I have been following a developing story in the news about a 15-year-old girl named Tallulah Wilson who recently committed suicide by throwing herself in front of a train. Sounds harsh but supposedly, this incident all started from online cyber bullying on social media. Apparently Wilson had many followers in which she shared self-harm photographs, I’m not quite sure what these pictures consisted of but one was described in the article that I had read. A photo of a noose with a message that said “here is your new necklace, try it on”. Cyber bullying is a big deal now a days, with social media getting most of the blame.
There is a woman who works for the government as the Culture Secretary named Maria Miller who is challenging social media companies to monitor their sites by removing offensive and potentially dangerous posts immediately. What I’m wondering here is when does this start infringing on free speech. I know she means well and the kind of offensive material she is referring to are things like the noose picture, but people have different views on what is offensive. If we had people monitoring social media, deleting offensive posts there would be no purpose of social media to begin with. It is a place where you can proclaim your opinion and get feedback from it not a place where your post will get deleted if it isn’t aligned with the social media polices values.
I’m not writing this post to discredit the actions of Miller trying to get justice for Wilson, I’m writing as a concerned social media visitor. Cyber bullying on social media is something that kids need to be educated about more heavily in schools and at home. Parents should be monitoring their kids online making sure they know what is going on and making sure their kids aren’t being subjected to things like this. There are so many options out there as far as privacy and security in which you can block, delete or hide people that are being rude or outright mean that in my opinion you don’t need someone being your social media mommy and deleting posts that aren’t nice.
I write this with a heavy heart for all of the victims of cyber bullying but there are ways to deal with it they just didn’t have the opportunity. There is so much stuff that is out there on the internet that is horrible to see, hear and read but we must take a stand against it and delete, block, report or ignore it.
In my opinion it’s like this, cars don’t crash themselves people crash cars and social media doesn’t cause incidents like this, people cause things like this.