The New Zealand massacre was almost an inconceivable one. In a nation that has relatively good inclusiveness and racial harmony, four bigots insisted that their idea of their race supremacy was a better one and decided to take 49 innocent lives and injured 48 others in their place of worship.
A logical question among other questions about this senseless tragedy is, was there a declaration of the terrorists’ plot before the event? Another is, how did these people of sick like-mindedness connect and bred their horrific ideas to fruition? Finally, how did they plan to spread their degenerate ideals?
This leads to the thought about social media.
I came across this article that chose Reddit as a case study.
To be fair, it isn’t just Reddit although I think that the writer choosing Reddit for a case study isn’t a bad one. Social media platforms are created to fulfill an ideal of connecting people around the world freely without censorship. The problem with this freedom is that not everybody deserves it. It is probably akin to saying that we do not need any laws anymore because people should have progressed to a moral standard that will upkeep peace and order. Sadly, this idea is not true. While it may be true to some local or global communities — only at this particular time when the claim is said — there is no guarantee that such standards can eventually become compromised when dangerous ideas creep in and influence its members. Also, what happens when one community’s world view clashes with another? If we have no barriers, can you answer how this promotes peace and order.
“Let’s therefore be mature enough to draw a line and not cross it”? “Guys, we are better than this”?
Yes, you and your friends may the ones mature enough, and “better than this”. But not those who are written about in this post, and certainly not the ones who felt that it was a justified idea to carry out the Christchurch massacre.
The idea of law and policing is to deter and delay (not possible to eliminate) such devastating possibilities, and to contain it as best as it can should deterrence fail.
Then again, law can also be abused as we have seen in some ways or another. There is no silver bullet but there has to be some form of accountability. If we demand that from our authorities because they have powers that can impact a wide group of people, it is my opinion that this should also be expected (or demanded) of social media platforms too for the powers that they actually do yield.