Throughout our modern age it is glaringly obvious that the virtual space in which we spend much of our time is left largely unregulated. Equivalent to an expansive theme park minus the responsibility, this public place requires no identification cards, no enforced age limits on rides and masks are worn to disguise faces and true intentions.
Disingenuous avatars lurk among the unsuspecting: some hooking their prey with promises of love, financial gain or miracle cures. Others prey more insidiously on women with private sexual content shared vengefully after a bitter relationship split. The comments section for online videos, blogs, news articles and celebrity pieces are more often than not filled with anonymous trolling contributions unleashed to gain some form of attention and upheaval. Add to this miasma the dark web, where illegal pursuits such as drug and gun sales, child pornography and unregistered gambling run rife and the implications of this virtual wonderland become all too real.
Perhaps more mainstream and seemingly less perilous are also the popular hotspots, where many spend their time: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter along with whatever gains fleeting traction with teens and tech savvy adults. These platforms present the obligatory rules and regulations around content, yet have no means (and seemingly no motivation) to effectively mediate the spaces. Instead they rely heavily on user reports to moderate content. Thus offensive, sexist, violent, threatening and discriminatory content is easily uploaded and seen, shared and liked by millions of viewers before a concerned bystander takes the time to make a report.
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So it is that …
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[Updated 10 August 2022]