The moral bankruptcy of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act

israel protest

Recently in America, a bipartisan group of senators and congressman signed a bill called the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which, if signed into law, would make it a crime to support a boycott against Israel. More shockingly, the proposed punishment for violating this law includes a minimum fine of $250,000 and a maximum fine of $1 million, and you could be thrown in jail for a maximum of 20 years. The AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) acts as if it’s a necessary part of what they see as a fight against the “delegitimisation of Israel”, and indeed, this was a top priority for the lobbying organisation this year.

My own views on Israel notwithstanding, this is simply an extremely abhorrent piece of legislation that I’m shocked anyone supports. The people who support it seem to have no idea of the ramifications this bill might have, namely regarding free speech. They seem to have forgotten that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution clearly forbids any laws abridging freedom of speech. Of course their politicians, so I almost except them to skirt the constitution, but not so brazenly as they will do if this law passes.

Note that this bill was supported by both Democrats and Republicans. You have prominent conservative senators like Ted Cruz, Ben Sasse and Marco Rubio supporting it (thereby throwing Ted Cruz’s commitment to the constitution in question), along with left-wing senators such as Kirsten Gillibrand, Adam Schiff and Maria Cantwell. That should basically tell you that they’re all career politicians who want money wherever they can get it, and apparently the Israel Lobby is an indispensable source of income to them, so they have to appease them however they can.

Before you misconstrue me for some anti-Israel leftist, consider this. I actually oppose Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, because it’s an obvious attempt to delegitimise the state of Israel through hard-left moralising, and is one-sidedly in favour of the Palestinian side of the Arab-Israeli conflict. I’m about as supportive of Israel as I can get, but as a matter of principle, I am diametrically opposed to any law that threatens freedom of speech in any country, especially the West. We are facing enough threats to freedom of speech from potential totalitarians in our own governments (and in opposition). The last thing we want is more.

What’s really sad is that this can go on because there is no real opposition. Bipartisanship notwithstanding, this is the kind of bill I would have expected from a die-hard Republican back in the late 2000’s. In fact, I bet it’s mainly the chickenhawk neo-cons who want this, but the so-called liberals aren’t doing anything, and that’s because the left has lost its mind. Instead of focusing on serious issues like this, they’re focusing on non-issues like the wage gap, Islamophobia and the so-called “Trump-Russia collusion”, none of which are even real things, let alone things that Americans care about. The “liberal left” has spent so much of its energies on fantasy issues that it lost track of the real ones, and now its left to the functionally retarded ACLU to try and stop this. Yes, the very same ACLU that came out in defence of Islamist SJW Linda Sarsour.

In my opinion, this is the true moral bankruptcy of the bill. It’s an opportunistic piece of authoritarian legislation being trotted out by a bunch of unscrupulous political sellouts who know that they can slip it past the radar while the mainstream left is busy drumming up that phoney Russian collusion scandal. It’s exactly like how the British Parliament managed to pass the Investigatory Powers Bill while the opposition was in chaos and the left was too busy trying to undo Brexit.

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CNN – Criminal News Network

cnn

I’m honestly surprised at how rarely I’ve mentioned CNN on this site before. After all, from the earliest days of this site’s history I’ve spoken out against the corrosive, cultural poison that is the mainstream media, and it just so happens that the one news outlet that represents all aspects of the sickness of the media, and it’s name is CNN. Since 2015, they’ve been waging an unceasing smear campaign against Donald Trump, and have long been cheerleaders for Hillary Clinton. They tried to paint Trump as the next Hitler, and painted all his supporters as uncaring bigots. Then when he won the Presidency, they tried to delegitimise him by spreading the phony Russian collusion conspiracy, which even CNN’s own staff will admit is bullshit.

Then, after it became clear as day that the Russian collusion nonsense was finished, CNN somehow managed to sink even lower than they ever have before. A few days ago, Donald Trump tweeted out a meme showing himself wrestling Vince McMahon with the CNN logo superimposed on his face. Surprisingly it’s one of those memes that you can interpret however you want. I think that it might be symbolic of Trump winning against the media’s smear campaign, especially in light of the Russia narrative’s collapse. How did CNN react? They tried to paint it as an incitement of violence against the media. Yes, in the world of CNN, memes are now officially violence, and journalists are supposedly now in danger of losing their lives because the President shared a meme that, by the way, he didn’t make. This is all quite rich coming from the company that hired Kathy Griffin, and the same media establishment that constantly tells people that under Donald Trump you or your loved ones could die because he’s supposedly an unhinged crazy dictator.

They have been fermenting a climate of political violence against right-wingers since Trump got elected, and yet they have the nerve to proclaim that the President sharing a meme is an incitement of violence. But that’s not the worst. Apparently CNN got so offended by the meme that they had one of their muckrackers track down its creator, one “HanAssholeSolo”, and apparently managed to coerce him into an apology, with the implication that they might doxx him if they think he’s out of line. Forget the term Clinton News Network, they’ve officially become the Criminal News Network. In case they didn’t know, threatening to expose a private citizen’s personal details is a crime, and they may well have broken the law in the state in which they are headquartered.

So there you have it. CNN have officially become the Cosa Nostra of the American media, except the actual mafia would probably be punished. Not even Buzzfeed, the rag that published the so-called “piss dossier”, has stooped this low. As far as I know, no other news outlet in America is willing to operate so far outside the law just to bandage their petty ego because they were offended. CNN has long been a symbol of everything wrong with the mainstream news media, but now it has transcended mere propaganda-pushing, showing that they’re the sort of people who will intimidate critics into silence.

That being said, the professional doxxer CNN hired may as well be cut from the same cloth as Buzzfeed. In fact, he used to work for them. The doxxer, Andrew Kaczynski, has a sordid history of muckraking and yellow journalism. In 2013, Kaczynski shared false information from Reddit regarding the identity of the Boston Marathon bombers, naming Mike Mulugeta and Sunil Tripathi – two innocent men – as the suspected bombers. The actual culprits were Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but before the actual suspects were named, Kaczynski’s false reporting led to Sunil Tripathi’s family being bombarded with calls and messages, leading Tripathi himself to commit suicide.

Later in the same year, he retweeted a stupid tweet from a PR woman named Justine Sacco (in which she made a bad joke about AIDS being white), declaring it to be “the worst tweet of all time”. Soon after that, the media elite went about destroying her reputation, and the incident may well have destroyed her professional career. Kaczynski’s career as a whole is based on digging up old footage (often of politicians) and using it as part of smear campaigns against his targets. He is the very definition of a muckraker, and yet he is rewarded for this behaviour by the journalistic community, to the pointed that he was nominated for the Shorty Awards’ “Best Journalist” award. I’m sure Joseph Pulitzer himself would be proud.

In a way, the whole fiasco shows just how rotten the journalism industry has become, and the core of it all is CNN, a network that has gone a step further than everyone else in the mainstream media, proving that there is nothing they won’t do in order to stay relevant in an era where the mainstream media is dying. If that’s not enough, they’re also completely incompetent at what they do, and I say this mainly because it turns out that “HanAssholeSolo” may not even be the original creator of the meme. It seems to me that everything CNN does in order to try and get at Donald Trump is destined to fail miserably, and that’s because CNN, and indeed the news media at large, simply doesn’t understand what’s going on. They never did, but they can’t just accept their obsolescence peaceably, and I think it’s too late for them.

Given that CNN is willing to associate with some of the scummiest people on Earth, and silence private citizens that offend them, nothing can redeem them now. I can expect a few people to use the “muh freedom of the press” argument to defend CNN, but of course that’s nonsense. The right to freedom of the press only guarantees that you can print whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t constitute slander or personal details. The “free press” defence is wholly inadequate because, and I can’t make this any clearer, CNN broke the law. It’s just like how Gawker broke the law, and yet free press fundamentalists came to their defence because somehow they had “the right” to invade Hulk Hogan’s private life. I ask, does CNN have the right to threaten a private citizen because they are a news agency? No, they don’t, but they did so anyway, and that makes them criminals.

The fall of YouTube

youtube fail

YouTube has long been considered a platform where you can express any idea you wanted, but lately this is changing, as YouTube is rolling out a new policy which gives them the power to demonetize for violating vague new guidelines on what isn’t “advertiser friendly”. For those who aren’t aware, monetizing videos allows YouTubers to collect ad revenue from their videos, and by demonitizing videos that violate the new guidelines, they are effectively punishing YouTubers with controverisal opinions (more on that in a bit). These new rules are starting to affect some of YouTube’s biggest names, including Phillip DeFranco and MrRepzion, both of whom are famous for calling out SJW’s on their nonsense.

The new monetization guidelines, which are geared towards sanitising the kind of content that YouTubers can monetize, display an extremely backwards definition of what could be considered “inappropriate for advertising”, and it generally seems as if YouTube has gotten about as paranoid as the next Mary Whitehouse, but the last bulletin point is the big problem here, as Phillip DeFranco highlighted in a post on his Twitter profile.

youtube guidelines

Yes, YouTube’s new monetization guidelines are deliberately targeting the company’s ideological enemies, and if you think this isn’t a big deal, then consider this. There are people out there who make a living putting out content on YouTube, and some of them dedicate their career to providing an alternative to the mainstream media narrative, giving airtime to ideas and perspectives that would not be given a chance on the mainstream media. By targeting the means by which they can keep themselves financially afloat, YouTube is attempting to silence their right to free speech by disincentivizing the creation of content which expresses controversial opinions. Call it whatever you like, but it is tantamount to the heinous crime of censorship.

Responding to the inevitable outcry from users, YouTube defended its stance by insisting that such a policy has already been in place for three years, but has merely “improved” them. At this point, their definition of “improved” must be completely different to the normal one, because I wouldn’t call tightening the restrictions an improvement. All this will do is drive content creators out of YouTube, and onto smaller sites.

The most common argument in defence of YouTube’s new rules is the tired old line “they’re a private company, they can do what they want”. That’s fine and dandy, but I don’t remember any of the leftists saying that about Chick-fil-A when its COO criticised gay marriage (I didn’t agree with him, but he has his rights as do the rest of us). Leftists only defend private companies when it suits them. In this case, YouTube is discouraging people from spreading ideas that leftists don’t like, and the mainstream media isn’t complaining. Whatever your views on private companies are, the whole “private companies can do what they want” argument is only true up to a certain point, and even if you sincerely believe in the rights of private companies, you can’t say that if you’re also against the right of a Christian bakery to not make gay wedding cakes.

Of course, all of this misses the bigger picture – YouTube is circling the drain. It used to be a pretty open platform where you could say whatever you wanted, but then they became popular, and entrenched in popular culture. Ever since they were owned by Google the site has been going downhill, until now we’re at the point where they now censor anything critical of Hillary Clinton, and strike down anything that offends enough ultra-sensitive SJW’s. What will inevitably happen is that YouTube’s latest changes will force its best and brightest users out, until all political and cultural discussion on YouTube, or at least the bulk of it, is dominated by delusional, virtue-seeking ideologues with the mental capacity of 15-year-olds.

If its any consolation, I’m sure that there’s some kind of silver lining. There are ways of getting around YouTube’s censorship policies (I’ve heard that not putting tags on your videos helps), which is some hope because YouTube has censored before, and people have found ways around it. More importantly, I think it is only a matter of time before YouTube’s censorship policy gets used on the SJW’s, which brings me to one final point. The people who campaign for censorship always assume two things: they assume that they get to decide who are what is censored, and they assume that the policy of censorship that they advocate won’t be used on them.

What’s going on in YouTube is important because it signals just how little free speech is being valued in today’s society, and we will all pay the price if we don’t speak up for those who are being discouraged from speaking their mind, because unless we are all free, none of us are. I’d like to conclude by paraphrasing a very famous speech by Martin Niemöller. First they came for the Christians, and I did not speak out because I wasn’t a Christian. Then they came for the Republicans, and I did not speak out because I wasn’t a Republican. Then they came for the nationalists, and I did not speak out because I wasn’t a nationalist. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

Twitter’s death warrant

twitter

I’ve already covered the ban placed on Milo Yiannopoulos on Twitter in a previous post, but I think I should talk about the decline of Twitter, and the ramifications that I think will come with Twitter’s half-brained decision. Think of this as “part two” of the discussion if you will.

Firstly, like I’d like to clarify my position on Milo and the abuse towards Leslie Jones in case anyone’s in doubt. From what I could gather, Milo didn’t start the riot. In fact, his tweet aimed at Leslie was posted after Leslie became the target of trolls, not before. Contrary to what the media will tell you, Milo didn’t incite anything. All he did was provoke Leslie, like the provocateur we all know him to be. The only reason Milo got blamed for this is because (a) he wrote a scathing review of her movie, (b) he’s an easy target for people like Leslie, and (c) Twitter has already suspended him a few times, and has been aching for the chance to get rid of Milo’s account for good.

Of course, two key things bothered me. First, after Milo got banned, the mainstream media celebrated, like some savage barbarian tribe revelling in the blood of a slaughtered enemy. Without even hesitating, they took Leslie’s side because it’s painfully obvious that they despise Milo. The Guardian despises him, The Verge despises him, Esquire and Polygon despise him, and I’m very sure none of them did any of the research. Secondly, Twitter executives, when asked by Breitbart journalists, refused to say whether or not they believe in the traditional value of free speech. I’m not entirely surprised, but it should be very alarming because it essentially confirms that they have contempt for the idea that their critics should be allowed their right to free speech.

To be honest, I think they didn’t know what to say. If they were honest and they said they didn’t believe in free speech, all but the worst kinds of SJW’s and other assorted extremists would leave Twitter. If they said they believed in free speech, they would still be utter hypocrites. They’re willing to allow the most rabid Black Lives Matter supporters to call for the murder of police officers and go literally unpunished, but Milo Yiannopoulos gets struck down over a spat with a celebrity? What about the number of ISIS supporters who took to Twitter to celebrate the Nice attacks? Is Jack Dorsey going to be on the case with them? I highly doubt it. What about the hashtag that translated into “we demand the killing of atheists” that was trending on Arabic Twitter? What about the number of social justice warriors who bully people who disagree with them? It’s clear that Twitter is favour of allowing anyone other than conservatives and libertarians to speak freely on their platform.

For me, this is a sign of what some suspect has been happening for quite a while – Twitter is dying. Over the past year, Twitter’s stock market value has been going into sharp decline. Exactly a year ago, Twitter shares would have worth around $36 a share, and by now the shares only worth about half as much. In February, after Twitter saw a sharp decrease in users, the company’s share prices plummeted. Granted, they have been recovering, but I doubt that it will get much higher than $20 per share. This is just the economic side of things, but it essentially indicates the decreasing value of Twitter as a brand.

More importantly, the amount of new users coming to Twitter is stagnating. Currently the site has roughly 310 million active users, but it is apparently having trouble attracting new users, since the arrival of new users has slowed down. Twitter’s management isn’t quite the same as it used to be. In the months after Jack Dorsey became CEO last year, a number of Twitter’s staff and top executives left the company, and in February, Twitter announced a new “Trust and Safety Council”, with the neofeminist propaganda network Feminist Frequency as one of its inaugural members. Coupled with shadowbanning and Dorsey’s obvious progressive biases, it’s no wonder why a lot of people have left Twitter, and are worried about whether or not they’ll get banned too.

Banning Milo perhaps wasn’t an immediate problem, I think Twitter may as well have used it to distract Twitter users from the sites many problems. I like many other people are worried about Twitter going in an increasingly authoritarian direction. All banning Milo did was force that authoritarian streak into the spotlight, sparking a new revolt from Twitter users who are interested in free speech. By banning Milo and thereby pandering to the easily offended, Twitter may very well have signed its death warrant.

When I say this, I mean that Twitter may have exposed its true disdain for free speech, and thus a disdain for its users. If Twitter is that willing to censor those critical of Jack Dorsey’s progressive ideology, then we may yet see more users exiting Twitter in fear that their powers of censorship may be used on them. At any rate, I will continue keeping abreast of Twitter’s situation, because it seems like every time people say that Twitter is dying, everything turns to be fine in the end, but I have no doubt that Twitter will only get worse from this point on. How long will it be before ordinary people find themselves censored when Twitter’s authoritarian attitude reaches its logical conclusion? Only time will tell.

Can you trust The Guardian?

guardian

“Can you believe this shit?”

In high school, I was apparently very interested in the topic of media bias, but I never addressed my own biases. I was mainly grilling the obviously right-wing news outlets, and while I mentioned the left-wing outlets (thinking MSNBC might be too biased to the left), there was always one news outlet that I apparently trusted, seemingly with blind faith – The Guardian. They seemed like the a rational, reasonable news outlet. I knew they were left-wing, but I didn’t think they were extreme. But something’s been troubling me lately – their latest patronising campaign freedom of speech.

All week long, the Guardian website has been running a series of articles which, they claim are about the growing phenomenon of online harassment. In reality, it’s their excuse to wag their fingers at everyone on the web. One example of such articles is “the dark side of Guardian comments”, which basically comprises of a bunch of privileged London-centric writers reading over some of the “vile and abusive” comments they’ve received, and the article only shows you the point of view of the writers who were offended. It also contains a quiz in which you are given the opportunity to moderate a selection of comments. Whatever you answer, you’ll find that the Guardian is very keen on blocking any comments that they find ideologically unappetising (they will block any comments critical of feminism without question).

While we’re on that subject, The Guardian’s statistics on the matter are very shaky. They claim that “of the 10 most abused writers eight are women, and the two men are black”. To me, that just screams of not just sexism, but also racism and ideological cherrypicking. Of course they would make this up, because that would fit the left-wing narrative that anyone who isn’t a white male is a victim needing our protection. If you ask me, that narrative sounds a bit unsettling, mainly because it now seems like the Guardian is now pushing internet censorship, almost in Orwellian fashion. More worryingly though, their mentality on this reeks of leftist self-flagellation for ancestral sins. For them, all the world’s woes are caused by “privileged” white people, and they never corroborate this notion with any real facts.

For a paper that claims to love democracy, it seems to have completely turned its back on freedom of speech. One article, written by a clearly oversensitive writer named Owen Jones, wrote an article about trolls, but used it to proclaim that freedom of speech could “poison the very bloodstream of democracy”. If anything’s poisoning our democracy, it’s obviously people like him, and all those like him who wish to use fear to turn the public against freedom, and this is not an isolated case. For The Guardian, freedom of speech is “elitist”, and yet they never explain how, as if everyone who reads it is supposed to know. Then again, this is the exact same news outlet that claimed that banning porn on campus gave students more freedom of choice. Not only is it lunacy, but it’s also poorly justified.

Most of The Guardian’s editorials are concerned with the safety of women. Why? Don’t we live in a safe country? If they wanted to worry about women’s safety, what about those poorer countries where young girls are impregnated and forced to marry older men at a young age? I don’t hear their concern about that. Their only concern appears to be privileged middle class women, especially if they happen to be female journalists. They’ve basically become a sounding board for the worst brand of highly processed neofeminism under the guise of journalism. If you don’t believe me, then it’s worth noting that whenever the men’s rights movement ever comes up in one of their articles, they always patronise the idea, as if men are too privileged for their concern. That patronising tone only masks the obvious sexism of the writers. For them, women are always the victims, and when you associate women with a perpetual state of victimhood, then you’re a sexist pretending not to be, and by my books, there’s absolutely no difference.

Worst of all is The Guardian’s insistence that the Internet is a dangerous place. Those privileged, London-centric writers apparently can’t stand the idea of there being a place with no rules. Oh wait, there’s already such a place. It’s called life. All those rules we have, we’ve literally just made them up from paper. Tear all that away, and life here on Earth would be just as lawless as the Internet, but I digress. The Guardian writers insist that the Internet needs more regulation in order to protect women from online harassment, which is fine until they run an article which explicitly states that writers “shouldn’t have to put up with abuse and insults”. To be fair, they don’t. They could just quit, or better yet, stop reading the comment section! If you want my opinion, the possibility of being harassed by virulent trolls is simply a part of having your opinions out in the open. I certainly didn’t care about that when I started this site, and I was 18 years old. Considering that the average Guardian writer must be over 30, I’d say that, even in my early days, I’m definitely more mature than a bunch of writers who complain about harassment.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I don’t condone harassment or rape threats anymore than the next man, but this is not the way to handle it. I was once harassed by a swathe of Welsh nationalists over a post I had written in 2013 (the post was since deleted, which I’ll admit was a bad move on my part). In that post, I tried to make the argument that we shouldn’t be forced to learn the Welsh language, but I accused the Welsh nationalists of fascism (which, again, was a bad move on my part). Even after being bombarded with annoying and ideologically unpalatable comments, I didn’t clamour for increased regulation. I moved on, like I feel we should all be doing, and I’m not alone. Stephen Fry, in an interview with Dave Rubin, expressed worry about the climate of censorious self-pity currently dominating our society, and, perhaps because of how he phrased it more than anything else, most of the media turned on him, especially social media and, surprise surprise, The Guardian, who claimed that nobody would be listening to him if he were poor. Does that sound like the standard bearer of quality journalism, or the wailing throngs of the failed excuse for a journalist, drowning in his own biases, presumably while locked away in his safe space.

They keep screeching about how we have to stop online harassment, but they have no intention of explaining how they think we should do so, and neither have they attempted to reconcile that with the need to preserve free speech. What they fail to realise is that you can’t stop online harassment. You can’t stop any form of expression that goes on in the Internet, at least not without punishing the innocent first, because inevitably the innocent are always prosecuted before the guilty when pandering to mass hysteria. Of course, The Guardian doesn’t care. They’re only interested in stirring up moral panic. Ladies and gentlemen, they’ve become Mary Whitehouse, but this time, the target of their witch hunt seems to be anyone on the Internet who dares disagree with them, because they’ve been lumped into the same group as the genuine abusers, who are the ones that should be punished in the first place.

To me, all this sounds like The Guardian never really got over Gamergate, because the rhetoric of The Guardian is largely indifferent to the rhetoric of the social justice warriors, except for the fact that The Guardian’s writers go through contortions to sound cultured, purely for the purpose of making its readers feel like idiots (or smarter for having read them, which they’re not). At least with “The Web We Want”, the mask has finally crumbled, and we can now see The Guardian for what it really is – an illiberally leftist mouthpiece for those who wish to advance their authoritarian narrative. At this point, you can’t trust them anymore than you can trust such skeezy tabloids as The Sun or The Daily Star. If you see a copy of the paper in your local newspaper, don’t pick it up. Buying their papers only supports their agenda, as the writers and editors carefully count their money,  while presumably locked away in their safe spaces as they write the next post about how we’re apparently evil for using the Internet, ignorant of the fact that most Internet users probably aren’t as bad as they think. Maybe if they took their heads out of their asses for just a minute, they’d probably see that.

The importance of free expression on the internet

free expression

I’m aware that this is a subject that I’ve addressed several times in the past, but recent events in my life have made it a far more important subject for me to address than ever. It is generally accepted in British society that there are some things that you say and don’t say on the web. That logic is what most people use to convince themselves that they don’t have to take responsibility for themselves.

The Internet gives us the power to express ourselves in ways that would be inconceivable in the real world. More importantly, it provides a necessary escape from the tepid tribulations of the real world. Take it away, and we will be trapped in a narrow world that, for most of us, will feel increasingly more like a tiny cubicle. For me, this is the true importance of free expression, especially on the Internet. Feeling free is like feeling that there’s a whole patch of land around you, because you can do anything without restrictions, at least that’s how it should be.

That’s why I personally hate having to be careful of what I write. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, and sometimes it’s down to common sense, but all other times, when I feel like I have to be careful about what I write, then it means that what I’d end up writing wouldn’t come from the heart. What makes being able to express oneself so great is that when you are, you’re releasing something from the heart. Suppressing free expression, therefore, becomes one of the greatest of all crimes.

Even sadder is the fact that we take it all for granted. Many of us have no idea how important free expression is, and the result is that the Internet is populated by those with no idea of what they’re saying or even thinking, and this leads to all sorts of trouble, for which everyone else ends up suffering. That is why I oppose censoring freedom of expression, online and offline. Censorship of any kind not only beggars logic, but it also denies our responsibility for what we say. In a sense, we’d be no different from toddlers, and frankly, I don’t relish the thought of living like that for the rest of my life.

Free speech on the web

The internet is a place where people can say things that they don’t have the courage to say in real life. While it’s very easy for us to take online anonymity and free speech on the internet for granted, it’s also easy for us to forget that the freedom we have online is also fragile. It’s also important to remember that the level of freedom on the internet can easily be abused by people who use online anonymity as a cloak, so that they can spout random hatred at people who don’t deserve it (whether it by real, identifiable human beings, or other anonymous users), and go almost undetected. Of course, we call them internet trolls.

internet trolls

Internet trolls are a plague that has swept various websites, spreading mindless hatred and stupidity wherever they go. Deep down, we all wish we could get rid of them, but can we get rid of them all? Sure, we may be able to stop one, or even a few of them simply by reporting them, but to put an end to all forms of online trolling is not as simple as it sounds, because the only truly effective way to get rid of them would involve either censoring the internet, or increased online surveillance powers, and neither suggestion can ever be morally justifiable.

Freedom of speech is a two-way right. If we’re all allowed to say whatever we want online, then even the worst of us must be allowed this right. If we selectively take the right to free speech away from certain individuals for any reason, then we can’t honestly stand for the right to free speech. Of course, the only thing you can do about trolls is to somehow try and track them down in real life, which the police have often done.

What many people may not know is that the police can see what goes on in the Internet, but they only take action if they can see that you’re doing something illegal. In the UK, they’re able to track down and arrest any internet troll who posts grossly offensive, and or menacing messages online, as is defined under section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003. Don’t be too alarmed, because this only involves tracking down internet trolls who go far enough that they break the law, and in all fairness, this is at least a more reasonable approach to dealing with trolls than censoring the Internet as a whole.

Aside from all that, the Internet is essentially the only truly free place on Earth, and that freedom is very fragile, and constantly needs to be defended, because there are individuals out there who want tighter control over the internet, and there’s nothing they won’t do to make sure that happens. Whoever they are, they can’t stand the fact that there is a place where you can say or do virtually anything, and would stoop to any low in order to wipe out whatever freedom there is left. There are people out there who say horrible things online, but they get dealt with somehow. In my opinion, the best way to deal with a troll is to either ignore it, or report it to whichever authority is appropriate (usually the moderators). If we want to make the internet a better place, we simply need to accept that freedom comes with responsibilities, whether online or offline. If we choose to shirk these responsibilities, however, we may lose the very freedom we take for granted.