowadays I’d probably be called classist, privileged, and a few other things. But it was also true.

    I’ve reduced my participation in a number of online forums because they’ve basically been taken over by SJWs.