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Backroads

Gossip and social media

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So there's been this case in Australia of a mother who took a photo of a man at the store and declared him a pedophile on Facebook. She thought he was taking photos of her children when he was taking a selfie. Any who, the photo went viral and became a big mess.

This leaves me wondering about our ability to spread information including unfounded thoughts so quickly due to social media and smart phones. Do we lose the tendency to think things over when we can do things instantly? Apparently the woman feels horrible about her assumption and post, but damage is done.

While gossip spreads fast, does social media make it all the deadlier?

On another note, what do such incidents say about society's treatment of men?

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I think people are way more brazen and impulsive on social media than they'd ever be in real life. And even more so on anonymous message boards! 

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Guest MormonGator

Great points Backroads. It's a growing problem. In real life I am as rude, sarcastic and tart as they come but I'm still very careful about gossiping and spreading lies. 

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I think it's still gossip, it's just easier to spread your gossip to a wider audience....regardless of truth or falsehood.

As for how society treats men, lets just say don't be a man sitting in a park if there is a playground, even if there are no children around. Cops can and will be called for some reason.

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I think it stinks that a guy can't just sit in a park. Another symptom of living in a wicked world.

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I think social media a fad that will wear itself out for reasons such as your story. At some point we all have to live in real life and this online world has to have shrinking influence. I'm not saying it will happen tomorrow. The Internet was a jolt to our system and evolution is slow. Evolution will eventually catch up.

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Meh. Sure men get the short end of the stick on some things, but overall, women are still unequally treated by society. So I won't comment more on it. As for social media spreading crap, that's nothing new, and I agree that it just makes gossiping and bullying easier but that the two have always been society plagues - regardless.

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I don't know about men being mistreated (obviously some men are..but as a group....?)...but as to social media....my basic opinion is that Facebook is evil and nothing good comes of it. Or at least any slight good that may come of it is so overshadowed by the evil that it should be, for all intents and purposes, shunned.

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The story interested/disgusted me, so I googled it. Here's an article on the situation, if anyone is curious.

 

Gossip has always existed and we know that, but there is something to be said about technology stealing away our ability to think things through. And this applies to so many things: people are less likely to stick around if they suspect someone in trouble--they'll just call the police and leave. Now, calling the police if you have reason to suspect trouble is all well and good, but leaving in an emergency is in many cases a bad idea. If we see someone doing something we don't like or, again, suspect trouble, we used to have to go find a phone and by the time we reach said phone, probably had time to properly think things through and give a more rational and solid assessment of just what we saw.

 

The result of not thinking through things is increased gossip, and social media makes it all the easier to spread.

 

I think people also like the glory of posting some nasty story online.

Edited by Litzy

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As for men, I think in western society men are generally treated okay, but I agree there are some nasty stories that pop up and I have seen some odd expectations for our young boys and men that basically tell them to watch themselves beyond sensibility in case they might be accused of any number of sins.

 

In the case at hand in Australia, the mom didn't seem to be with her kids, I have seen parents who are so worried about "stranger danger" they continually quiz their kids about who is bothering them, I have seen kids who as a result think they are expected to have some sort of story, the kids probably badly told mom about the man at the Star Wars cut-out, mom interpreted badly, went to the sensationalism of child molestors around every corner... and had this nasty result.

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So there's been this case in Australia of a mother who took a photo of a man at the store and declared him a pedophile on Facebook. She thought he was taking photos of her children when he was taking a selfie. Any who, the photo went viral and became a big mess.

This leaves me wondering about our ability to spread information including unfounded thoughts so quickly due to social media and smart phones. Do we lose the tendency to think things over when we can do things instantly? Apparently the woman feels horrible about her assumption and post, but damage is done.

While gossip spreads fast, does social media make it all the deadlier?

On another note, what do such incidents say about society's treatment of men?

yes but it can also cut in both directions.

On the side note, it probably says more about how people (andpossible men in particular) are viewed. Perhaps some view into peoples' fears.

Unfortunately if what you see and hear is so and so killed, robbed, or raped some other person and did such and such an activity that lead up to it, and etc... all the time, then people are going to get get paranoid.

Edited by Blackmarch

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On the side note, it probably says more about how people (andpossible men in particular) are viewed. Perhaps some view into peoples' fears.

Unfortunately if what you see and hear is so and so killed, robbed, or raped some other person and did such and such an activity that lead up to it, and etc... all the time, then people are going to get get paranoid.

 

And I think therein lies the problem. These horrible things really are quite rare circumstances, yet many have documented in studies the effects of our 24-hour news messing with people's perception.

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This puts me in mind of the Duke University lacrosse scandal of a few years ago, where an exotic dancer complained she had been gang-raped by a bunch of (admittedly rather badly-behaved) lacrosse players.

 

This spurred (quite correctly) a police investigation and (somewhat more dubiously) a well-organised harassment by Duke University students of their own lacrosse team. This in turn prompted 88 Duke academics to publish an open letter "thanking" the students for (what amounted to) expressing their disgust immediately without waiting for any of the facts.

 

You might think these 88 academics would have been embarrassed by the subsequent finding that the "victim" had been lying through her teeth. (I'm not saying that false rape accusations are common, but on this occasion even the state prosecutors declared accused boys to be innocent.) Not a bit of it though - instead of apologising they came out with a raft of excuses as to why their original response had been quite reasonable.

 

All I can say is that this woman (in the Darth Vader selfie case) seems to have a lot more integrity than certain Duke University professors. 

Edited by Jamie123

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