One of my favorite blogs just shut down, or went “private”, I should say. Which one isn’t important, what’s important is that one more voice has apparently been shouted down by the hive-mind of the Internet.
We’ve been blessed with the most powerful communication medium in history, yet instead of open and honest dialogue we’re seeing it reduced to flame wars, comment trolls, and the like. The more we reveal the more we seem to fan the flames of the haters. Even though I never met this particular blogger, and only exchanged a few short emails with them, I feel like a human voice has been silenced, just because we can’t learn how to behave.
A lot is being made of how there are no more gatekeepers for media anymore, and the wonderful new freedom of expression this is supposed to usher in. We ARE the gatekeepers, introducing mob rule to the dissemination of ideas and opinions. I can’t help but notice that the generalized anger our society exhibits today seemed to grow simultaneously with the online world. The part I have a hard time wrapping my head around is that so much of it is not done out of an honest difference of opinion, but simply to be mean for the thrill and attention of being mean.
On a similar note, writer Joe Bageant has died. This post of his is probably one of his best.