By Sierra Bein
This week in our paper, we talk about the Ryerson Confessions Facebook page, a group whose members say it’s a healing platform for hate instead of one that spreads hate itself.
The page is made up of anonymous posts from (what we must assume is) the Ryerson community. A lot of people share little anecdotes, love interests, but also a couple things that are far less “fun” and more malicious.
“The aim of this page is to confess our experiences and share thoughts with honesty. Therefore, some posts may trigger an adverse reaction,” reads the “about” section.
As we’ve reported, over the summer, the group published an anonymous post about someone who says they were raped in Kerr Hall. There have been posts impersonating our student politicians. The page has been publishing homophobic, misogynistic and racist content over the years as well. And because Facebook is so hard to control, there’s hardly any hope of these posts being taken down unless an admin decides to.
What seemed to start as a nice idea has turned into a cyberbullying cycle. Although the creators might have hoped the platform would generate conversation, it gives a space for degrading comments—with moderators and administrators who aren’t handling the situation responsibly. The automation of posts makes it even harder to control these posts that are getting spread to an audience of over 7,000.
Cyberbullying might be associated with high school, but social media is so ingrained in our lives, it means that cyberbullying can be present nearly anywhere, at any age.
Hate speech is spreading, death threats are being sent and fake posts are impersonating members of our community. The aim might be to share stories honestly and confess openly, but when your creation becomes hurtful, maybe it’s time to call it quits.