How long can the Internet run on hate?

Here’s the good news: Ronson thinks it’s fixable. He doesn’t think this is who we are as people, anyway.

He sees people at the dog park. Neither the people nor the dogs at the dog park immediately sling mud or hurl career-ending accusations at him. They actually appear to be pretty nice.

“I hope that’s not what we’re finding out: that we are the terrible people we view on the Internet,” he says. “Surely, people’s appetite for destruction can’t carry on.”

So what’s the fix? Reflection.

The web’s problems stem from a basic human idea: No one wants to revisit the sins of their past. No one wants to rethink the time they were once, even if temporarily, the bully in school, or the accidentally bad friend. No one wants to say they were a part of the mob.

But with the Internet, no one has to. And when it was just a comment or a “like” on Facebook, were you ever really part of the mob anyway?

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