Friday, 31 July 2015

Internet Outrage

Inspired by and shared from science-fiction author David Gerrold.

Some people are shaking their heads at the mob mentality of all those who are expressing their outrage at the murder of Cecil the Lion.

Internet outrage is a spotlight.  It put the spotlight on Bill Cosby, on the Duggars, on the Palins, and most important, on all those cops who think they can get away with killing black people.  It forces attention onto things that should not be swept under the carpet; a way that ordinary people can raise their voices in a demand for change.

Yes, if you're the target of an internet pile-on, it's not fun being in the bulls-eye.  For many, the first reaction is to play the victim and whine about being hounded, which is easier than accepting responsibility.  It's certainly easier than saying that they messed up.

People don't apologize, and many people just don't know how.  Most are so self-righteous that they try to explain, they try to justify, or worse, they counter-attack.  Accepting responsibility seems to be impossible.  Being able to do that is the mark of a mature and responsible human being, and I suspect it's one of the hardest-to-reach rungs on the ladder.

None of us are perfect, but we tend to forget that.  So we mess up and the people around us get angry about it.  But instead of saying, "Let's fix it so we can stay friends," we make it worse.

This is why internet outrage is a good thing: the internet won't let it slide.  Consider the internet as an organism.  Hostility/stupidity/ugly behavior of any kind is an infection.  And the internet outrage of a million human beings is like a million white blood cells responding to the infection.

No, I don't feel sorry for that dentist and his self-serving posturing that he has a right to kill things for fun.  I think the internet outrage focused on the whole idea of sport-hunting endangered species is one of the most valuable demonstrations of the power of the web that we've seen in a long time.  It might result in prosecution.  Even more so, it might create a worldwide movement to end the killing of wildlife.

Internet outrage is a good thing.  It's a million voices crying out at once.  And it's hard to ignore.

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