Misogyny, hatred have no place on social networks
Social media platforms must do more to prevent offensive, misogynistic and harmful rhetoric, especially when directed at young audiences.
Recently, Andrew Tate has become infamous for his misogynistic beliefs which have been encouraged by younger men.
In his comments, he invalidated victims of sexual assault, claimed women as property, and even supported the grooming of 18-year-old teenagers.
Freedom of expression is the main argument when it comes to defending his rhetoric. Despite his backward ideology, his followers believe he has the right to speak his mind.
However, his way of thinking gives many young men an erroneous sense of confidence that threatens women.
Many of these young men dangerously believe that women are below men and will stop at nothing to prove it. Online harassment is where it begins before it eventually transfers into real life.
Social media has provided a community for these dangerous ideas that should not be allowed on any platform.
Meta currently has banned Andrew Tate of Instagram and Facebook, but things shouldn’t stop there.
Due to his growing popularity, his rhetoric has spread to other sites like Reddit and Twitter.
About 45% of adolescents use social media all the time, which means these teenagers’ lives are based on the opinions of strangers online, not the ones they see in person.
Social media has a responsibility to ensure that harmful ideologies do not continue to spread to a younger generation vulnerable to lies and misinformation.
The concept of free speech has been twisted to protect dangerous ideologies and empower the wrong people.
A recent example would be former President Donald Trump, whose social media outbursts prompted the US Capitol uprising on January 6, 2021, after he lost the election.
He is known to use social media to spread false information, attack anyone who does not share his beliefs, and take advantage of his large following. To this day it is still banned on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for his actions.
Despite this, Trump continued to find ways around his ban through various social media sites, including his own. Social truth.
It didn’t take long before the social media app became a hub of violence.
A man who attempted to break into an FBI office in Cincinnati had made an account on Truth Social where he made threats against the agency. Several other users also commented on violent posts.
All this to say that allowing people with violent, offensive and harmful content on social networks is not freedom of expression but an attack on social security.
To create a safe environment, there should be limits to what a person can say and do online. If their actions could hurt someone in person, they should not be allowed on the internet.
Cindy Rivas Alfaro is a second-year journalism student who can be contacted at [email protected]