How Internet Subcultures Combat Free Speech
The Cracked Podcast #62 February 2, 2015
Here’s the easiest experiment in the world. Go to YouTube. Click on ANY video. Scroll to the comments. How long did it take you to find a comment that was the most horrible and vile combination of words you’ve ever seen? If it took longer than 2 seconds, you really weren’t trying hard enough.
Internet commenters! Trolls! Gross men’s rights groups! Your weird aunt on Facebook who doesn’t think the moon landing happened! You don’t know a single one of these people in real life (other than your aunt) but they seem to make up 75% of the population whenever you go onto the internet. How does that happen? What has made the internet, the ultimate technology to make speech truly free, into this school-yard full of bullies and uninformed people shouting into empty rooms?
This week on the podcast, Cracked editor-in-chief Jack O’Brien is joined by editors Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) and Tom Reimann to try and answer these questions. They theorize on why the loudest people on the internet are so over-represented, and how the un-moderated nature of the internet and social media might be limiting free speech more than we even realize.