Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 95: International Crime Research: Cyber Bullying, Hate Speech and Defamation

In a recent article in a magazine, I read about some cases of Defamation on Social networks like Facebook and the court cases connected to it. Having used various social networks like Facebook, twitter and Youtube myself and having drawn the attention of Hate Speech, I am quite familiar with the types of Hate Speech and Cyber bullies out there.

In today's time, most countries are justifying Hate Speech under the banner of 'Free Speech whether it exists as part of an actual law or simply the principles of the website itself on which the Hate Speech/Cyber Bullying/Defamation takes place - which allows for people to say what they want to whom they want.

Therefore we are seeing a trend of basically allowing people to walk down the street with a gun taking pot shots at people - this is the same as allowing Cyber Bullies or for those more familiar with Social Networks the 'Trolls' to fire random shots at random people through placing their words on Social Networks and public forums.

The basis from which this abuse is allowed is that these websites/forums/channels or network exists for the sole purpose of allowing a group to make claims and participate in discussions about other groups or individuals. You will find general social networks like Youtube, Twitter, Facebook etc claim they protect the rights of the individuals by watching out for general forms of abuse such as child pornography, hate speech etc, and then you have websites/forums which exist for the sole purpose to defame other people.

This in itself allows for and exist as the platform from which other more serious Internet Crimes like Hate Speech can 'brew' into potential and actual threats against the safety of a group's internet profile and income. What I have seen on the Internet myself are 'safe places' for 'Internet Bullies' to pick a subject or context according to which they are allowed to Defame and target other individuals. The line is drawn legally, where these acts are called 'Freedom of Speech' - and this is currently where, these gun-wielding individuals get away with defamation.

For example, according to the American laws around 'Hate Speech' - Hate Speech is protected under the protection of 'Freedom of Speech', unless the party involved is able to prove that Hate Speech could or has led to potential threats or actions of harming the individual/group - where it is indicated that the target for example really believes that due to the Hate Speech being harboured there could be a real risk towards the group or person in mention.

This is basically saying, that even though by principle on the internet we allow people to harm each other - the person who's reputation is already being harmed, has to prove that there is a potential of a 'physical threat'. Therefore 'Freedom of Speech' is acceptable as the nastiest most despicable mouth shooting. Freedom of Speech exists on the principle that for too long has the human as our expression and speech, been suppressed and now the only way to no longer suppress the human in an attempt to delete the past, is to allow for complete non-responsibility and verbal injury to others. This is the era of 'allowance,' until of course it borders on the potential of physical harm. Ones internet profile for example, whom to many is the platform from which they run their business and personal lives, means nothing to the governments that protect mouth shooting - because if one take a closer look - if one allow violence to harbour within the minds of 'the individuals' then it is so much easier to get away with acts of violence from the governments/politicians - because the agression and violence being bred and cultivated on 'hate sites/social platforms' is able to then find expression through things like actual physical wars, political violence, protesters being shot, terrorism, government strike forces, torturing etc, stricter laws etc. Therefore the governments do not claim responsibility for allowing the human to breed hateful thoughts towards each other, and instead place the responsibility back with the individuals who clearly by now has shown that we are less that capable of directing our own thoughts and words towards each other.

All of these 'Hate sites' and forms of bullying/defamation/hate speech, indicates to all, that the human is revealing to all how untrustworthy we are of life. If the words and conversations between these 'Hate Speakers/Defamers/Bullies are anything to go by, then it is clear that they would cause harm to others if they found a legal gap or opportunity to do so. In my research into communicating with various individuals who have been targeted by these 'Trolls' on the Internet, they express that they have received Death threats through messages on these social networks and through emails. Therefore, the question has to be asked, what is the invisible barrier protecting the angry hateful individuals towards their subjects? When do these invisible barriers break, as the internal fuelling of hatred eventually overflows into Physical action?

We are seeing for example many examples daily in the news, of people who are more and more 'lashing out' in the moment, meaning they are faced with a situation that upsets/angers them and they go to the point of physically expressing their rage, due to the accumulation of months and months of consistent hateful/vengeful thoughts towards any person who might anger them. Therefore I have noticed, that these Social networks where any form of Hate Speech/Defamation/Bullying is taking place, is in fact a platform for the designing phase of potential harmful actions, such as what we are seeing unfolding daily, as reported by our newspapers.

Again, most who read this, will argue that they have the freedom to express annoyance and fear and judgment towards a group that they perceive/believe as being harmful to the public, and that is it not them that will or could ever go out and actually harm someone. Interesting though that we are seeing thousands of cases of Mind Possessions taking place daily, and this is increasing yearly. One only needs to monitor Internet news sites, to for yourself, as I have done, do the basic maths and see that Violence and strange physical Abusive actions leading to the harming of others, are increasing. To add, interestingly enough if one were to look into the Psychological make-up of the individuals who act out his/her rage/anger/sadness/fear/possession in that moment, one would note the same internal conversations that compound into the decision to harm another - and these Psychological processes are the same as the conversations that any person has who joins a website to be able to mouth-shoot at other people.

From the investigations I have done into these 'Hate sites' and the individuals who participate in Defamation/Hate Speech/Bullying on 'normal' social sites like Facebook or Youtube/Twitter - you will note a pattern within the individuals actions and Behaviours on these websites. They will as a hobby (hence the title given to some as 'troll') make it their business to go about making hateful, angry, abusive statements towards others. It is not just a matter of one or two reactions to seeing for example a picture/video of animals being tortured - and expressing anger/fear/reactions in that moment - these individuals who have made it their Hobby and interest in Life to Bully others through what they are able to type on the Internet will seek out content that irritates them and allows the to simply 'express'.

Now if one look at the personality of for example a serial killer or mass murderer etc, you will notice an interesting thing as well - that these individuals are mentally also 'fine tuned' to seek specific violent images and outlets, which they will focus most of their activities around, as they search, hunt and with increasing specificity implement their secret harmful act towards others. This has an outcome of harming the individual and thus giving the perpetrator a specify release and experience. For each individual it is different - the feeling of righteousness, the feeling of empowerment, the feeling of control' - and in the mind of the perpetrator it will sound viable - meaning - there will exist numerous justification and reason why this action is the right one. If we find out that a murderer has killed someone, the public and prosecutors as 'why?!' - the killer most often with an air of righteousness will answer 'because I could', or 'it felt right', or 'it was my duty' or as many serial killers/unabombers/mass murderers/terrorists have explained 'he/she/it was evil' or 'god told me so' or 'it was the voice in my head' or ..'I did it for my country'. The public and prosecutors will shake their heads and judge this individual as 'completely crazy/psychotic - and condemn such an individual to an absolute punishment or even the death sentence...

So, what does one do if one group or individual attacks another group/individuals through Hate Speech, Bullying or Defamation to the point of creating/spreading false information and fabrications, with the intention of causing that individuals harm, be it eventually physically (as many such people have later admitted on these hate sites they would like physical harm to come to that group/individual) or through harming their internet profile? Why is this different to the Psychopath who listens to voices in the head, giving false information about an individual which then motivates the killer/abuser to act?

We tend, as society to put blinkers on when it comes to what are the consequences of allowing Hate Speech/Bullying and Defamation - we tend to see it as harmful 'Internet shenanigans', and some might even go as far as protecting the abusers by saying 'if you can't handle the internet, stay off it (yes this was an actual comment I found on such a website). Thing is, if we start drawing the lines between what happens, who participated in creating the abusive outcome and what words and internal motivations were used -we will more and more, as I have seen - start realising - just like a police investigator who has to follow the clues and draw the lines between pieces of evidence - to get to the reasons and people involved in the crime - that we have to start investigating the Internet crimes that are happing quite silently I might add 'in the background'.

We are now more and more seeing people taking action against groups like Facebook etc - and even though this has not yet turned the tide on the laws that protect abusers, we are more and more seeing rules changing on these social networks out of fear that indeed someone could be harmed and in cases where the claim makes it to court we are seeing judges expressing more and more that Internet Bullying/Hate Speech and Defamation is something that now requires more attention and adjustment within the laws, due to the vast amounts of cases coming their way.

The age-old justifications used by those who's hobbies it is to bully others, is that they 'know' that what they are accusing the individual/group of is 'true' - but common sense indicates that unless they go and investigate the individual/group for yourself or were an actual witnesses to the events - they are not able to claim that the information gathered through 'hearsay' and assumptions, are valid. This is one method I have noted, that is used without shame on such websites, the twisting of information to create a hype, to create a flow in the conversation - as the creation of lies and rumours by misrepresenting information and targeting of groups based on Fear and Prejudice. Therefore the new era for example of Hate Speech and Internet Bullying, is to create fear and prejudice based on existing societal fears and the fears contained around past events. It is the same old pattern as saying 'all black people are evil' - by spreading Hate Speech and Defaming someone's name by using information you have not investigated thoroughly - is the exact same witch burning tribulations as we have seen in the past - only now violence and hatred is justified, under the pretence of 'protecting the public' and 'freedom of speech'. As a suggestion, take a good look at who is doing the protecting? What is the general way in which the individual or group goes about gathering and sharing information to 'protect others' -here one one will see whether an individual/channel/group/website or forum is indeed standing within a practical principle of changing and stopping world abuse, or are they themselves only Abusing because nobody is stopping them.

What does one do if you find yourself being Defamed/Bullied or subject to Hate Speech? Let's first take a look at the definition of each:

Definitions and Examples of Internet Victimisation, such as Flaming, Denigration or Dissing, Bash Boarding, Defamation of Character, False Accusations, Rumours and Cyber Bullying: http://andrearossouw.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/internet-victimization-and-rick-ross/

Definition of Hate Speech:

INTERNET LAW - Internet Hate Speech (http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_portal_view.aspx?s=articles&id=44CC6557-DA69-4116-BBEE-90B2DEDFE7C3)

"Hate speech is a term given to expression which is offensive, abusive intimidating, harassing or which incites violence, hatred or discrimination. The term also includes prejudicial action against a group of people on the basis of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. The escalating use of the Internet has coincided with a rise in hate speech (Hate speech propagated through the Internet does not enjoy First Amendment protection)."

How to report Abuse on Social Networks such as Facebook and Youtube:

Facebook (links to information and Report Pages):

Tools for Addressing Abuse

How do I report inappropriate or abusive things on Facebook (ex: pornography, hate speech, threats)?

How to Report Things

Youtube: At the bottom of the Abusers Channel Page you will see a button calle 'Report' - this will allow you to select and report firstly what type of abuse it is (eg, hate speech, bullying etc) and then you will get to a page where you will select the abusive comments made by this channel on their own channel comments and by placing Comments on other peoples channels (towards you). Here you are also able to select Videos by this user that contains Hate Speech/Bullying etc against you. You are also able to report individual video, by looking for the Flag Button (picture of a little flag) where you will also select the type of abuse and you might be asked to write a reason.

*shenanigans  plural of she·nan·i·gans (Noun)
  1. Secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering.
  2. Silly or high-spirited behavior; mischief.


No comments:

Post a Comment