The Internet is a Batman Villain

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"The question we have to answer is: How do we kill four of the world's six billion people in the most just way possible?" He seemed excited to have said this aloud.

The Trolls Among Us

I'm not Stephen King or Michael Crichton, as hard as that is to believe.  This experience of blogging has been so cool (I hate to use that word when I am writing something) because my words are potentially being read by anyone on the planet.  That is quite nice as a young writer; I can hone my skill with the pressure of being published, all while remaining relatively anonymous.  There is great power in this.

Like the cliche says, however, great power comes with great responsibility.  I would need to maintain some standards of conduct in my writing to get published, to get my word out to the general populace.  Not so with the internet.  There is no publishing company looking over my shoulder saying, "You can't say that sentence because the ramifications will harm our bottom line."  The only thing looking over my shoulder is my conscience, and that has enough trouble already without having to censor my writing.

This is where I am afraid.  For the first time in history, people who advocate atrocities can find each other.  There was always one bully on the playground, but there were enough individuals in between to keep the bullies from getting out of control.  Now all the bullies in the world can connect with each other without leaving the comfort of their own unique playground.

The internet is a Batman villain.  We all visit Two-Face every day.  We get our e-mail off of him, we keep up with friends and homework, all kinds of benign things while suburban housewives are inciting teenagers to commit suicide and people are ridiculed for their insecurities.  I'll admit that this is a little extreme, but if we are not vigilant, this is what will happen.  Twenty years ago you could have called the internet a microcosm.  Now with all of the people on the internet every hour, I would call the internet a cosm in itself and anything that can happen in reality can happen on the web.  If we do not check the behavior of these trolls we could have an informational Wild West on our hands, and these problems will be much harder to eradicate.

Just spend one minute the next time you are on your social networking site of choice, or whatever you do, remember that the internet is a Batman Villain.  Which face do you want to put forth?  Peace out :-)

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here...

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November 2008

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