Shunning 101 - Why Your Bubble Is A Good Thing

Facebook and twitter - all social media for that matter - are not open news platforms. They do not provide an unfiltered public soapbox. We have confused social media with the free press. The algorithms employed make each feed essentially a private bubble. This is a good thing as it closely models a face to face conversation amongst friends. This is not a flaw, it is by design. Note the word 'social' in social networks.

In person, you know, real life, if someone bashes into your conversation with, "I couldn't help overhearing" and proceeds to spew a complete load of shite they are immediately and without deliberation considered assholes and are shunned.

We must realize that our reluctance to shun the online verbal abuser is harming real discourse. You must use your unfollow -> unfriend -> mute -> block tools to keep your conversions safe from hijacking. If a troll does not abide by basic rules of civil discourse, they should be immediately shunned.

Look closely at the image I have included on this post. If you respond to the troll, you are granting them meaning. By granting hate speech even a little validity, you advance hate speech. It is sad and tragic that our deeply embedded need to be kind and tolerant of other points of view provides the existential fuel hate speech needs to proliferate. You are advancing, at your own expense, the goals of your enemies. Awareness of this social mechanism is the cure. Please share this information far and wide.

Shunning is NOT censorship, as citizens we are not obligated to consider every piece of hateful shite as worthy of dignified persons and is not essential to productive civic discourse. Besides, your feed is not the free press. It is the exclusive space of your friends and followers. You control who gets to participate. Check my previous realated posts Verbal Skills - How To Stop A Troll - The Gish Gallop (Salty Language)Hate Speech Is Not Legit, Yet Rightly Protected Under 1st Amendment and Blogging Is Not Writing And That's Great

There are many real ways to make a difference and fight the good fight. Unfortunately, it requires investments in time, hard work and personal contact. Here's a primer on how to make yourself heard.