I can’t help but wonder if the Internet isn’t a double edged sword. Sure, it gave millions of people access to voice their opinions that they probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do otherwise. But on the darker side, many people say stupid, offensive, trivial and incendiary things. And the problem is that without a good head on your shoulders to rationalize, a person could easily be persuaded to believe what appears to be truthful but is not.
I understand that we can’t just go around censoring the people whose writings on the wall do nothing to contribute to the internet or society. I realize the perils of having a governing body censor information, no matter how ridiculous, offensive or crass. But I wonder if it’ll ever be possible for ME to censor this stuff for myself. I would love to be able to go to YouTube and not have to see the inane comments and just see the 30-40 meaningful ones from people I’ve approved of. But not just on YouTube, but on the entire internet. I’ll search for a political figure, and instead of having to read obnoxious speculations that she’s a lesbian because she’s an older single woman, I’d meaningful information about her political biases and voting record. Imagine content from say, Fox News, just being completely eliminated from my sphere of the Internet. Google would just know that I prefer to get my news from NYT, NPR, CNN, BBC or generally left leaning media.
However, for the most part I can already do that. I simply just don’t ever visit Fox News or YouTube for that matter.
And I’m not talking about removing people, writing or comments that disagree with my own. I’m talking about removing those who aren’t participating in a dialogue or conversation. Those people who just want to spray paint Fuck You on the wall, and then run away to hide like cowards watching their graffiti from afar. It’s these people that I’m sick of dealing with. I always welcome a debate or conversation on a topic, and I would never want to disengage that. But people who make snarky and rude comments should have their internet privileges revoked. I cant help but assume those that are a waste of space online, are probably wastes of space offline too.