other / rambling

A disturbing trend

Not too long ago, that story about what’s her name came across my Facebook page. The model or beauty queen or whatever who thought it would be great fun to take a picture of someone she didn’t know and post it on Snapchat (note: I don’t use Snapchat) to mock and embarrass her. She (the model/whatever) claimed that she didn’t know she was posting the mocking photo — with the caption if I have to see it, so do you…  or something to that affect — publicly but thought she was sending it privately to a friend.  Still a dick move if you ask me.

Now there are two disturbing things about this. One, that she thought it was perfectly okay to take a picture of a naked woman she didn’t know and post it to the internet — publicly or privately — so that she could mock her. And two, because she did that, the social justice warriors (SJW’s) pounced on her and her life is now in ruins.  Let me explain my uneasiness with the second part. I totally and completely believe that she should have faced retribution for taking this unknown person’s picture and putting it online. But not at the hands of social vigilantes. The person in the picture was the one who was wronged, and she was the one who should have brought the model/whatever to justice. Instead, The SJW’s jumped in and her life was ruined in days because of her shameful act. Days. She was obviously bullied because she deleted all of her social media accounts. She lost her job, &c… and everything that goes along with the fifteen minutes of infamy when someone stupid does a stupid thing online. Did she deserve to be punished for doing a stupid thing? Yes. Yes she did. Did she deserve to have her life ruined? No. Absolutely not. Did she do a stupid and irreparable thing? Yes, yes she did, because once a picture is online, it can never be taken down.

It was true in 2008, it’s true now.

c5b

Google “Scumbag Steve”

And it doesn’t matter who posted it. Which is what makes that so sad. But the aforementioned beauty queen/whatever isn’t the only person who does this. Entire memes are created from people who have their pictures taken by other people and uploaded to social media. Here’s an article about how some of them got started if you’re interested.  I read a different article (which I can’t find) that talked about a person whose picture was made into a meme who was bullied, received death threats (because that’s what happens on the internet), and had to be pulled out of school. All over their fifteen minutes of fame that they never wanted. The guy in the picture to the right had his picture uploaded by his mom. And someone else made a meme out of it. If you follow this link, and scroll to the bottom, you can see a letter he wrote to someone else who also had a meme made from their picture. It’s eye opening. Anyway, I think it’s disturbing that people think it’s perfectly okay to just… take a picture of someone and post it online for all the world to see. I betcha that dude’s mom never thought her son would become infamous for that picture. I know that I don’t want my picture online because I honestly don’t want a certain someone to find out where I live. I don’t want some yahoo taking my picture and plastering it all over the internet for the world to see. I barely have my picture on my Facebook page, and that’s locked down as tight as I can have it. There’s facial recognition software out there, yo, and I don’t want my face on it. It’s really that simple.

neutral

What if the mouse is rabid? or carries the plague?

But I’ve wandered from what prompted me to make this post.  I ran across this article this morning:  Feds move to stop social media mockery of nursing home residents. As with the first incident that I wrote about, this is disturbing in two ways. The first is the same, that people think it’s perfectly okay to take embarrassing pictures of people (in this case, helpless elderly people) and post them online to mock and shame them. And the second because they seem to have no fear of repercussions for their actions at all. The model I wrote about did get her comeuppance — extremely so. And whenever I see that, it makes me nervous at a very fundamental level, because vigilante justice is never the answer. And make no bones about it ,  SJW’s are nothing but vigilante justice. They are the judge, jury, and executioner without even a hint of trial. There is no defense to the crime. It is a crime, and it must be punished.  There is no, “other side” of anything.  A wrong has been committed, and it must be righted. Right now.

Except when it’s not… The nurses who posted the pictures of helpless patients? Nothing. Not a thing. No internet furor. No rage. No news stories. Just crickets in the dark. You might ask, dear reader, why this disturbs me when the aforementioned rage (the vigilante rage) also disturbs me? Because it is so unbalanced.  There should be a balance.

3uif0d

Because I have friends…

Why was one punished so quickly, so thoroughly, so publicly, and with such fervor,  when so many others are punished very little for the very same thing, if at all?  What good does that do?  It’s like if Vlad the Impaler picked out one or two of his prisoners and said, “You! I don’t like your looks! Impale them!” and then let the rest of them go instead of killing all of them, as he was wont to do. And yes, I am totally comparing some SJW’s to Vlad the Impaler because I think that their rhetoric and their methods are over the top. Just as his methods were. They want to make people hurt and squirm and be “punished” for their wrongs, and that they do not listen to reason. It’s my way or the highway with many of them. If I’m not with them then I am part of the problem. End of story.  There is no middle ground with them. Honestly? I’ve just stopped trying. But that doesn’t alleviate my frustration with them.

get off my lawn

Speaking of memes…

And that article about the elderly patients? That is incredibly disturbing to me because we as a nation (the United States) are an aging nation. All of these young-ish people are either going to be a member of or outnumbered by the older generation in just a few short years. It’s in everybody’s interest to make sure that the laws mentioned in that article are in place and enforceable by the time the we reach the tipping point. Getting outraged by a few pictures or off the cuff comments and ruining one life here and another life there isn’t doing a damned thing. What needs to be done is not the punishing of a few individuals, but enacting laws and or regulations to make sure that no one feels that it’s okay to do this sort of thing to anyone in the first place. People keep saying that we’re not aware of how social media works, and that’s bullshit.

before internet

We did have the library…

World wide, we’ve been online for a while. I’ve watched the internet grow. My kids grew up with computers and the internet being a part of their lives. Kids these days can’t even fathom a time before the internet. We know how it works. That video I shared up there is eight years old, and I was online eight years before that. That’s sixteen years of learning how the internet works. Facebook has been around at least nine years. Don’t tell me we haven’t learned how social media works in nine years. We as a species aren’t that stupid. In a time when things are obsolete in four years… “You’re still playing Skyrim? That game is ancient!” It came out in 2012… seriously. Facebook should be a tottering grandparent by those standards. We know the mores and taboos of social media.  But it’s obvious that people think they are above them. That they are untouchable, because the laws of the land have not been able to keep up. What doesn’t disturb me about that article is that the laws of the land are catching up. That people are starting to be held accountable for their actions, not by the vigilantes, but by the people behind the law. And that, dear reader, brings me comfort.

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11 thoughts on “A disturbing trend

  1. Yes, fairness is a difficult thing to accomplish. Even reasonable people can struggle to find the balance, and vigilantes are so one eyed that reasonableness flies out the window. I have yet to be the target of online bullying, and I hope I never have that experience. Like most people, criticism stings, even valid criticism. So to receive a torrent of abuse – I have no idea how I would cope. Somewhere along the line the decision to value our own opinion of ourselves above others must be of help – it might even set us free to rise above the fear of others opinions – but then again we might just get crushed like so many have been.

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  2. The interview was in 2012 or 13 (or maybe later) and she doesn’t even vaguely resemble that girl who brought down a president. She looks like (to me anyway) one of those people who have been victims of a terrible natural disaster or something…and she admits to being a hermit (bad choice of words, but I don’t have a better one to describe it) now. RECLUSE (ha! That’s the word)… I think she’s begun to do a lecture tour about the effect of cyber bullying on an individual, but she’s also had years and years of therapy and is still prone to panic attacks and takes meds.

    I didn’t (and still don’t) understand the phenomenon fully because I feel that you can always stop visiting the site where you’re harassed or simpler than that turn the damn device OFF altogether. Unless the haters know you IRL, what are they going to do about your choice to withdraw and not engage? BUT. I admit that when I’ve been the target of someone’s hatred or vitriol who DOESN’T EVEN KNOW ME but is leaping on something I said that they interpreted to suit their own perception or something I’ve written….it stings. I’m outraged because I can’t really fight back because I don’t know them EITHER. So I use the block function that most sites offer now and hope the ignoramus gets the hint.

    I’m glad too that the IRL law is starting to take notice of harassment on the web. Because to some folks it’s just as bad as if it WERE IRL. Ruins lives.

    Good post btw!! Keep on writing! 😀

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    • One of the components of cyber bullying is doxxing — that’s where someone, somewhere, gets the victims real life name, number, address, work information or whatever IRL information they can and distributes it to the bullying group. Then the group will start sending these threats and taunts via snail mail, voice message, or even in person — to a complete stranger they know nothing about other than whatever it is that triggered the vigilante movement in the first place. People have had to move their entire lives to avoid the mob… That happened to Monica Lewinsky; it’s why she became a recluse.

      This isn’t a new thing unfortunately, it’s only intensified with the advent of the internet. Research what happens to pilots or the family of pilots whenever there’s a plane crash. They are constantly harassed by not only the victims and families of the victims of the plane crash (even if the pilot died too), but any conspiracy nut who thinks the pilot/airline/government crashed the plane on purpose — it goes back to since commercial flights became a thing.

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  3. This business of cyber-bullying is indeed an ugly thing. I am in a group of people with a certain mental tic in common and the therapist running it often shows us little video clips off the internet. One of the topics has been cyber bullying. For myself? I’ve been a participant (I’m ashamed to admit it), but also a target. There’s something about the anonymity of the ‘web that seems to elicit such things. You can say anything you want about anyone (even if it’s a lie or is bullying) because what can they do, really? One of the vid clips in my group was an interview of Monica Lewinsky. Now I hadn’t thought about HER in a positive way ever. But what happened to her subsequent to the trial was horrifying. She was perhaps the first person ever to be a victim of cyber bullying, and it ruined her life.

    (I’m gonna continue what i’m saying in a second reply. WP doesn’t like lengthy response apparently)

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  4. I’ve written along similar lines too, but I think we are preaching to the choir. The people who need to hear it aren’t reading it. This seems to be a general problem on social media in general. The people who misuse and abuse it and others are not the kind of people who bother to read. Anything. These are not readers. These are not people who listen to reason or want to be bothered by information, especially not if that information contradicts their preconceptions. I’m not sure what can be done about it, either. Social media seems to have a life of its own.

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    • I dunno, I have a few friends and family who are self-proclaimed social justice warriors, and they are relatively smart in other aspects of their life. It’s just when it comes to what they perceive as “wrongdoing” they want to set it “right” and sometimes there is no talking them down.

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