Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Perpetuating Memes


I was a tad shocked yesterday by a FaceBook post showing a woman with a black eye with a superimposed picture of her partner or husband. The text said; "The man who did this to my sister is trying to have his image removed from FaceBook. Please share if you agree domestic violence is not OK. Break the silence."

Now I don't know the woman posting the message, or her sister, or her sister's husband/partner. In fact, I know nothing about this at all, except for the post coming via one of my FaceBook friends, who may have got it 1st, 2nd, 3rd or Nth hand. 

The post may be true, it may be a load of bunkum, it may even be someone with a grudge against the bloke being targeted. Sharing stuff like this on a whim can be dangerous, as you could open yourself to prosecution for libel. 

FaceBook can be a useful tool; it is also the best medium for spreading ridiculous, and in some cases malicious crap that many people fall for, hook, line and sinker (miracle cures for cancer that "doctors are trying to suppress," come to mind most, as well as free cars or iPods).

I'm not saying this story is crap, but unless you know the individuals concerned, you just don't know whether it's crap or not (unless it's the miracle cure or the free car, in which case you can be certain that it's unresearched, purposefully misleading crap, or will lead you to a site that installs malware on your 'puter). Sharing such posts is spectacularly irresponsible, especially in light of some high profile accusations which have proven to be baseless and fabricated.

FaceBook, for some, has replaced the courts as judge, jury and executioner. That's mob rule.


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