Cancel and toxic culture in online environments:


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Nowadays people hide behind their computers to get angry and yell at whomever they please.  It’s kind of a stigma for online people to be arseholes who yell at others all the time.  But that behavior can lead to people who are just getting on the internet to be thinking that it’s fine to do that; in turn causing more people to become depressed and sad.  However if we change that stigma to something a little nicer and have the people who are new to the internet feel welcomed, then they will fight back against the mob and the toxic people.

An article made by Deutsche Welle (DW) News talked about how toxic communities are affecting people, how mainly female gamers are being told misogynistic things, and how racism against minorities is also a major negative aspect of going online.  Also even if you are not a racist person nor one of the minorities, people will still yell at you with racial slurs and comments trying to insight a reaction.  Sadly, people do react with negative and more toxic behaviors.

According to an article on toxic culture in Frontiers, which concerned the environmental and community factors of this toxic culture; people pick up these toxic behaviors by learning them from pre existing toxic cultures and then perpetuate them.  This causes the negative affects of toxic culture to spread and stay rather than die out.

A counter argument is that people should more often go outside and talk in person.  Now I can agree with that statement, but one issue I have with it is that, yes, you are leaving the game, but only for a short time. When you come back, the people who are toxic will still be talking trash online and it won’t change anything, just yourself.  Also people already leave the conversation and go outside. Nowadays when someone does that, their anxiety goes through the roof because they can’t see what someone is saying about them nor be able to defend themselves.

While playing games with strangers I hear a lot of weird things.  My first time playing COD zombies, there was a person who had a mic, which I didn’t.   He noticed that I was new, which caused him to get so angry that he said the ‘n’ word towards me and called me a “stupid piece of shi* and you belong in Hell!” Remember he said this just because I was new to the game.

One major thing that this toxic culture has pushed is cancel culture; where if someone says something bad or something that can be taken in a bad manner, the people online essentially want that person to be “canceled”; this is a modern form of ostracism.  Which is in a sense mob mentality causing the targeted person to become depressed and even to the point of killing themselves.  Caroline Flack had 1.9 million Twitter followers  and 2.4 million instagram but she died alone after being cancelled over alleged domestic assault claims.

I feel that we should introduce people, who are newly online, to a kinder group and stop telling them that scary and bad people are on the internet.  If we do, those newer people may be too scared to join or they may perpetuate the thinking of “well if so many people are able to get away with being mean, then why not me?”  So when we make people understand that they should be kind and helpful in online places they will know that even if you can’t see them, they are still human so you should treat them like a friend.  I know that this may seem like a big task to complete, but I have an action plan.  If we make it so that the parents teach their children, just like how to put on a seat belt, to not post anything personal, rude, or mean, it will help all of us keep the online environment happy and kind.