The media is an essential component of a modern democracy. Without it, people are uninformed of the issues that affect their lives and are incapable of making informed decisions when it comes to business, voting and everyday life. In the modern world, people are more up to date than ever with developments in politics, sports and science. It has never been a more exciting time to be alive. However, alongside the respected media outlets consumed by ordinary people, there is a more sinister and dangerous type of media developing on the internet.
The so-called ‘alternative’ media caters to an array of societal outcasts, from vulgar video game addicts and ‘natural’ health quacks, to far-right conspiracy theorists and survivalists. The alternative media generally believes that it can publish whatever it likes, and answers to nobody, unlike the mainstream media which is guided by a strict code of ethics and answers to average people. Much of the alternative media promotes lies and conspiracy theories directed at respected government officials and business professionals, and attempts to undermine the work of essential government institutions such as the NSA and TSA.
What’s even more scary is that the alternative media often targets the most vulnerable people in society, such as rebellious teens and social outcasts. These people are naturally drawn to the sensationalism of conspiracy theories and anti-establishment rhetoric, preferring to believe that they are living in a Hollywood movie, rather than the real world.
Alternative media is far from a harmless alternative to respected media outlets. We as a society need to recognize the dangers that it poses to the peace and stability of our civilization, and take steps to limit and reduce its influence on our most vulnerable people. The internet simply has to be regulated, to limit the kind of content that can be uploaded or shared. Some types of information should simply never be available, as they only serve to destroy, not to inform. If we want progressive values to continue to spread worldwide, and would like to put an end to bigotry and hate, then I’m afraid we have no choice. The future of our planet, and of our children, depends on our willingness to stop the spread of hateful information, and say that enough is enough.