Our Hateful Internet

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Criticism is, arguably, healthy; bikeshedding, while exhausting, is bound to happen; drama will unfold, as trite as the topic may be. These characteristics, make the Internet less pleasant, but are still tolerable. One thing that is not tolerable, however, is hate. And the Internet is full of it.

Dave Winer, prolific blogger, discusses how hate-filled people are, drawn from his experience after 20 years of blogging:

I’ve learned that creating new stuff is a great way to get people to hate you. To create stuff you have to take a stand. You have to say “This is the way to do it.” That pisses almost everyone off. People who think it should be done the other way hate you. And people who think it should be done the same way hate you too, because it was their idea, not yours.

Kathy Sierra understands this better than anyone, and calls it out in Trouble at the Koolaid Point:

It begins with simple threats. You know, rape, dismemberment, the usual. It’s a good place to start, those threats, because you might simply vanish once those threats include your family…

That’s just scratching the surface of the horrific things people do online. Threats, hate speech, and actual real-life, physical assault are serious offenses.

The Internet has become such a terrible, toxic place.