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Hold on: Hatred and mass murder are neither online nor offline

Writing for the Guardian, on Friday 15th, following the deadly terror attack by right wing extremists in New Zealand, Jason Wilson argued that Christchurch shootings have exposed the murderous nature of ‘ironic’ online fascism and then on CNN's Cuomo Prime Time, on Saturday 16th Christian Picciolini argues for how technology has aided the rise of hate. Am I the only soul thinking this argument is problematic? Where does online start and end? Is the world not so seamless between ‘real and online?’ And how ‘unreal’ is the online anyway? I thought we needed to stop blaming mediums and channels of communication and address the problems that are in the minds and hearts of people. Hatred of all kinds, mass murders and terrorism etc have always been a problem of humanity; these evils never started with social media and I think they will not end with it. Neither can we quite authoritatively and confidently claim that social media/networks are actually enhancing and/or diminishing the said human hatred, cruelty and brutality. I do not recall having seen any strong evidence, so far, to convince me of the existence of any strong correlation between the two despite the fact that this assumption seems to be rampant and easily used by many people, some of whom appear or claim to be experts. Whether the mass murderer taped his act and put it online or even did it live using a social media platform or not, the most basic issue is that he had this deep hatred in his heart and a poisoned mind. What poisons the mind and corrupts the heart is where the problem of humanity lies. It is linked to a certain set of religious beliefs and political ideologies well packed and propagated to certain narratives and discourses leading to prejudices that ironically, many people speaking against this ills are not ready and/or willing to vacate. We are victims of a vicious and dangerously strong narrative of hatred which we - consciously or unconsciously - are unable to overcome because it is quite taxing; it may entail giving up a part of us or, at least, abandoning some of the things that we hold so dear and/or as some sort of universal truths. I am very hesitant to blame any kind of media whether social or otherwise when it comes to this cruelty. It is more of dealing with symptoms and not the problems. 

Hold on: Hatred and mass murder are neither online nor offline Hold on: Hatred and mass murder are neither online nor offline Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on March 17, 2019 Rating: 5

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