|Source: Flickr Commons|
The negative side gets more attention from people than the positive, which makes people feel that free speech is always a negative thing. But according to Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Sites, a study released in 2011, about 69% teenagers are most likely to be kind in social media. Only 29% of teenagers and 18% of adults sometimes saw meanness in social media and 47% of teens and 44% of adults saw bad behavior once in a while. These statistics about teens and adults show that people use good words more than bad. People also say that a lot of people get harassed online but it is not necessarily true. In the 2011 report, only 15% of teenagers and adults experienced harassment in the past 12 months, but 85% of them did not. The percentage of people being treated bad online is low and there is a very low percentage of harassment. The percentage shows that most adults and teenagers are kind to each other rather than mean. This shows that free speech is not a big problem online.
Even though there is still negative language online, positive language has more power than negative. Free-speech expert Adam Thierer states, “Positive speech is the best way to drown out hate speech.” A teenager named Molly started a group about stopping hate speech. As they go through sites online and find something mocking to people, they contact the organizer to shut down the site. With all her positive comments, she has been able to make a difference. People can express what they think and feel on social media, which can lead to better things. Thierer said, “When advocacy groups work together and use the new technology at their disposal, they have a way of signaling out bad speech and bad ideas.” If a group speaks out online, they will most likely be able to get rid of bad language online and can interact better with people.
From Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites
- 65% of people reported feeling better about themselves online.
- 58% of teenagers experienced that teenagers felt close together to one another online.
Conclusion: November 14 2013
Thank you everybody for reading and posting comments on this blog, I really enjoyed reading and replying to them. My argument was that having free speech online is great and there should be no limits. People should be able to write and post whatever they want online. After reading the comments on this blog, however, my view on free speech online has changed a little bit. Even though positive speech is powerful and can takeover the negative speech, I do agree that some hate speech can be pretty awful. Although it can be protected by the First Amendment, there will still be a lot of hate speech online. I said that free speech was okay because a very low percentage of people are getting harassed or cyberbullied (only 15 percent), but that is actually a really large amount of people. Far more people have positive experiences online, but because people focus more one negative side, as it said on the comment, it is hard to ignore them. Even though my opinion changed a little bit, I still think free speech online is okay. I think instead of just posting mean, cruel, or other things online, people should definitely think before they post, and consider if it is too harsh or not. While I was replying to the comments, I saw some more news about cyberbullying incidents caused by free speech online. The news that I saw changed my argument a little bit. Overall, the blogging process was very fun, being able to share ideas with people without sharing names. I liked how we shared our opinion through this blog and comments and changed the argument of mine.