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Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Time to Return to Civility

I read with dismay the results of a survey indicating that half of the women aged 18 to 34 who use Facebook have experienced harassment, sometimes somewhat extreme and leading to recipients fearing for their safety, whilst using the site.

This was reported in several newspapers and the results are set out in a post by the research company Survation.

This followed by digestion of a report about a London based social media moderator who left the job after a number of years suffering from PTSD. Exposed to increasing levels of  extremes as part of a team ‘engaging daily with hundreds of instances of bullying, racism, sexism, pornography and graphic violence’.

That article is paywalled but is probably summed up in a personal tweet in which she said:

It’s not just the graphic videos. It’s having to constantly read hateful posts, then stop work and wonder, of all the strangers you pass that day, which of them are writing this stuff. Messes with your head.

Surely it is time to rediscover standards of civility and mutual respect  and to deal with others as we would wish to be dealt with. Also, surely, we who work in various facets of public life are best placed to be exemplars of such standards and role models for others.

From all too frequent reports in the press, however, it seems that in the highest corridors of public life, particularly but far from exclusively in the United States, mutual respect and civility might be at a premium!