Why are people so angry online?
James Griffin, of social media consultancy sr7 says some people get a kick from making comments online they would never make in the real world, and that are then viewed by many others online.
Social media expert Laurel Papworth says these views are not new to our societies – it’s just that we haven’t heard them before in public.
“Those voices in the past have been silent. The only voices that we heard in the past were highly educated, have communication skills and were comfortably with speaking publicly,” she said.
“One thing that social media does is that it shines a spotlight on different value systems in the Australian community. The challenge going forward is – do we want people to be honest or do we want them to be thinking those things and then to be too scared to say them?”
Echoing her thoughts, BBC presenter Richard Bacon, who presented a documentary on internet hate campaigns - The Anti-Social Network - in March, questioned if such online anger just reflected the truth about human nature.
“Does the net exaggerate our views, or are these views that people really hold? Either way, perhaps we can comfort ourselves with the idea that they are a tiny but vocal minority,” he wrote.
“Or maybe this is what we are really like. Perhaps our day-to-day social interactions are the artifice, and these forums expose a dreadful truth about human nature. Could it be that deep, deep down, we just aren’t very nice.”
*The BBC suggested in a recent blog post that the 90-9-1 participation rule is “outmoded“.
Read more on the Sydney Morning Herald