Law in the Internet Society

What is the polarization of society by the Internet?

-- By RyotaSaito - 08 January 2022

1 Introduction

As mentioned in "The Great Hack," social fragmentation has become a problem in the world. Many people argue that the Internet, especially social media, is the cause of this social fragmentation. In this paper, I will attempt to examine the opinions.

2 It is natural for social fragmentation to occur

In response to social fragmentation, many people argue that fragmentation should be avoided. However, I believe that clichés such as "fragmentation is bad" are not really accurate arguments. For example, "diversity" is considered to be a good thing today, but diversity in thinking can be said to be division itself. Therefore, the argument of "how to solve the division" is a thoughtless argument. Benedict-Anderson argued that "nation" and "people" are nothing but artificially created "imagined communities". As Benedict Anderson has argued, the nation-state is effective in the process of liberating the people from the rule of national despots and foreign domination, but on the other hand, it can also strengthen the sense of exclusion of the different, and there is a tendency to discriminate and exclude minority groups with different languages and cultures even in the same region. In today's world, where there has not been a world war for some time, it can be said to be a natural consequence that "citizens" who actually have different ideas and cultures (i.e., citizens who were not originally of one mind) are becoming divided.

3 Society was fragmented even before the advent of the Internet

The term "social polarization caused by the Internet" may lead us to believe that the Internet has fragmented society, but this is not the case. However, this is not the case. Society was already divided before the advent of the Internet. For example, in developed countries, urban development has led to the migration of new residents to the area, and the new residents have taken control of the area by abandoning the customs that originally existed in the area (sometimes the old residents are driven out by increasing the rent, etc.). This phenomenon has been occurring since before the advent of the Internet. In other words, society was divided before the Internet appeared, and the Internet did not divide society.

4 What is the problem with the Internet?

As mentioned above, the Internet is not dividing society. Then, what is the "polarization of society by the Internet" that is currently considered a problem? I believe that it is the fact that the Internet and social media have given individuals who were previously unable to transmit information on their own the tools to do so, and that this has merely made visible the diverse ideas that exist in a society that were not previously visible. I believe that this is the case. However, in exchange for the advantage of having the tools to transmit information to individuals through the Internet or social media, the Internet also has a negative side. This is due to the echo-chamber phenomenon, which has already been discussed in many places. In other words, people with particularly strong opinions use the Internet to disseminate information, and this, combined with their radicalization, leads them to reject and eliminate opinions that differ from their own from the very beginning, treating them as "enemies.

5 Proposal

As mentioned above, "social fragmentation caused by the Internet" does not mean that society is fragmented by the Internet, but that the fragmentation of society is made visible by individuals having information transmission tools such as the Internet and social media. I believe that this is due to the fact that people have lost their tolerance for other opinions. Therefore, I would like to make the following proposals regarding this issue.

(1) Require platformers to show users that there are always multiple views on the subject of the information they acquire. Require platformers to show users that there are always multiple views on the subject of the information they obtain. This would force users to be exposed to opinions that differ from their own halfway through the process, just as they were before the spread of the Internet, and we believe that this would increase their tolerance for other opinions. We believe that such an approach should be technically possible and legally feasible without obtaining the privacy of the user. This is because such a mandate would only be an indirect restriction on freedom of expression and not a direct restriction on freedom of expression that would exclude certain views.

(2) Consciously listen to opposing views Naturally, in addition to the legal and technical solutions of requiring platformers to do so, it is also necessary to improve the awareness of individuals. In other words, it is important for us as individuals to consciously listen to opinions that differ from our own. We should also educate our children about this.

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r3 - 09 Jan 2022 - 03:53:29 - RyotaSaito
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