Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Webs of Hate

“The Internet has globally democratized societies”, is a popular sentence. Since the advent of technology, in almost every home, the world has become interconnected. And this indlues hate.

The 21st century brought with it smart speakers, smart lights, and smart cars, connecting to a gigantic network in order to “supposedly” unite humanity.

The smartphones connect the most remote and poor places on the planet, with the richest and most overpopulated cities, instantly informing what is happening in distant points, that many times we did not know existed.

Seventy-percent of the world population converge in social networks, with multiple cultures, races and religions, diverse genders and sexes, human desires, fears, joys and frustrations.

In this gigantic world assembly, everyone has an opinion on everything, everyone approves or disapproves of everyone, everyone praises or criticizes everyone, and everyone submits, manipulates and degrades everyone.

Hate speech

According to the latest United Nations report, there is currently a “tsunami of hate and xenophobia in social networks”, which is applied to minority groups, due to their skin color, religion, race, sex or political opinion.

The Forum on Minority Issues meets annually, bringing together human rights defenders, internet companies, social media platforms, states and non-governmental organizations, for an open and interactive dialogue, which seeks to placate these aggressions.

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The main challenge is to adopt an international legal definition, compatible with human rights, without invading freedom of expression.

In this case, the report warns that, in order to guarantee the empowerment of members of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, States must ensure that the Internet and social media platforms represent a safe environment.

Hate and misinformation

There is sufficient evidence to show that “minorities make up the vast majority of victims of online hate speech,” the report says, calling on social media platforms to prioritize their efforts, including holding states accountable for protecting the needs of minorities. All minorities.

“Entire societies are currently being poisoned with disinformation and hate,” the report says, calling for methods to be created so that “everyone has safe and secure access to social media, with the ability to express themselves, without running the risk of being victims of discrimination, racism , violence or hostility”.

From written hate to physical violence

The United Nations report expresses its concern about the dehumanization of the individual, who seeks to unload his grudges and hatred on minorities.

It is no coincidence that violence intensified in spaces that, until now, were unthinkable, such as schools, churches, synagogues, parks, sports fields and even on the streets.

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For example, in the United States, white supremacist attacks have circulated among racist online communities and have also taken to social media to publicize their acts, such as the Charleston church shooter that killed nine African-American clergymen and worshipers, in June 2015.

Or the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooter that killed eleven worshipers at a Shabbat service, or the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and we shouldn’t forget the network-only school shootings, either.

We are no longer dealing with criminals, but “lone wolves” who seek to attract attention on social networks, displaying their most aberrant acts live.

Cesar Leo Marcus was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Doctor (PhD) in International Logistics and Foreign Trade, and Master (MBA) in Economic Sociology, he was professor of both chairs at the Universities of Madrid (Spain) and Cordoba (Argentina).
A journalist, he publishes in newspapers in California, Miami, and New York. He is a writer, he published twelve books, and a literary editor, director of Windmills Editions. He currently resides in California.

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