How Can We Make The Internet A Better Place?

While the Internet has many good features, it is also a place filled with people behaving badly. How can we make it better?

The Internet is amazing. We carry in our pocket a portal to most of our species’ accumulated knowledge, as well as a way to communicate with people from around the world in real time.

However, there are times when the Internet is not a good place to be.

While social interaction might be good in theory, in many cases, online behavior can be shockingly negative. People can be insulting, dismissive, and just generally rude. Some share personal information like addresses, pictures, or videos not meant for public consumption. The comments section in online newspapers, message boards, and social media sites can be toxic.

There is also the threat of scammers, people looking for any opportunity to steal your money and/or identity, or to infect your computer with viruses. You have to be hyper-vigilant about what links you follow, in emails or on websites.

There are also programmed ‘bots that pretend to be individuals. These can be created and run by agents of foreign governments, who are looking to spread misinformation and sow distrust and division in everyday life.

On top of that, there are companies that collect our personal information, which then can be sold to someone who might use it to try and manipulate us.

With all of these bad actors, the Internet can provide an unpleasant experience.

However, there are some places on the web that aren’t like this. Those sites provide a much better overall experience, and might even fulfill some of the potential for positive change that the Internet offers.

How might we make more places like this? Can we curb the trolls and scammers, and encourage collaboration and creativity? How can we make the Internet a better place?

Related questions: How can you be more responsible online? Why does social media often bring out the worst in us? How can we encourage meaningful conversation?