Tuesday, January 2, 2017
American Youtube star Logan Paul went and did something very stupid: he posted a video of the body of a recent suicide victim. The online world is naturally outraged. So too are the media and numerous advocacy groups. His fans are outraged by the outrage, fanning further outrage.
All I can think of at this point is that it’s too easy for people to say stupid things on the internet; too easy to say things that are irresponsible, immoral, insensitive, criminal, capable of getting people fired… And it’s not just internet celebrities who do it – ordinary people like you and I do it every day. We do it when we complain about conservatives. We do it when we complain about liberals. We do it when we complain about atheists, people of faith, hipsters, foreigners, football fans, cyclists, and the people who complain about them.
Well I’ve thought of a way to solve all of that. No, it’s not censorship – there’ll be too much of an uproar around freedom of speech. No, what I have in mind is far simpler: if you want to publish something online, it’ll cost you. Say… a dollar per word.
Yes, that’s right: a dollar. Per word. For everything you say.
I think that if words cost money, you’re going to see some incredibly careful writing take place.
Telling me “that’s a stupid idea” will cost you four dollars.
The next idiot who wants to post “You should do the world a favour and go kill yourself” will probably think twice about the $11 price tag.
This blog post will cost me around $355.
Maybe we could get a quota of words that we’re allowed to publish every time we pay our monthly internet fees, and then have the option to purchase more on top of that?
Commercial entities and media organisations should be charged a different rate because they’re able to monetise what they publish.
Maybe something like this will weed out a lot of the garbage from the internet? Or at a minimum, we’ll know that these people have put their money where their mouth is.