A proper conversation about online behaviour

7 May

Wee Ginger Dug

If we’re going to talk about bad behaviour and abusive and threatening language in online discourse, and what to do about it, we need to do it properly.  That means that we can’t isolate out bad behaviour from independence supporters online and claim that there’s a specific problem proper only to one side in Scotland’s constitutional debate while we ignore everything else that goes on online. Bad behaviour on social media is not unique to independence supporters, nor even to those who oppose it.

It is not whataboutery to point out that bad behaviour exists elsewhere online. It is simply the observation that poor behaviour, abusive language, threats, insults, and slurs is a characteristic of a minority of people on social media as a whole. You can’t isolate out one area of discussion and propose that it requires a unique treatment when the behaviour in that one area of discussion…

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