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The Internet Has A 'Cringe' Problem, And It Hurts Kids The Most

Being vulnerable and honest on the internet is difficult enough for most of us, but for kids, living a life online can be hellish. Grown-ass adults love to bully naive kids online, and it happens all the time.

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In the latest episode of Fave This, a new podcast/YouTube show hosted by Gita Jackson and me, we talk about how the internet treats children like garbage, often for no reason at all. You’ve probably seen it firsthand: things often go to shit the second a kid says something in a voice chat. We talk about the many ways grown-ups act like assholes online and how that harms real people. We also discuss the merits of shitposting, the fight over what’s acceptable in Twitch chat, and what happens when a fandom gets too big.

Watch us on YouTube in the video embedded above, or listen to us below. You can find an MP3 of this episode here, check us out on iTunes here (leave us a review!), we’re on Google Play here and/or check out our RSS feed here.

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And if you have comments, responses, or topic suggestions, send us an email to patricia@kotaku.com, subject title “Fave This.”

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DISCUSSION

robthebob11
robthebob11

Counterpoint to all the “kids are toxic jerks” comments:

I once had a 13 year old, English-speaking Korean girl (as in currently living in South Korea) act as my guide in Borderlands 2 when I was too wracked with social anxiety to turn my mic on and ask for help. She talked non-stop about herself, her family and game strategy, but as soon as I put up a quest marker to the objective I needed to complete, she was charging straight ahead and giving me encouragement.

Not all kids online are toxic edgelords. Give them the benefit of the doubt and you just might find an ally when you need one.