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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

entry arrow6:52 PM | The Internet is a Mob of Butthurt

I was just talking to a friend​ about this over coffee. I'm of the idea that many of the "arguments" we see in social media reflect less about the real issues purportedly at hand, and more about the fast-changing culture of online butthurt. It is much too easy to blow up something that would have traditionally been relegated to the wayside of discourse, and the means is the Internet. Today, for example, somebody is trying to crucify a Bench ad for being anti-nationalistic, and is trying desperately to make it happen, to make it go viral. (Let's NOT make it happen.)

In this link, the Guardian writes: "[Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt's] treatment also demonstrates the innate cruelty of social media, and in particular the savage power of Twitter, which first revealed the scientist’s transgression."

The thing is, in a time that's drowning in smartphones, easy wifi, and easier social media uploads, we are virtually living in a kind of digital 1984. George Orwell's Big Brother is no longer a warning, it's a reality -- although in a totally surprising form we didn't think or imagine could happen.

The truth is, you have to be really more careful these days. You must think before you quip, think before you make a joke, think before you wear that T-shirt with a print of half-naked women all over it -- especially when you know someone out there has his camera phone trained on you, and is recording everything you say.

What Tim Hunt and others like him said is wrong, of course. But they never really got a chance to defend themselves. The Splash Brothers, for example, are forever immortalised in various memes recording their indelicate bellyflops during the recent SEA Games in Singapore. Did videos of their good dives gain traction as well? Nope.

The Internet is a mob. Be careful out there.

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