MCM 472 – Editorial and Critical Writing: Commentary
We are currently witnessing an alarming evolution in e-activism, a subunit of activists incorporating aspects of ‘dragging culture’ through the adoption of bullying and humiliation as a means to fight prejudice. But it is evident now that social media activism is characterized by a surge of unhealthy habits, which create more harm than good. Networking sites such as, Twitter, which were once utilized as a tool to facilitate the flow of ideas, are now home to something ugly.
Discussions have transformed into battlefields. Hate and anger are the only viable weapons. This trend features highly offensive and discriminatory behavior in the form of racial slurs, sexual bashing, and even death threats. When adopted by self-proclaimed activists, networking sites take on a new and dangerous role; namely a platform for aggressive manifestations under the pretense of activism. Consequently, rather than connectedness, we are becoming unnecessarily divided.
I remain astonished by the inability of this subunit of ‘progressive’ advocates for tolerance to forgive and their refusal to listen to opposing opinions, as well as their failure to debate, persuade or discuss matters objectively in a manner that may result in positive outcomes. Their anger deems them incompetent. Further, the need to guide or explain why one’s words are damaging is nonexistent; rather, people are obsessed with ‘canceling’ each other. Once one is viewed as the enemy, it is justifiable to humiliate them. Apologies are ignored and questioned. It does not matter if you say something in 2009 or 2019, your words are forever held against you, but is this rational? Do you believe that humans can no longer grow, learn and evolve? Has it become unreasonable to make mistakes and mature from them?
Indeed, it is necessary to address discrimination and call out people who promote toxic ideas; however, it must be done with the intention to raise awareness and educate rather than fight. Certain steps have to be taken in order to create an online community, wherein people opt for peaceful measures rather than straight-up bullying. First, it is necessary to cultivate tolerance by acknowledging that opposing views do exist; however, they do not necessarily have to be a basis for division. Second, programs focused on online activism, and active debate (e.g., what it entails and how to use it effectively) should be made available primarily to young adults, children, and aspiring activists. Most importantly, efforts towards educating people about the dangers of desensitizing ourselves towards dragging culture are crucial. After all, online bullying takes place in real life.