Why Is It That Online Services Companies Need To Be Moral — But Individuals Don't?
from the just-wondering dept
And here we go again. The latest politician to point the blame gun at the wrong target is the UK’s education secretary, Alan Johnson. He was out complaining about cyberbullying and said that websites that host videos have a “moral obligation” to filter such content and take it down. There’s been a lot of overreacting to cyberbullying lately, including things like banning YouTube in schools because it’s been used for cyberbullying. However, again, the blame-placing is totally misguided. It’s not YouTube or any other site’s fault or “moral responsibility” to deal with the sophomoric actions of kids. It’s the kids themselves and their parents. If YouTube has a “moral responsibility” to guard against this type of thing, then why don’t the kids themselves have a much larger moral responsibility? Why isn’t the education secretary focused on, I don’t know, actually educating students about bullying, so they can learn how to better deal with it, rather than pretending he can hide it by asking online sites to deal with the problem. He also seems somewhat confused (someone should educate him) about how the internet actually works, and why it’s really not reasonable or feasible for these sites to monitor and filter such content. Finally, the focus on the “cyber” part of the bullying is also misguided. Bullying is bullying — and why should it matter if it’s done online or done in person? The focus should be on bullying, period, without worrying about whether or not it involves the internet. Pretending that you’ve solved bullying just because you’ve taken it offline is a head-in-the-sand approach, where you pretend that just because you can no longer see it, it’s gone away.