These incidents are not new news anymore, and I am sure that many of you know at least one person who was a victim of cyber bullying or any type of verbal abuse online. We also hear from time to time about young teenagers who were abused online so much that unfortunately they decided to put an end to their lives. These things happen a lot!

I never thought I will have to write about these issues, but the last few week’s events didn’t leave me much of a choice and I feel I need to address this subject. In my opinion, verbal abuse online is not different than a verbal abuse in the real world and can be even worse. Due to the freedom and the anonymity that the online world allows us, it seems that people allow themselves to lose any kind of manners and morality, and they often express themselves in brutal and violent ways that they would never use face to face, outside their computer or their Smartphone’s screens.

This “freedom” that allows everybody to say completely ANYTHING they want is quite problematic and some people forget that on the other side of the screen there is a person with feelings and with a heart- a real human being!

It can get even uglier when the discussion is about politics, where naturally many people have different opinions and views. It is OK to disagree; it is completely normal to have different views and opinions regarding specific issues but where does the line cross? Why do many users online keep attacking the writers personally and not the ideas they write about? Isn’t there such a thing as “Culture of discussion” anymore?

Moreover, last week I was shocked when I saw a few comments about the horrible terror attack that took place in a synagogue in Jerusalem. You can call me naïve, but I really don’t see the difference between Jewish blood, Muslim blood, Christian or Buddhist blood! How can people be so happy when others are brutally murdered like this?! It doesn’t matter what is their religion, nationality, gender or race!

The horrible comments that people allow themselves to freely write online are disgusting! I saw the same type of comments last week, they were about the “Transgender day of remembrance” that was mentioned on November the 20th. There again you could see how people write nasty comments about transgender people who were brutally attacked and murdered because of their gender identity.

Verbal abuse is just as serious as physical violence, and I think that we all need to unite against it, and to fight back! If you disagree with something somebody writes or does, it still does not give you the power and the freedom to write anything you want and hurt the other person. There is a way to discuss, to comment, and it doesn’t have to be violent.

“You May Say I am a Dreamer, But I am Not The Only One” (John Lennon).


Ronie Barel

verhuisde van Israël naar Nederland, activist, blogger

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