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Comment threads and racism, a love story

A chronicle written by Nadim Ghazale.
Växjö • Publicerad 18 mars 2020
Detta är en personligt skriven text i Mosaik Vxonews. Åsikter som uttrycks är skribentens egna.

Our country is full of dark places, and I do not mean the stain under the constantly broken street lights outside my house. I mean places that are so dark that it gives you the creeps and makes you lose faith in humanity, belief in the future of our country. The places I mean are social media and their comment threads. The trend is also alarming. As soon as any newspaper reports of a crime it takes off, if the crime also happened in one of our socially vulnerable areas, hell breaks loose. The offenses are not worth quoting, but the phenomenon itself are worth highlighting. Especially now that they have started to attack even when the newspapers report positive news. Like when it was recently reported that more new arrivals are coming into work faster. A great thing. Jobs are good, right? Then you do not have to get grant or something else that burdens the taxpayers. But apparently not.

Will they even show up at work?


Is it a real job?

Are they as good at working as raping?

The love story between the comment threads and racism just continues.

Why dedicate a whole chronicle to individual trolls, you think? Well, because they are neither few nor anonymous. These are completely open profiles with real names and pictures of themselves. People who work in public administration or companies. Lawful taxpaying citizens. Citizens who are easy to look up. People who no longer has the good taste to be ashamed of their racism. And why should they, really? Their time is now. Of course, I can understand why it has became like this, but it is no excuse to let it pass or let it become the norm. A wrecked migration policy and serious violent crimes do not provide a free pass to turn into a thoroughbred racist. It must never be normal. It is possible to be critical and want to achieve improvement in society without being part of the problem. I meet such people every day.

The talented and popular foreign reporter Magda Gad recently chose to leave Facebook because her posts were full of hateful and racist comments. Comments that she does not have time to moderate. Polarizing comments that are promoted by algorithms so that they always stay current and get a lot of likes. Likes that in turn give birth to more likes. The same algorithms that manipulated electoral movements in several countries. Algorithms that can be controlled and which racist forces are experts on. For the source and a better insight, I recommend the documentary The Great Hack.

Then you turn off the phone and take a walk. Have lunch, do some errands and shop at ICA. Everywhere you meet strangers and meet their eyes. Looks that are neither hateful, friendly nor interested, just harmless. So off the internet and in real life, foolishness has not become established and the norm. Not yet.