Monday 14 January 2013

Day 272: Cyberspace – Hiding Place for Very Sick Minds

In the Natal Mercury of Monday, January 14, 2013 – Robert Fisk wrote an Article on Page 6 with the Heading: “Cyberspace is the hiding place of some very sick minds”. What Prompted him to write this Article, is because he was Exposed to Lots of Online Abuse that was Directed at his Article about the Middle East in 2013. The type of Abuse, Verbatim, is the same type of Abuse that has been Directed at myself and other Desteni-Members.

I quote Robert Fisk: “But something is going wrong here. Surely this is not what the Internet is for? Across the world now, anonymity - the bane of every newspaper letters editor – is accepted by cyber-journalism, the more hateful, the more understandable. I’ve pulled out of several radio “chat” shows in mid-broadcast because of the absolute refusal of the anchors to explain why they will not challenge the sometimes viciously named Tweeters or e-mail writers. Websites and blogs and chat rooms were never intended to cover the Breivik-like cruelties of these sick people.
Former US diplomat Christopher Hill, a man whose views normally make me cringe – he was ambassador to Iraq, special envoy to Kosovo and a Dayton negotiator – has observed these dangers.
“Instant access to information does not mean instant access to knowledge, much less wisdom,” he wrote recently.

“In the past, information was integrated with experience. Today, it is integrated with emotion…
“Digital technology has played an important role in fostering this atmosphere of bad manners, vicious personal attacks, intolerance, disrespect…Bullying has gone virtual.”
Just before Christmas, an Irish minister of state, Sean McEntee, committed suicide after receiving a load of online hate-mail. At his funeral, his brother Gerry was applauded when he attacked social media: “Shame on you people, you faceless cowards who sent him horrible messages on the website and on text, shame on you.” (Fisk, 2013: 6)

I further quote Robert Fisk: “So let me go now to Irish journalist John Waters, who last year complained about the “disproportionate venom of online commentary” and the way bloggers resort to “pre-civilisational forms of communication”. (Fisk, 2013: 6)

And, I quote: “So what to do? Online comments are often factually wrong, but anonymity allowed writers to use vulgar and abusive language to support their lies. They often fail what has been called “the quality test” – rigorously applied, for example, when newspaper editors refuse to publish letters without a name and some form of address. We are talking about verifiable comment.

Anonymity on the net is as pathetic as the anonymous “sources” that have contaminated the gutless journalism of the New York Times or CNN or the BBC for decades. And the innocent must be able to seek redress in cyberspace as well as in print. Poison-pen letters are illegal in the UK. So are offensive electronic messages, if the Malicious Communications Act of 1988 is to be believed. So why should we be forced to drink poison on the net?” (Fisk, 2013: 6)

We will be dissecting these Poisonous Minds in the Next Blog and Consider the Validity and Value of Anonymity. Can an Anonymous Person - Ever have a Valid point of view? Because, you can’t Find them to Credit them anyway. So, should we not Outright, simply Ignore, whomsoever is Anonymous. Because, for all Practical Purposes: they Have No Accountability or Actual Value to Contribute.

Robert Fisk. 2013. Cyberspace is the hiding place of some very sick minds. The Mercury. 14 January: 6.
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