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Are Online Spaces Becoming More Toxic?

Microblog: Views being shared online will present a challenge for UK regulations

A photograph of an Ipad with the Twitter application install page open.

Toxic male personalities

In the UK, it’s been reported that the beliefs of controversial figure Andrew Tate are repeated within school grounds as apparent facts by pupils who have subscribed to his way of life and all the glitz that is purported to come with the vision of success he espouses. While he’s the most notable person online posting these views, he is one of many toxic personas perpetuating harmful stereotypes towards women by sharing these views within online spaces.

The ability of toxic male personalities to maintain a platform online in which they’re able to rope young impressionable boys and men in on their beliefs presents an inherent challenge that needs to be addressed, and with the UK government set on introducing a new online safety bill which they claim will protect children from content like this. it’s difficult to imagine how they’ll achieve this with critics claiming it’s an authoritarian attempt at curbing free speech, but will it actually protect them?

Twitter and Elon Musk

As a global platform, Twitter will have to, in the UK, adhere to UK-based regulations set out by the government and Ofcom which contradicts Elon Musk’s vision for what Twitter ought to be.

Musk’s takeover of Twitter saw several accounts previously banned for hate speech and misinformation returned to their corresponding owners. A report from the BBC found 1,100 accounts that were previously banned from spreading abuse or misinformation online. Musk has since stated that he hasn’t seen a rise in hate speech on his platform and that according to him hate speech is down by a third.

His attempts at championing free speech on a global platform have seen those who identify as LGBTQ being targeted with hateful content on a more frequent basis, and in the week following his purchase of Twitter, untrustworthy accounts were reportedly seeing an increased engagement of almost 60% according to a study from Newsguard.


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