Kids and their Twitter, Facebook racism: Horrible, but the Internet needs to stop outing them.

Another take on the Hello there, Racists tumblr that I posted about earlier (and which is now back online).   This particular response has provoked a lot of interesting discussion:

In this week’s bout of Internet shaming, a Tumblr called Hello There, Racists! is collecting the sentiments of bigoted Obama haters. Many are teenagers, and their tweets and Facebook posts appear with their pictures and the names of the cities they live in and the schools they go to.  Scrolling through this collection, I’m so grossed out by the tweets that it’s hard to remember why I think this Tumblr is such a bad idea. OK, right: As my colleague Laura Anderson reminded me in an email thread, “I don’t think strangers should be posting minors’ contact information on the Internet, period.” Internet vigilante-ism at the expense of kids is just a terrible idea, given their youth and the evidence that their brains aren’t fully developed, especially in the impulse-control regions.

I also doubt the public shaming will push these kids to reconsider their views—more like give them more reason for indignation. If you come under attack for something you thought you said privately, however wrong you were about that, wouldn’t you feel anger more than remorse?

via Kids and their Twitter, Facebook racism: Horrible, but the Internet needs to stop outing them..

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8 thoughts on “Kids and their Twitter, Facebook racism: Horrible, but the Internet needs to stop outing them.

  1. I agree with the author that it is probably a bad idea to list all of the minors information in one place. This reminds me of the other websites we looked at in class that publicize a certain topics information all in one place. An example of this is http://www.whosarat.com/. I feel there is nothing illegal about doing this because all of this information is online and available, but by putting it all in one place it puts certain individuals in clear danger. This is especially recognized in this situation because it is a list of minors. I think this is where parents need to step in and regulate/check what their children are putting on social media sites. I think this will help keep them out of danger of these specific situations. So does this actual issue come back onto parents and how they should be regularly checking what their kids are putting up online? I believe so.

  2. I agree with Cody and the author that listing all the information of the individuals in one place is a bad idea. Putting out all there information for people to talk about and probably berate them will not solve any problems. While what they tweeted/posted may have been racist and definitely wrong, its important to remember that they are still kids. Kids make dumb mistakes and have a very narrow view of the world at that age. These minors haven’t come close to developing fully and probably just tweet or post anything that comes to their heads, whether it is a good idea or not. The advancement of social media has allowed for these types of situations to occur, and while it is a parent’s duty to try and keep track of what their children are doing online, in this day and age it is virtually impossible. Kids can reach the internet on a variety of objects now, making it easier and easier for these types of things to occur. Listing the minors information online like this really doesn’t do anything to help the situation and in my opinion has no point, other to just harass the kids for something dumb they may have tweeted without thinking about it too much.

  3. First of all, I do think there should be some sort of monitoring for any racial comments made by persons of any age on the Internet. That being said, I don’t think it’s okay for others to call those people out on a website containing personal information that could lead viewers to them (No matter what their age is, that is very unsafe). However, I think it is especially important that personal information of minors should not be posted on any website. I know when I was a kid, I said a ton of stupid things I did not actually mean. I’m sure some of these kids do not understand the degree of severity to what they are saying. We need to protect our children from internet predators and they certainly need to have their comments monitored either by their parents or technology.

  4. Okay first of all, why are parents letting their children, and a minor is a child, post any kind of political comment on the internet in the first place? If you can’t vote, why does your opinion even matter, why does it need to be posted on the internet forever, where you can’t take it back? Children don’t know what they are talking about half the time, especially if they are discussing politics. So to post their personal information and call them out on their bigotry is even worse than anything the kids wrote in the first place. I have personally changed my opinion on at least 50 subjects since I graduated high school. I am a different person now as an adult than I was as a 16 year old high school girl. Posting their comments and having people rip them apart isn’t going to make them change their opinion and will probably only make the situation worse, because there is nothing more stubborn or right about everything than a teenager. And aren’t we supposed to protect our children? How can we protect them if we create websites that completely expose them and make them out to be horrible human beings when they haven’t even really lived yet?

  5. Racism is a disgusting part of society yet it has been relevant since the beginning of society. Most people deal with racism and bigotry, some on a daily basis (the some that frequent online video games and such). On the other hand, everybody says things that they regret, even if it is many years after it has been said. It is because of these things that this is not even close to the approach that should be taken in response to these actions. I do not have a replacement option, and honestly I do not think a replacement option is necessary.

  6. I have to agree with the author on this one in saying that it is a bad idea to list information about minors who are posting racist comments. There comments were definitely wrong, but I do not think that the answer to collect all of there information and post it all in one place. Actually, I am surprised that it is even legal to post this kind of information about minors, as usually minors are protected against most everything. Kids and minors say stupid things all the time and most of the time don’t even know what there talking about so there is no sense in calling them out on it by posting all of their information for stupid comments. Maybe some sort of internet filtering does need to exist, but I do not think this is even close to the right answer.

  7. Along with most of the comments in agreement with the author, I too believe that not only is this not the proper counter action to take in such a case but it too should be illegal due to the sole fact that they’re minors. Strangely enough, I can see cases like these becoming increasingly popular as the younger generations continue to develop with technology at a young age. Maybe we should consider mandatory internet safety education as a part of primary education.

  8. I read through some of the posts on HelloThereRacists! and they are pretty disturbing. Unfortunately, even more disturbing is the fact that the entire world can see the names and information of minors. What these kids said was definitely wrong, but in the long run odds are they probably weren’t going to hurt anybody. Posting their information, however, definitely invites violence against them. The author now says that he only wants those he outs to lose their jobs and scholarships. Does he really think that employers and schools are going to be checking his site to make sure nobody they know is on there? It’s a relatively small site that is only going to attract people interested in the issue, and many of those people will probably fall on either side of it. If another teenager comes there and is offended or feels threatened by what a schoolmate posts, this could be dangerous.

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