1. […] simple and easy to create that it has become a weapon to spread political ideas and racist crap. As Michael O’Regan tells us in his recent post on this blog, we cannot assume that media practices will be automatically emancipatory and liberal. In this […]

  2. Tanja Westerhold

    Dear Michael,

    thank you for this great post. When the Pegida movement started in Germany, I was suprised how quickly they were able to find followers. Apparently there is a lot of hidden racism in our society and people were just waiting for an opportunity to let it out. They called it “fear” and presented themselves as “concerned citizens” who are expecting protection from the state.

    I am appalled by how the new media is used to spread hate and racism. You can hide behind your computer while difusing your dangerous messages. And often it has no consequences.

    In Germany, however, a citizen began to file charges against people who spread racist messages on Facebook and denounced these people to their bosses. Jobs were lost and the police pursued cases. It triggered a discussion about liberty of speech in Germany.

    I was mostly shocked that neither the government nor the public media took a clear position. I think that racist messages are a threat to our democracy. And are a sign that our education system needs to be reformed in order to illuminate the future generations about these issues.