Online Hate

Week 12:

This week we talk about trolls and online hate, the processing of navigating the response to your online presence.

I found the discussions in this week’s lab to extremely eye opening, productive and interesting to hear about the different perspectives of my peers regarding online hate. From learning about Republicans Against Trump to just hearing concerns I really enjoyed being part of such an open conversation and hearing the passion and frustration of others on the topic.

Insecurities Holding You Back:
I found this week’s content really eye-opening as I have struggled with my online presence due to this very issue. Far beyond the scope of the class, I prefer to have a very minimal and almost non-existent online public presence. I use both Instagram and Facebook, but the profiles are bare bones. I don’t post anything or include any personal details on those feeds. In fact, it took me several years before I even committed to putting up a profile picture. On occasion, I will post on the Instagram story feature, or on Snapchat stories specifically because the content will be erased after 24 hours. I always figured this was because I just preferred not to share personal details with strangers, but I think it goes deeper than that. Frankly, I was scared of online hate. It seems to be both everywhere and know where both explicitly through cyber-bullying and subconsciously through the learned texts of social mediums. My theory was that if I don’t post any personal content, then I can’t be judged. The illustration of Justine Sacco validates the concerns I have for adequately navigating the landscape of cancel culture. However, in terms of creating and growing an online presence, this is deeply concerning. If I am too scared or nervous to promote my content publicly, I have little to no chance to grow my audience and increase my opportunities. Essentially all my processes posts have hinted at this insecurity in the development of my website. It’s taken me years alone to have the courage to buy the domain name and get started. I spent years “planning” the website forever, rather than actively working on its creation. Essentially it was this exact issue that was holding me back. Charli Marie, a designer that is truly inspirational, talks about navigating the realm of online hate in her blog. Check it out below!

The Process of My Website:
To navigate this I disabled the ability to post comments on my website. Although it didn’t really make much sense to have comments on my portly in the first place, I wanted to try and eliminate potential avenues for hate where I could. I don’t have comments enabled on my progress posts either as they are really only meant for the TA to review.

However, I do have a contact page where visitors can share their opinions. Right now it’s pretty much entirely filled with bots (sidenote: does anyone know how I can stop the bots?). But it has the potential for people to write hurtful comments. The plus side of this is that they are not public for the world to see. Right now I don’t really have any system of monitoring it since there is only about 1 email a week. Hopefully, people will support me in my career and work as a designer so this won’t be too much of a problem there is always the potential looming in the back. When I get more traffic I will have to keep a closer eye and establish some ground rules if it gets out of hand.

Breaking Through:
I think going forward will involve a combination of pushing past my comfort zone to test the waters. As I mentioned in last week’s post I really want to create an Instagram page where I can create content on a more regular basis. I think this would be a good way to branch out through different platforms and grow my reputation. It might also have the potential for me to sell my services or merchandise as mentioned in this post. I am planning on doing this after exam season is over this semester because let’s be real who has the time at this point in the semester! I think setting up a separate Instagram account will allow me to get comfortable making and posting more content while still painting a divide between my personal life. I can keep it strictly professional if I want, and as I take the small steps to grow my confidence online, and hopefully my audience, I can continue to share details. Stay tuned for some more social integration on the website!