Deemed guilty by social-media, without trail?
While i continue to be appalled by the vilification of the socially-dumb people and wrote about it in an earlier post about the urgent need for social-etiquette, I am guilty too!
Guilt of a far bigger social-crime! Conviction & judgement by social-media.
When a politician was accused & exposed on social media, a scam revealed, a loud journalist bashed, a brand held accountable, an organisation brought to its knees – I cheered! oh! yes it was a collective voice of the common man finally finding expression.
But then there is the other side of our social (media) behaviour. Conviction & Judgement without trail. The intent is to find the miscreant guilty until proven innocent.
The Convicted (not the accused): Sahil Menghani (google him & you will find his case in detail) has been judged guilty and people on social media are baying for his blood. ‘Sacking from his job’, ‘imprisonment’, with some comments saying ‘I know where he lives’, ‘castrate him’, ‘run him over’.
Crime: Ran over a street dog ‘deliberately??!!’ while visiting a friend and left it callously, while the policemen on patrol didn’t do anything to help the dog.
I LOVE DOGS! Period. My earliest childhood memories are filled with these amazing beings and it is well punctuated by the wet licks, the thumping/swinging tails and the deep-love woofs. We even got our dogs bobby & puppy married and had a grand ceremony and celebrated their 12 litter. I often feed street dogs and love the canine breed to infinity.
If this was an intentional crime, he should be punished by all means. The law should take its course.
My biggest issue is “If”. I am not saying he is not guilty, but I am not social-trigger happy to jump the gun and deem him guilty either. Somebody caught this on tape, tried to help the dog and found evidence of the act. How have we all jumped to deem the act a crime so quickly.
Comments to social shares of the act hastily deemed a crime are ridiculous. “I know where he lives”, “he should be run over” to one extreme. The other extreme being “he’s just killed a street dog man, it is wrong but it is not a crime”, “how can he be accused, the municipal corporation should control this street-canine problem”.
Then it became a dog-lovers Vs the dog-neutral / dislikers war and then social comments got even more ridiculous with one heckling the other.
In all of this a massive point was completely lost.
Who appointed us the law to judge the act a crime and the person as guilty?. This is resplendent with mindless crowd-behaviour, whats worse is that it is on social media – where we can appease ourselves that we did not hurt anybody physically and then walk away from it.
One version of watching the video could provoke the following argument:
Did the guy not stop – he did, the lil woof got up wagged its tail, walked around and fell by which time the car had been asked to move-on.
Did he immediately know that the poor woof succumbed? – maybe / maybe not!!
Did he do it on purpose – maybe/maybe not?!
Where the #$@% is our social-conscience in asking him about it first. You have the proof, you found the car number – why share it so immediately, without talking to that guy and the police?!. If he refused or behaved like a jerk, then by all means go to the social-court! You still have the evidence and ability to trace him dont you?!
The social-hunt sometimes has yielded positive results – finding a guy who harassed a woman on the road, a road rage criminal, a garbage dumper etc; I still stand by that.
But I am confused! I am deeply disturbed!
What if the guy was innocent or am I going to be hung by the social court for even saying this or deemed not sensitive enough towards the innocent woof?.
All the social-accusations and vilification we have mounted will forever be available on the social media and his reputation tarnished forever. Forget this specific case, what if the same happens in some other incident tomorrow? Where the socially-charged as guilty actually turns out to be innocent and hence in the end a victim of our social-rage?!
What if it were you next for something you might or might not have done?
What if “if” is forgotten and never given a chance?
Time for us to really think about this or we are heading for social-hooliganism in the guise of social-activism for the good!