Should the internet be free from censorship?
Yes, kind of.
I’ve been following a bunch of recent controversies on my twitter feed, from the alleged fake book reviews, to the changes on Goodreads. They all seem to stem from the same problem: the never ending battle between free speech and civility online.
Why does the internet turn so many people into troll-haired jerk-monkeys?
Everyone knows the answer. It’s anonymity.
If every person who harassed someone else online had to look into the judging eyes of their granny the next day, I think that the internet would clean itself up in no time.
It truly is a new issue. Shame has always been what made free speech work. Before the computer era, you could say whatever you wanted, but you had to live with those words.
Not anymore. Now you can spout whatever crazy-assed thing you’d like, and unless you attract the attention of the FBI, it never comes back to roost.
I’m going to offer a controversial solution. Rather than online censorship, everyone who logs on must sign into an internet profile. It doesn’t say where you live, it just gives your name, every website you’ve visited, and every comment you’ve ever made. I should be able to see it and so should your mom and your boss. Maybe it would be a sort of online SSN that you’re given at birth. If you want to talk smack on duelinggrannys.com, that’s fine, it should just be there for everyone who knows you to see.
I’d imagine that my plan would have a bit of a negative effect on the porn industry. That’s okay. Porn has gotten OUT. OF. CONTROL. If the average internet pornoholic had to get their whole fix from movies and magazines, they’d have to back up an 18 wheeler porn truck to their house to reach a near equivalent. People would have to devote whole rooms of their house to it. I think consumption would go down if Granny had to sleep on a hide-a-bed in the porn room. It might make it a bit harder to hide from the wife and kids too.
Getting back to trolling, I’m sure there would still be people who don’t care what people think of their behavior, the same as there is in everyday life. I’m fine with that. If you believe in something unpopular, you should always be allowed to speak your mind. Own it. Rather than using the internet as cover, hold your head up high, pound your chest, and say, “I’m me, this is what I believe.”