Trial by Jury of Social Media

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Due process, innocent until proven guilty, trial by a jury of your peers: these legal principles used to mean something.

Now we might as well scrap the entire judicial system because everyone is guilty if enough people say so. Today, jackasses on Facebook and Twitter decide the consequences of any action whether it be an act that is illegal or something legal but socially unacceptable.

The mob mentality cloaked as outraged citizens has gone too far, leaving anyone disliked at risk of having his or her life ruined. Let me preface my argument by saying I do not condone any actions of violence, racism, sexism, or any other isms so I hope you read this first sentence carefully before orchestrating a social media witch hunt against me.

But enough is enough.

As a country of checks and balances, we used to “let justice run its course” before condemning anyone. The impatience from instant updates via social media has rendered this system useless. Now all it takes is a TMZ video clip, an unauthorized soundbite, or Tweet in bad taste to make someone a social outcast.

The worst part is that the witch-hunt is not led by those who are fighting for good. It is led by those fighting for attention. These people don’t care about justice and equality. They want to feel involved, feel powerful, believing they are making a difference. They are mistaken.

The effect of 24/7 social media monitoring will not eliminate domestic violence, reduce racism, and bring justice to the underrepresented. It will have the opposite effect. People will grow ever more conscious that they are being monitored and go to greater lengths to hide their misdeeds knowing that at any time their 4th amendment right to privacy could be violated, leaving them at the mercy of the social media mobsters.

There’s a slippery slope from the benefit of exposing a person’s disgusting views about race, gender, or class and the unanticipated effect that leads to such persons suppressing their views.

The latter creates hostility below the surface that will bubble up in an unforeseen way in the future, baffling the social media morons who thought that society was making progress.

What did Donald Sterling learn from losing his NBA team? Did he learn that racism is wrong?

No, he learned, as he is quoted as saying, that he should’ve paid the bribe to his extorter.

What did Ray Rice learn from his infamous elevator incident? Did he learn that the justice system that incarcerates far more minorities than whites is reliable? Did he learn that the policies and procedures of the NFL that govern player conduct are consistent?

No, he learned that the court of social media opinion is what counts. Indeed the tape in the elevator was shocking and appalling but let’s wait and see how long it takes for an investigation to prove that the NFL knew about the tape and why they chose to be complicit. Then the social media mongers will chase after Commissioner Goodell who will prove to be the ultimate hypocrite. Given the backlash, I’m surprised that the prosecution hasn’t found a loophole to undermine the double jeopardy provision and try Rice for aggravated assault (as they should have in the first place).

Today, there is no justice. If social media is unhappy with the outcome via the court system at the state level, they turn to the Attorney General for help. If that doesn’t command an indictment, they’ll keep exclaiming their outrage until the President himself usurps the judicial process by interjecting his opinion.

And on and on the charade of justice goes with no end in sight even after incarceration.

If someone has paid his debt to society and society still thinks he’s a ‘bad guy’, they turn to the employer to be the moral compass. Of course, that all goes away once he scores a few touchdowns on the road. Then he’s ‘grown as a person’ and is back in the good graces of social media- checkout the highlight reel!

The wheels of justice have been hijacked by those who want to pick and choose social causes with one underlying factor as to which cause is deemed “worthy”- attention.

Today the social media moralists are concerned why a Heisman trophy winner would ever stand on a table and say, “I’ll fuck her right in the pussy.” Yesterday that statement was deemed to be 1/2 a game’s worth inappropriate by the head coach. Today, it is a full game’s worth.

I wonder what has changed?

The ironic part is that his condemnors, social media, weren’t denouncing the same words months ago when someone else said it online. That clip was deemed hilarious. It went viral, garnering millions of hits on Youtube.

All rise. The court of social media is always in session.

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Living Doesn’t Have to Suck…unless social media says so.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. So well put. If this story is about domestic abuse, then let’s talk about how many times Ray was hit before he threw his punch. Or, let’s talk about Jay-Z’s sister in law’s out of control abuse in another elevator. This story is only about how feelings rule and law and justice are insufficient.

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