What to do: If you don’t like a social media post. We all are familiar with viral videos on the internet popping out on your social media platforms every minute. Some are creative and worth sharing, but there are lots of contents on the internet which actually don’t deserve to be circulated, but still, they get all the attention required to go viral and you don’t have any control over it. In this article, we are going to point out five things to do if a topic is harassing you or, you think should be taken down.
It is debatable because there are always diverse audiences on the internet and you don’t really have full control over mass opinions. The internet is an open platform for everyone, yes, but your small contribution can change the picture completely.
Some of the contents we are pointing out in this topic are hate speech, unauthorized nudity, troll, harassment, and fake news. These problems are silently destroying our society in various ways. Political and social polarisation of the society is increasing and along with it, people are losing interest in the wellbeing of the society they are living in. The younger generations are completely exposed to unfiltered and graphic content. Research shows that viewing (or playing) violent content could multiply the chance that a child will develop aggressive behavior (particularly if other risk factors are present) such as growing up in a violent home. Massive exposure to violent media can drive desensitization too.
Now let us shift our attention to the actions that we should adopt in order to fight this social media evil.
One of the main tools that help an individual fight for his/her opinion is by reporting. Reporting helps the cyber law to take note of activities such as threats, Impersonation, Bullying or Harassment Self-harm or Suicide Content, Online Abuse, Violent Content, Unwanted Sexual Advances as well as Pornographic Content.
How to report:
Find a valid reporting website for your country. Each country has a law enforcement agency that fights crime on the internet. Including the posting of prohibited and harmful content. Actionable content includes unintentional obscenity, sexual exploitation material, or hate expression. Typically, you can propose your report online through the agency’s website.
Europol has a list of genuine links to websites where you can report criminal content.
Europol link: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-illegal-content-on-the-internet
You can simply scroll through the list and click the link for your country.
2: Educating the people around you:
The most effective way to eradicate bad things from society is by educating people around you. It proves that from the beginning of our civilization it’s a well-establish factor.
As we all know, the internet is rife with swindlers, con artists. And outright liars who depend on people’s simple honesty to spread their messages. It’s worth calming down and slowly avoiding their pitfalls- If you don’t like a social media post just ignore it. You don’t have to like it or hate it; don’t express your displeasure by commenting on that article; doing so just promotes their post. Simply leave it.
3: By not participating in those contents:
Before talking about it you will have to understand how social media algorithm works. Not all contents get boosted by platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc because of their quality and visual appeal. We need to understand what factor determines a content to go viral. It is obvious that content which evokes emotions is ninety percent more likely to get viral on social media, but this is not how things work either.
Engine such as YouTube and Google usually promotes traffic-generates items on the internet, be it a video or a blog. The entire process is deciding by the machine’s algorithm.
What is an algorithm?
An algorithm is a command or set of rules to be followed in predictions or other problem-solving processes, especially by a computer.
When it comes to picking content to boost, the algorithm works in a certain way. The algorithm is purely based on coded actions, which selectively picks items from the internet which has generated traffic (external participations) by users like us (Likes, View, and Comments). The algorithm does not identify if the content is value-driven or not, it only generalizes the presence and potential of the item and hence boosts the visibility everywhere in its jurisdiction.
The major hack to help a post not get traffic is by not participating in it. By doing so a topic remains invisible to the algorithm and you can stop it from getting viral.