Social Media: The New Form of Vigilantism

It seems that every day brings a new awareness of some form of outrage. Certainly, there is an abundance to go around. While we, as a collective whole, are being made aware of important issues in practically real time, there are consequences that are less than positive.

For example, we are all painfully aware of the tragic death of a regal lion named Cecile at the hands of a trophy hunter. As deplorable as that act was, the media frenzy in the aftermath is arguably equally as disturbing.

Some of the condemnations across Facebook, Twitter, etc. have been vile, ugly, threatening and obscene. So much so that this hunter has been forced to close his business and go into hiding for his own safety.

This is merely one example of many. Political rants are laced with people’s cowardly commentary, filled with invectives and anger that border on insanity. It seems that the digital age has given license to some to express hostility in a most hyperbolic way, threatening the very core of an open society.

Civil discourse and protest, with respect for your adversaries, is the cornerstone for non-violent change and was the founding principle for Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Respect does require high levels of maturity and discipline.

Social media often presents us the beautiful and the inspiring. However, the darker side is exposing a disturbing underbelly that could potentially be the Lord of the Flies of this media age.

One thought on “Social Media: The New Form of Vigilantism

  1. Your blog made me realize I have turned into a vigilante because after an acquaintance told me she liked Scott Walker. I actually thought I would like to punch her in her face.
    Thanks for your blog as I have thanked you before.
    Ps Just remember I only thought about it.

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