scorecardresearch
Letters

Internet not to blame for hate

 Locals in Dunedin, New Zealand lay flowers and condolences in tribute to those killed and injured.
Locals in Dunedin, New Zealand lay flowers and condolences in tribute to those killed and injured.(DIANNE MANSON/GETTY IMAGES)

While I share Nestor Ramos’s outrage and grief over the white supremacist murders in New Zealand (“The Internet is broken — and so are we,” Page A1, March 16), I feel his solution to “blame the Internet” is dangerously misguided.

Social media companies must raise their game — and fast — around detecting and removing hate-inciting content, like the “Sharia Law in Texas” video example that Ramos mentions. But the deeper issue is: Why do people become hate-filled, violent outcasts in our society in the first place?

We could use technology as an ally to create a solution. Through analytics, we could quickly identify people who publicly post racist manifestos and reach out to them in a genuinely caring way. We need a deeply compassionate, smart, evidence-based approach to create “sociopath case workers” in society. Just like we have case workers who check in regularly on vulnerable elderly and disabled people, we need a similar kind of case worker who can build a connection with people who make the rest of us feel vulnerable. It’s a tricky balance. They can’t be extensions of the police force (though they can partner with the police). This would be a “fix” that employs technology and people at their best.

Advertisement



Jonathan Rotenberg

Boston