The internet is a haven for all to express how they feel about certain issues or topics or even just talk about anything. Twitter, allows just this but only in concise blurbs consisting of only up to 140 characters. However, with the recent election of now President Elect Donald Trump, many issues from an array of sources seem to be scattering across the internet; more specifically, on Twitter.
Twitter has become the hot spot for minds alike and far apart to share their ideas and thoughts on the election and controversial topics like women’s rights, gun rights, “Black Lives Matter” and LGBTQ rights. Many are hearing backlash from both sides to the point where hate crimes are being stated and some serious statements are being made, making many people uncomfortable. Twitter is the main source for a lot of these controversial statements and recently decided to step in and work on limiting the amount of hate statements viewers are seeing.
As of November 15th, Twitter incorporated a new feature on their website that allows users to block and filter unwanted content on their Twitter feed. By typing in certain words, phrases or even accounts into the anti-harassment section, users can almost fully block anything they might not want to see that could be harmful, hateful or directly target them. However, this also allows user to block content they might just not want to see. For example, A very conservative user might block phrases like “CNN” or “Global Warming”, filtering their news and content to only what they want to see. The user is then filtering the content they don’t want to see and potentially do not get the true side of a story, therefore, being misinformed.
While I can see that Twitter is trying to do a service by limiting the amount of harassment and hate crimes on their service, I also think it is unfair to put in an “Anti-Harassment” service for users. Internet users need to realize that the internet is a dangerous place. Freedom of speech is exercised on the internet in every way, shape and form. For a company to come out and limit what can be seen or heard seems a bit unfair. If I’m wrong, then fine, but please explain to me why we need to care about our users and what they see? They rightfully know what they are getting themselves into.
In real life, it’s not like you can turn someone off if they say something that you don’t like.