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Time To Stop Letting Digital Mob Rule Dictate How Our Society Functions


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We Need to Stop Letting Digital Mob Rule Dictate How Our Society Functions.

The murder of school girl Ana Kriegel has had a significant impact on the Irish people. We are always shocked when we hear about such a brutal and callous deed against a child, especially when carried out by other children. It is a horrific reminder of the potential savagery of human nature.

However, something  I find equally disturbing is the wanton disregard for reason among people commenting on social media about the case. Take a look at any comment section on any mainstream media story related to the case and you will see comments such as; “They should get the death penalty”, “I hope they get whats coming to them in jail”, “They need to be in adult prison” and “Boo hoo, no sympathy” (in regards to the family of boy B being forced into hiding). And cheering as children are in effect doxxed.

Often these comments are accompanied by the specific phrase “Beautiful Ana. RIP”. So many people are using that exact phrase before engaging in this bile. That is weird. Not the fact that people feel saddened or even angered by the death, its more than understandable but that they keep using that formulation. Its as if it isn’t an expression of sadness, but a quasi-religious incantation, seemingly giving the commenter the moral cover before they say and support terrible things. To make an (somewhat) extreme comparison, they sound like a suicide bomber repeating “Allahu Akbar” over and over before detonating the vest.

The standard in most Western legal systems is that a child lacks the same capacity for responsibility that adults do. That is based on psychological research, legal precedent and human experience. That standard exists not to exculpate children who commit heinous crimes like Boy A and Boy B, but to protect every child as a principle. And it has to be a principle. Because if you start disregarding principle when it comes to provocative cases , you risk exposing all children to an unfair justice system. But try telling that to the “Beautiful Ana” crowd.

This isn’t the first time people have sought to subvert the legal system by relying on quasi-religious chanting on social media. Take the Paddy Jackson rape case. From the get-go it was #IBelieveHer. Paddy Jackson was found not guilty in a court of law, yet every anti-Jackson online comment always had the #IBelieveHer. And solely based on this constant mantra, hundreds took to the streets to demand “justice”. But they didn’t want justice, they wanted a result that suited their biases.

And its not just regarding criminal cases. Take the recent referenda, let’s take one example, abortion. At no stage did we see an in-depth moral discussion on what it actually means to take away a child’s right to life. We got #TrustWomen and #MyBodyMyChoice . Peppered with  disdain for anyone who dared burst the libertine and self righteous bubble.

And here’s the problem, the media took their cue from the online sentiments. Indeed, the media was often integral in facilitating such sentiments by giving excessive exposure to ideological perspectives repeatedly using these incantations to beguile a population of uncritical citizens into supporting such a black and white view of important issues. Then the machiavellian politicians in turn take their cue media, and pushed intentionally less nuanced positions because they wanted the uncritical citizens’ votes. And all of a sudden we see Simon Harris wearing a #TrustWomen badge, and telling those who have genuine moral issues to “move on”. He was pro-life less than a year before the referendum.

The new policy agenda being pushed in the wake of the Ana Kreigel murder is banning children from pornography websites. And straight away the indoctrinated hear “Beautiful Ana. RIP” in their head and support the move blindly. With politicians like “centrist” Aontu leader Peadar Toibin saying “its about time” and Fine Gael now “looking into it”. No regard for any of the potential implications like drastically compromising the online privacy of citizens or the dangers of relieving parents from having to parent.

This madness has to stop. These hashtag spells sound pithy, but are devoid of any meaning. (#TrustWomen literally make no sense). They are deliberately designed to replace reason with digital mob rule and it is having a disastrous effect on our society.


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