Last week I saw a documentary, titled Lo and Behold. Thanks to Werner Herzog we get to see how the internet revolution unfolded, where did it start and who were key players in it. What I like about this documentary is openness. It not only shows the good sides of this revolution, but it also shows how it can be misused for nefarious reasons.
I don’t want to spoil it for you, but one segment got stuck in my mind. It shows a family who lost a child in a car accident and how random strangers on the internet still harass them to this day by sending hate email and making jokes of a dead girl (for example, “Dead girl walking. Woohoo, daddy, I’m still alive”).
Turns out, the first responder took photos of the nearly decapitated head of the girl and emailed it to some friends and it instantly were out on the internet. However, you can’t do anything about it, because there is no law for pictures of deceased people, so when they pass away, their privacy rights go with them.
A seasoned Internet veteran would say nothing new to a story like that, but it still makes me sick to my stomach that people can be so cruel. Yes, there is Reddit and 4chan, but how we arrived at this place, it’s beyond my understanding. The hate, mockery, depravity, and lack of accountability are of the charts these days. Sad!
Throughout the documentary, Werner Herzog meets with various people and talks about internet technology from various angles, so you can have a holistic picture of the issue and form your own opinion. Because, in the end, the internet can be used for good and bad, it’s for us to decide.
Give a try. You will learn something new. It’s on Netflix. Enjoy.