Online forums are often looked at in a vacuum, but they are merely a reflection of society. In India, polarising content and hateful material on the Internet has proliferated in the recent past. Opinions that an individual would earlier hold back for fear of societal backlash have now found their safe spaces online. The Internet harbours a variety of extreme statements. Social media today is a hotbed of toxic and hateful conversations. Curbing hate speech and fake news has emerged as a critical challenge for governments globally. But this is not just a technological issue; it is also a societal problem. In 2019, a terrorist opened fire in two mosques that killed at least 49 worshippers and wounded dozens of others in Christchurch, New Zealand. The aftermath of such terror attacks led to a new debate about how governments and civil society must seek to curtail hate speech on the Internet. The attack was live-streamed on Facebook by the perpetrator. In fact, the entire attack seemed orchestrated for the social media age. Before it took place, a post on the anonymous message board 4chan — a particularly lawless forum that often features racist and extremist posts… Read full this story
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