Social networks are platforms to express ideas through text, picture or video. Because of the endless possibilities available for individuals to express their viewpoints, people who oppose those ideas may be offended, incensed and angered. People then turn to the social network itself to demand consequences and retribution, however, social networks are not media police, nor are they your parents.
People often forget that the world can be cruel, and often times social networks are even crueler. Do not expect Twitter to hold your hand and wipe your snotty nose as you cry tears of sadness because someone has hurt your feelings
Avid users, reckless Internet trolls and observing bystanders all need to understand that the rules of social networks encourage good, bad and even the most ignorant conflict. Conflict is trendy and entertaining, and it always has been.
People are able to hide behind screens and create conflict with their unwanted and unsolicited opinions—much like a dog with explosive diarrhea, letting unwanted chunks of vile opinions fly.
While no one wants to witness such abhorrent content, it is not up to social networks to clean up the dirty business. They would be spending all of their time scooping up the unwanted opinions of each and every user for an eternity.
While hate speech, child pornography and personal user threats/stalking are heavily cracked down upon, there are many sensitive subjects that social media lets their users have free reign on.
These platforms do some good by being the birthplaces of insightful clap backs, gut-busting memes and powerful social movements; however, we need to remember that the “freedom of Twitter/Facebook fingers” will enable many to voice their opinions on what ever topic they choose.
It is ridiculous to try and blame social network companies for the actions of its users. In an USA Today article a young woman blamed Twitter for the hate comments she was getting because of her conservative political views.
If people disagree with your opinions in real life interactions, they most likely will strongly disagree over social media in a space that will allow them to voice their opinions just as vehemently.
Neither Twitter nor Facebook have public political affiliations and her crazed assumption that Twitter pushes liberal ideas more than conservative ideals is absurd. The content that users see on Twitter and Facebook is tailored to who an individual chooses to follow, which in turn molds and shapes what they see on their timeline.
Everyone has the choice to block, mute and report who and what they want so if those three options must be implemented then by all means do it. People should just really follow and accept like-minded people if they don’t want any conflict.
But is the fun in that?
Grow up and slip on your big kid undies and stand firm in your opinions and beliefs because Daddy Facebook and Mama Twitter are not helicopter networks.
-Sterling Wilmer is a psychology junior