Hashtag: Stop the Indecency
Over the years, technology has grown at a stunning rate, along with the use of social media. Networking sites like Facebook, founded by Mark Zuckerberg on February 4th, 2004, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and many more are increasing in size and popularity, but is the freedom of these websites too open to abuse?
Racist comments, sexist pictures and revealing images are more commonplace now than they have been before, and the ages of members are decreasing as time goes on. Members of the public aren’t the only ones effected by the torrent of indecency on social networking sites; in 2012, just two years ago, singer Adele was faced by disgusting tweets from ‘Twitter Trolls’ following the birth of her son. Examples include “Adele gave birth to a baby. Is it fat and handicapped lol? Just murder it already lol.” Others discussed her having material for a new album if the baby died.
X Factor judge Gary Barlow also found himself an unsuspecting target of these ‘trolls’ after the tragic death of his baby daughter. Footballer Fabrice Muamba was the victim to racist remarks from Twitter user Liam Stacey (who now could face jail, and deservedly so), whilst fighting to survive after a heart problem that occurred whilst he was playing.
The constant bombardment of these blinkered and hateful comments is both disgusting and shocking, and as a member of the social networking community, I feel ashamed. It isn’t right for someone to completely fracture someone’s happiness because they are ‘bored’. Luckily, most celebrities have developed a thick skin and can ignore most of the comments directed at them, but members of the ordinary public sometimes don’t cope so well. Self-harm, depression and hurt are all results of the selfish attitude of the people that sit at their computers with nothing better to do than insult people that they don’t know or have any relationship with.
Pictures of nude girls and topless people are also a frequent feature of a typical Instagram account these days. As a 17 year old girl who is confident in herself, I do not need to see other representatives of my gender flaunting their ‘best bits’, even when I don’t follow them. I’m all for a world renowned selfie here and there, but I would never feel the need to bear all in the name of more followers. Because, ultimately, all those followers aren’t following you because you have a great personality; they’re looking at something else.
To conclude, I think as a nation, and as a world, for that matter, we need to be more careful and take more action. I was pleased to hear that Instagram has put limits on the pictures people can upload, so younger victims won’t be subject to indecency, and YouTube ask for account details to prove you are over a certain age to view sometimes inappropriate content. I can say with confidence that I think this is what should be done to social networking sites globally. I honestly do not want to be victim to these pictures and insulting comments anymore. I don’t know if anyone feels the same, but please. If you’re thinking of putting something that could be seen as inappropriate online, don’t.
By Mirran Harper, year 13