Was politics always this angry? It feels like political discourse is increasingly tribal and aggressive, with people refusing to listen to those with conflicting viewpoints and beliefs. Is the internet to blame by shutting us away in bubbles of like-minded friends? In the past, were we more exposed to different perspectives? Were we more polite in our interactions with others when we weren’t anonymous behind a screen? Or has it always been this way?
Debating Europe recently attended Europe on Stage – a talent-show-meets-viral-video mashup. YouTubers (including Creators for Change, an initiative supporting YouTube creators whose work focuses on social issues) came together at Brussels’ BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, and we interviewed some of them on this topic. What would they say?
Curious to know more about Creators for Change? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).
What do our readers think? We had a comment from Blas who thinks the internet has definitely made us more biased and less tolerant. Is he right?
To get a response, we spoke to Swann Périssé, a French YouTuber and Comedian who uses her channel to promote gender equality. What would she say?
Finally, we had a comment from Paul who points out that reviewing hateful comments takes a long time (this was in the context of a debate about whether social media platforms should be fined for not taking down hate speech on their platforms). So, how should creators deal with hateful comments? Should they read every comment?
To get a response, we spoke to Tiemo Wölken, a German social democratic Member of the European Parliament (and also a successful YouTuber). As a politician, he no doubt is on the receiving end of negative comments online. Plenty of this will be completely legitimate criticism and should be encouraged as part of the democratic process, but how does he judge which comments have crossed the line? How does he personally deal with hateful comments? And does he read every comment he receives?
Has the internet made us less tolerant? What’s the best way to stop internet hate? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
IMAGE CREDITS: (c) – dolgachov
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