How the Internet Created an Age of Rage



The saying, “Everything that happens in the dark comes to the light”, obviously doesn’t apply to cyberspace. The dark is the anonymity that people have when commenting in public forums. Where they can say what they want, attack whomever they want, all without consequence. 

The internet allows normally quiet and reserved people to be whoever they want or to release the them they keep in the dark of their minds and behind their computer screen. This is referred to as ‘deindividuation’ which is when the social norms are withdrawn because identities  are concealed (http:// Concealed not only by screen names or avatars but in large crowds, where matching voices to faces is difficult.

Because of the feeling of ‘you cant touch me‘, people feel safe and that’s what the internet is for. It gives people that don’t have a voice, or scared to speak their opinion a chance to have their voice and opinion heard or read in this case.  Some of these comments are malicious and unwarranted because the people posting them are releasing themselves. They feel that their typed words are just words and that if people don’t like the post that they don’t have to read them or they can be blocked.

The problem with this way of thinking is that the effects it has on others is not taken into consideration. Yes public forums are for everyone but morals should come into play when commenting on public things. Comedian Stewart Lee of Top Gear fame used to collect comments made about him after the show aired and noticed that one-third of the comments wished harm to him.  That people bashed what he thought was success and it seemed he couldn’t win. So he decided to stop collecting and paying attention to the comments because he said it had him a little unsettled. This shows that even people who make fun of everything get shook by people expressing themselves negatively.

Do you think that the internet created the rage or just gave underlying rage a voice/forum?


18 thoughts on “How the Internet Created an Age of Rage

  1. I wouldn’t say that internet created the rage. I would have to say the internet is what promotes it, or makes it stronger than ever. Like you mentioned, people say things they normally wouldn’t. I think of it as people dissociating themselves from who they really are. It’s almost an alter ego. It is like they don’t want to think it is harmful either. I think we all like to blame the internet, but behind that computer screen is a person who is purposely saying offensive things. They are the one with the bad thoughts and comments.

  2. I think the internet is a gateway that people use to express how they feel. The internet itself isn’t leaving nasty comments on someones page, it is the people in front of the computer screen who may dislike something or someone and feel the need to bash or threaten someone. Why? I think people have developed a sense of “I’m on the internet so no one can punish me for what I said”. There seems to be no rules or filters when it comes to people expressing how they feel online, so people will post anything and everything, whether it be from rage or not.

  3. I think that the internet has just given the underlying rage a voice/forum. People wouldn’t say what they do online. The fact that someone can create an anonymous profile and bash people in any way they see fit created a haven for people to express how they really feel without penalty. If they read something or see a comment that they don’t like they can easily express their opinions on it and be safe from penalty or consequences. This is how the internet has created a utopia for people to express the rage they have already had and can’t get out in public. It’s kind of cowardly, but it’s the world we live in today.

  4. I think that the internet has created an age of rage. Why? Because people wouldnt say the things they do online, or even come close to acting like they do online if it wasnt for the sense of being anonymous. I think that people like being anonymous and giving their opinion without anyone else knowing give them a thrill and a sense of relief that no one will ever know who they are. Also, it makes people think like they are being listened to when in reality they are just causing more trouble on the internet.

  5. I think the internet created rage. People realized that communicating through the internet was a way for them to express how they actually feel about certain topics. It also allows them to lash out at people who are commenting on the same post or to the person that posted the article, picture, video, etc. Since they can lash out anonymously, it created more rage in people. If something were to be in said in person, I guarantee a large percent of those people that post hateful messages online, wouldn’t say it in person.

  6. Maybe the internet provides a forum for trolls who would otherwise not be able to express themselves to be heard, relieving pressure and preventing them from taking more drastic measures in the real world. Could it be that physical crime is avoided because these individuals can vent their frustrations in a “safe” place that doesn’t impact the physical well being of others? Should we commission a study to evaluate it and if proven correct should we then create forums that encourage this behavior in order to avoid more sinister acts? A contrarian idea for sure, but maybe one worth considering?

  7. I don’t feel that the internet is so much encouraging rage, just that its giving people the ability to say things without much consequence, Online you can say just about anything you want and have nothing happen. Its an easy way to let your emotions out without harming people you know, so people don’t really care.

  8. On a date website or any social media cite, everyone can post anything they want because we all enjoy our freedom of speech, even if it means posting hurtful comments that can really tear down another person or group. For these people, posting those comments online is easy and “safe”, because readers exist on the other side of the computer screen. Remember, in face-to-face communication, you can see expressions, but over the date and social media websites, you only see computer screens. Some people even take advantage of dating and social media sites in the wrong way; those people should think about the bullying repercussions that they cause to others instead of only thinking of themselves.

  9. The internet really is a place where people can feel fairly safe expressing their opinion. This also means people can object to other’s opinions as easily as they can make their own. Then all of sudden people are going back and forth, arguing at each other until someone backs down. Some people wouldn’t express the same opinion they have on the internet in real life, and thus I think the internet does kind of create rage. People definitely feel safer on the internet than in real life, and I think this comes to show on internet forums. I really don’t think there is anything people can do about this because for the most part, the internet will preserve anonymity for a long time.

  10. I think that it’s a little bit of both. The Internet is certainly a forum for those who want to rant, rage or voice anything that comes to mind. People get caught up in a vortex of voicing opinions that they would not normally express. In some cases, it’s like jumping on the bandwagon. Deindividuation occurs when people replace their own self-awareness with that of a group and quite possibly the anonymity that comes with the Internet. Some might agree that once they loose their personal identity it’s replaced by the group identity making it easier and easier to post malicious things.

  11. I think it’s a little bit of both here. The internet definitely gave people the open, anonymous forum to post whatever they’d like without having to identify themselves. However, it didn’t go out and shout to everyone, HEY GO BE MEAN, HURTFUL AND ABUSIVE NOW! That was people’s own doing.
    I think they do it because of the fact that they are anonymous. They have only a very tiny chance of being caught, so they just post whatever they feel like. Half the time, I’m sure they don’t even mean what they type or care about the person in the video or writing the blog or whatever it is. Now, I’m not saying that all the people who post are just doing it for show, some people really mean what they put unfortunately. People who go to extremes, like in the case of Anita Sarkeesian’s harassment, and wish violent, awful things upon people for no other reason that disagreeing with their views and opinions. People shouldn’t be telling other people “I hope you get cancer” with a smiley face just because they disagree with the person’s opinion. You shouldn’t be telling anybody that, ever.
    If you got rid of the anonymity, I think the abusive and hateful comments would die down. Not disappear completely because there are still people out there who don’t care, but there would definitely be a significant drop in the hate online.

  12. The internet is the largest and most widespread of any communication method ever used. Of course it has allowed more rage boil over than previous mediums just because of its popularity. The Disinhibition effect has always been around. People get the same rage, or shift in emotions behind the wheel of a car and on the phone as well. Plato even rights about how anonymity could turn even the greatest and most moral of men into a thief. The internet has turned the world into a giant microphone and people are taking their turns to yell into it as angrily as they can.

  13. I personally think that the internet is a means of conveyance of which anger is transmitted. The internet definitely plays a part in the whole anger scheme, but it was there to begin with. Of course, access to the web has made opinions more available to all, but it’s the same opinions we’ve seen before. The only real “new” thing is how we see them and respond to them. With the mask of the internet, anybody can be a tough guy, and “anon” seems to be everybody’s enemy. The internet is our way of silently expressing our anger to others, although whether or not they deserve it seems to be irrelevant to most unfortunately.

  14. The internet has just made it easier to rage. People have always had strong opinions and anger about certain topics. The internet is a tool for people to let their rage out in a different way. Now you don’t necessarily have to be held accountable for the raging online and others can respond freely with their own rage.

  15. I think that the internet truly did create an age of rage, or at least it fostered one. I think the saying from Spiderman “with great power comes great responsibility” is applicable to this situation. The power to make offensive remarks, intimidate, and post hate should come with great responsibility, and it does. Unfortunately though, this power is given to anyone who has an internet connection. I think the fact that so much power is at everyone’s fingertips is truly the cause of this rage. Leaders in history have many times become corrupt because they just have so much power. Without this power I do believe that they could be perfectly normal people. They deviate from their true and possibly good selves when they are given the commenting power of the World Wide Web.

  16. I think that the internet created an age of cruel jokes. I do not think that all of the rage found online is real. The internet has given the world’s morally lacking citizens a new game to play. The rage comes in when people react offline to such negative comments. If the “rage” online is viewed as real, and it is reciprocated, then it becomes a real problem.

  17. I definitely believe that the internet fosters an environment for the rage to come through rather than strictly creating it. When researching “Trolling” this week I realized just how extreme it can get. I came to the realization that some online commenters get some kind of validation through tearing others down. My guess is that their inability to express their harsh/distorted opinions in the real world leads them to use the internet as an outlet. This obviously can be very harmful for whomever they are targeting considering not everyone can handle the criticism.

  18. I don’t think the internet created the rage, I feel like the internet gave people the confidence to rage. It goes back to “getting tough with the keyboard.” Although as we learned about trolling, I do think now that some people on the internet clearly just want to start trouble and stir up some rage. Likewise, however, even those who are being “attacked” probably wouldn’t “rage” half as bad as they do if they didn’t have the confidence that they gain through the keyboard.

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