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A common lesson that parents teach their children is that if they do not have anything nice to say, they shouldn’t say anything at all. On the Internet, that rule doesn’t seem to apply.

The Internet has become a place we go to for many reasons, from buying the latest phone to making serious life decisions, like applying to our dream college or dream job. For other people, however, it has become a place where they can release their inner demons by terrorizing their fellow Internet users.

If one were to log onto YouTube and click on almost any video on the website, they would see that, in addition to the positive comments, there are just as many, if not more, negative comments that are attacking either the subject matter or other commenters.

Several YouTube content creators have spoken out against the hate that they and their fans experience on a day-to-day basis. Some have even made videos where they read the negative comments left on their videos and responded with either expressions of love or expressions of sarcasm, in an attempt to lessen the blow of the hate.

Colleen Ballinger makes these types of videos. She takes people’s comments calling her a ‘talentless bitch,’ or other hateful expressions, and creates a light-hearted song out of them, effectively taking the power out of the commenters’ hands.

In the times that we’re currently living in, where the political climate is extremely heated, and it seems as if everywhere you turn there is hate and negativity being spread, it’s particularly unnerving to see an environment as expansive as the Internet be turned from a safe-haven into a world of hate.

This does not only apply to YouTube. Here at Piedmont College, a mobile application was introduced at the start of the 2017-18 school year. The purpose of the app was to establish a connection between the students and faculty and to make the transition of going into or returning to college an easier and more accessible experience.

However, this has certainly not always been the case. There have been several instances of arguments breaking out across the app, and they are not always immediately caught by administrators, leading to rising tempers as the arguments escalate.

A recent example is when a student posted complaining about someone who took up two parking spots with their car. The post accumulated more than 80 comments, including some saying the other students should meet up in person to fight out this issue, instead of being ‘wi-fi thugs.’

While it’s jarring for us to see negativity rampant on big time websites like YouTube, it’s even more unsettling to see the hate so close to home.

So, what does that leave us to do? Leave the negativity alone to fester and grow, or get involved and potentially be sucked into unnecessary drama?

Simply put, our action should be to resist. We cannot allow ourselves to be sucked into the negative headspace. We have to continue to express positivity in a world that now needs it the most.

Remember that rule. If you don’t have anything nice to post, don’t post anything at all.