Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter have become critical pieces of social infrastructure. More and more sociopolitical conversations and activism are shifting there – sometimes with unintended and surprising consequences.
To be sure, social media is a mixed bag with many benefits as well as some problems. Because they are based on the principle of enabling user-generated content, these global platforms allow everybody a voice, without needing prior approval.
And precisely because there are no gatekeepers as in mainstream media, a few users end up misusing that freedom. The web’s entrenched facilities of anonymity and pseudonymity are cynically exploited by those who engage in excesses and abuses on social media.
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