Why we need to take Online Communities Seriously

Recently I got into an argument in some Facebook comments (yea I know) regarding Online Communities. I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently with everything going on in this country.

It’s the Internet. You get a group of people together under a shroud of anonymity and guess what happens? Stupidity that shouldn’t be taken seriously.

I’ve been involved in a variety of online communities and I’ve even been at the helm of a few. I know that they can be fickle beasts with all sorts of crazy personalities, trolls, and debate. It can be very easy to shrug off comments or threats made by someone on the Internet “It’s the Internet. You get a group of people together under a shroud of anonymity and guess what happens? Stupidity that shouldn’t be taken seriously.” but having been the target of online harassment over the years I can tell you that it isn’t anything that should be shrugged off. I’ve even seen toxic people be celebrated and rewarded time and time again when they do nothing but blurt out vitriol and racism. I’ve seen those same people bring other people in to their cause and have those people do the harassment for them, its the modern day version of a henchman.

I say that it should be taken very seriously for a number of reasons.

Just this past weekend an armed man decided to waltz into a pizza shop to investigate a conspiracy theory that is a complete and utter lie.

Every single day teens are bullied online and many even commit suicide due to cyberbullying.

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