Privacy is something we all value. Why? Because information in the wrong hands can have catastrophic effects. The reason why I got inspired to write about this is because a young man had committed suicide overnight because he had been a victim of doxing. Doxing is tactic used to destroy a person’s life by searching the person in question’s social media posts, online personas and other information of highly personal nature and sharing it with the masses.
Often this doesn’t stop just there. Further information about the person’s friends, family, address and job is shared with a mob of people who use the information to make the person’s life a living hell. So it becomes an ongoing form of bullying which can drag out for months, if not years. The person in question suffer soured friendships, family relationships, difficulty in employment to name a few detrimental effects.
It is not clear the intention of such prolonged bullying. It is often that the person had rubbed some people the wrong way or did something socially or morally unacceptable, but the actions are not unlawful and therefore is not punishable by the law. So people try to take matters in to their own hands and punish the person through covert means. In this particular case the young man had protested against persons of a certain social group doing community service with children, may be due to religious beliefs. Though I do not agree with his protest, I also do not agree that one ignorant action specially by a young person justify punishment of mass scale.
From a bystander’s perspective, it may seem that the person is deserving of this treatment because they did something negative. But one action does not show what the person is like as a whole and it may be that at the given point in time the person has been misguided. However the person is not left any room to redeem themselves or to learn. They are forever labeled a villain. The bullying on social media and in person is so severe that the person is left no other choice but to end their life. It is not clear what the mob of self proclaimed justice seekers intended to achieve by the prolonged bullying, but in this case this situation ended in tragedy.
I am not sure what the solution to this is. But this is a very common scenario that happens in our society. With the increase in use of technology and social media any misstep by a person will be recorded and shared among the masses. Though social media is allowing us to connect and share faster bringing us closer together the darker side is that it can be used as a very dangerous weapon when it comes to bullying. The effects of bullying at such a scale can have strong psychological effects which can be on going.
I think in cases like these we need to understand that we could very easily be on the other side being the victim of bullying. We may have differing view points to others and decide to voice something at a time of frustration or stress or make certain mistakes as every single person on the planet has done and is doing every day. Imagine all the content of your closet’s being exposed. Will you be able to live with that? Would you if in this situation expect others to be more forgiving and see your actions with compassion? Or would you think that you are deserving of this kind of social humiliation.
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