Internet: Freedom of Speech or Loss of Etiquette?

Internet has without a doubt given normal people (with access to a computer and internet) the chance to express ourselves freely on the net. This blog is, in fact, one of the best examples I can think of. But YouTube is of course another brilliant example. On YouTube you are not only limited to words and pictures but can air thoughts and feelings through the medium of video. To be frank, not every person out there is a video persona. I have seen some creepy videos out there, but never have I had the urge to spat out something like "Idiot" or "You need help, you psycho" - like the majority of YouTube visitors seem to have.

So why is it that when we are left with an opportunity to say something useful we revert back into 6th graders bullying other kids. Well, it is quite easy to write obscenities in the comment section when all you have left behind is a cryptic nickname like HitMan26 or MisterDonkey87. My mind first wanted to correlate these internet comments with prank calls, which gives you a similar anonymity, but prank calls are just jokes while a comment like "Idiot" or "Take off your clothes and have sex" (which was a recent comment to a video of two girls pretending to be Sarah Palin's daughter and her friend) are just… preposterous.

So that's it then; when we are faced with an opportunity to choose a new internet personality we choose the identity of the bully and know-it-all with a my-dick-is-so-small-and-I-haven't-got-some-in-ages complex so deeply rooted that not even the brightest psychiatrist could help this poor SOB. I sincerely hope that dictatorship is not the answer to this misuse of free speech. (But if it is the only way out I would like to apply for the job as a dictator or mad scientist, please get back to me @: ruben.la.clae+dictator@gmail.com)


David Aaron said...

I ran into an inadvertently funny version of this, in case there is any other kind.

I was drawn into a Livejournal flamewar a while back with a 21 year old from Arizona. He loved internet anonymity so much, his name (and since it was followed by a Roman Numeral, I assume his father's too), his home town, his places of work and education were all available on his journal (as well as a picture of him in all black, chugging a bottle of vodka)!

Since this fella despised Nazis (I have no idea how he managed to plot a parallel between me and the Goosesteppers!), I don't think a dictatorship would work!

Frankly, I don't know what would. I can think of no tactics that work on people stupid enough to proclaim love of anonymity while voluntarily posting every piece of information required to find them!

Ruub said...

Yes, that does sound pretty stupid. But there are plenty people who don't live as they preach.

To be fair to this guy you are talking about David, it is increasingly difficult to be anonymous on the internet. And I also do believe people should have the right to be completely anonymous while surfing. But trying to be anonymous for the sake of pedophilia (porn in general) or being a douchebag is a big no-no in my rule book.

Interested readers can see how much information they let out by visiting www.auditmypc.com and click the Anonymous tab. For those who hasn't noticed my Feedjit gadget in the side: check it out now. Try to visit my site through www.proxify.com and see what happens.