Know Peace Online: Know Your Audience

Social media enable all of us to become publishers, giving us the ability to reach a much wider audience than we could in the past. That can be empowering and exciting. But it also expands our ability to hurt, to demean, to defame and to bully.

I’m old enough to belong to a Facebook group titled “I Was Online Before You Were Born,” and while I subscribe to several platforms, Facebook is the one I use most. My list of “Friends” includes persons from several different circles of my life, including people I knew in high school and people who don’t share my values and political views. I’m not, by nature, the kind of person who would set out to demean a person or a group of people. Nevertheless, I still stop and ask myself how my “audience” is likely to respond to a post. Will it contribute to a civil dialogue? Is it a joke that only some people will find amusing? Will it make it harder for me to resume relationships with some close family members if and when our hot political battles come to an end?

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UCC Media Justice

UCC Media Justice

The United Church of Christ's media justice ministry founded in 1959. Faithful advocacy for communication rights.