As a marketing agency, we understand how powerful social media can be and like Uncle Ben reminded us 'with great power, comes great responsibility'. Unfortunately, some of the population aren't responsible when it comes to power and live their lives trying to bring people down.
Due to social media platforms ease-of-use and accessibility, these kinds of people can throw abuse around very easily and get away with it without any consequences, which they certainly wouldn't get away with-in the physical world.
Now, pressure has been directed at social media platforms to control and take action on social media bullying.
This has come to light as big footballing names such as Thierry Henry and Marcus Rashford have called out social media platforms with the rise in racism, bullying and trolling affecting peoples livelihoods and mental health.
Being a marketing agency, we feel it is right to help support tackle this issue.
What can social media platforms do to help stop bullying?
Of course, bad people will be bad people no matter what, but prevention and action need to be in places to reduce the amount of hate on social media. So what can social media platforms actually do with tens of thousands of comments, posts and messages happening in just one second?
The first thing to look at is prevention. Trying to stop these people in the first place is a good place to start. Here are some suggested methods to reduce social media abuse:
Implement KYC (Know Your Customer), verifying identities via photographic proof. This would stop repeat account creation and bot accounts.
Implement a direct message filtration system that accounts can opt in to. This would essentially be a profanity filter - any profanity detected would not allow the message to be sent to the particular individual.
More action and harsher consequences need to be taken, without affecting the freedom of social media.
Fines have been effective in other applications. Combined with KYC, fines can easily be introduced.
Manual decision making - an authority whether that be a team in the social media platform or some kind of new digital police force would need to look into cases and reports like they would for real-life cases of abuse.
Global Social blacklist. Social platforms could work together to ban individuals and lock their accounts on all social media platforms and not just the particular platform used.
Better algorithms - Easier said than done, but social media platforms need to look at improving their algorithms to tackle this issue.
Another problem that makes this more difficult is that social media accounts are now used as log-ins for various websites and platforms outside of social media - blocking accounts can mean locking the abusers out of other accounts they need.
This issue can be tackled, reducing the amount of hate online drastically and rapidly - it will require more resources and time and this is something the social media platforms and governments need to look at. Social media is a part of our daily lives and digital offences should be taken as seriously as real-world offences.