October 19, 2012

Bullying and hypocrisy.

One thing that's been in the news a lot lately is the story of what cyber bullying can lead to. I don't know if you've heard the story of the girl who was cyber bullied and then took her own life as a result, but it's been a big thing in the news around here. A hacker group decided they would do the vigilante thing and look up the creep that wrecked that girl's life and make his information and address public.

That, to me, is the biggest contradiction ever.

There's been some speculation as to whether the hackers finger pointed at the right person or not, and a lot of people are talking about doing some vigilante justice on the guy. They're calling him scum, saying he deserves terrible things to happen to him, and suggesting that the public can do more than the police ever could. It sounds like they're about ready to lynch the guy. Why? Because he bullied this poor girl until she couldn't take it anymore.

How is it that people so against the cyber bullying actions of this one creep (just assuming for a second that he is, in fact, who those hackers say he is, which is still up in the air) can turn around and do the exact same thing? I'm not defending the actions done by online child predators or stalkers or bullies one bit, it's deplorable, but I think people need to take a step back and look at the situation.

When I was a kid I was bullied and it was the worst. Thing. Ever. I also turned around and picked on one or two other kids because I needed some sort of defense mechanism. I know that's bad, but it's the truth. Bullying begets bullying and we do not live in an anarchic world. Thankfully.

We are not living in the state of nature. If you haven't read Hobbes that might not make any sense, but one thing my political science degree ingrained in me is that we really don't want to live in a man against man world. Anarchy is chaos. It blows my mind that people think they have the right to go out there and attack someone else because the law can't do anything.

Honestly, I was shocked that people would suggest doing the exact same thing to this guy that he did to the girl. You know what Gandhi said about an eye for eye making the world blind. Sure, the judicial system can make some pretty questionable calls at times, but we have to trust that they're doing the job that needs to get done. You know what? If you don't like it you should probably move somewhere else or suck it up because you can't win them all. And be honest, would you like to live in a world of vigilante justice where someone can punish you for your dog pooping on their lawn? Didn't think so.

So I think it's beyond hypocritical that hackers and regular people think they have the right to both judge and punish someone that was a bully, even one so terrible. The hackers should have gone to the police with their information, not the internet. I trust that the police can handle situations like this. That's their job.

And honestly? People that threaten or do worse to this guy are no better than he is.

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