The Social Media Lynch Mob

I have seen this happening more and more as of late. Regardless of whether it is television shows, fast-food chains, football teams, football players, basketball team owners, it all boils down to the same event: vicious intolerance fuels a desire to deprive. Why is it any of my business what someone says to their girlfriend on tape? Why do I care what other people say or don’t say in the privacy of their board room? Why do I have to be notified or involved? I feel no desire to police others, but some folks do, and they will not stop until the world stops eating Chik-Fil-A, or something else equally inconsequential.

Make no mistake — intolerance is the fuel, and the action is censorship, if not worse. There is a rush to judgment, based on obviously-biased news reports, and the next thing you know, people are calling for the hangman. I don’t understand why no-one is willing to allow the wheels of justice to work. Doesn’t everyone deserve their day in court? Who are you to know, based on a few articles, whether someone is guilty of what they have been accused of? You have no way of knowing, no matter what you feel.

I have lost the link, but one of the most vicious examples of this social media lynch mob mentality involved PETA sending a worker undercover at a rescue ranch (PETA hates when others run shelters that don’t kill animals — their kill rate is pretty horrible). So they did what they usually did — manufacture evidence and gin up alarmism so the county could swoop in and take the man’s shelter and all the cats he was caring for. On several forums, people were calling for the man’s death, as though PETA could be trusted implicitly. Obviously, they cannot be, but even if they could, we have a judicial system to allow every person accused to obtain justice. Do people really think that posting directions to the guy’s house, harassing him with phone calls and emails, and wishing death upon him is how to handle problems? Maybe these lynch mob members deserve a round or two of Procrustean justice. Just how would it feel if they were the ones accused without a trial and then paraded before the world as an object of scorn and hatred? Justice is blind, and impartial because she is blind. What the digital lynch mob wants is not justice, but revenge.

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