, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I have a hypothesis about what might contribute to *moral outrage* being such a big thing on social media. Imagine I’m sitting in a room of 30 people & I make a dramatic statement about how outraged I am about X. And say 5 people cheer in response (analogous to liking or RT). But
suppose the other 25 ppl kind of stare at the table, or give me a weird look or roll their eyes, or in some other way (relatively) passively express that they think I’m kind of over-doing it or maybe not being as nuanced or charitable or whatever as I should be. IRL we get this
kind of ‘passive negative’ feedback when we act morally outraged about certain things, at least sometimes. Now, a few people in the room might clear their throat and actively say, “Hey, maybe it’s more complicated than that” and on Twitter there is a mechanism for that: comments
But it’s pretty costly to leave a comment pushing back against someone’s seemingly excessive or inadequately grounded moral outrage, and so most ppl probably just read the tweet and silently move on w their day. And there is no icon on Twitter that registers passive disapproval.
So it seems like we’re missing one of the major IRL pieces of social information that perhaps our outrage needs to be in some way tempered, or not everyone is on board, or maybe we should consider a different perspective. If Twitter collected data of people who read or clicked on
a tweet, but did NOT like it or retweet it (nor go so far as write a contrary comment), and converted this into an emoji of a neutral (or some kind of mildly disapproving?) face, this might majorly tamp down on viral moral outrage that is fueled by likes and retweet’s from a
small subset of the ‘people in the room’ ... Thoughts?
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