Did Media Literacy Backfire?
danah boyd
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I think it would be closer to the mark to say that media literacy hasn’t gone far enough. The internet has developed an ethos of false freedom that benefits harassers. To moderate or disable the comments on one’s own web page is seen as censorship, not the exercise of freedom of the press. Freedom of the press didn’t uses to apply to individuals, but now it does. Instead of the freedom to control one’s own voice, Freedom is seen as the ability to issue death threats, even if it really seeks to suppress minority speech.

Media literacy includes understanding the difference between censorship (the control of one’s publication by an outside power) and editing (the internal control of one’s own publication.) If everyone chooses how to moderate their own site (and no moderation at all is a valid choice) the internet will have a place for everyone, an infinite variety of communities where everyone can feel safe and stimulated according to their comfort and joy. The popular notion of internet freedom is actually one uniform standard imposed everywhere, the same rules on Huffpost and Slate as on 4Chan and Reddit.

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