The internet is crazy. People can heap abuse anonymously, share opinions, ideas, nudes everything that was hard in information sharing and communications in the past centuries is now easy.
There is a deep morality in the internet however. If someone is doing something wrong, if they are engaging in criminal activity, these things can be brought to community attention much faster and with much impact. For example in a small takeaway restaurant not far from me, two young men were ordering a meal. The restaurant has video cameras which record all areas of the store and although this is brought to the people’s attention via warning signs the young men ignored it. In a petty act, an act of major stupidity, while the staff members had their backs turned the men took a donation tin from the counter and stole it. The donation tin was for sick children and contained, it would turn out seventy-two dollars.
When the staff realised the tin had been stolen they called the police and reviewed the footage. The young men could be clearly seen, however neither the staff or the police could identify them. So the cafe put the footage on facebook and youtube and within six minutes people began to leave comments identifying the young men. They were both eighteen years old and lived only two blocks from the takeaway store.
Their names were listed, their addresses were put on the net as well as abuse and the identification of their girlfriends and even that they were unemployed and drug users.
The police raided the homes and found the cash tin as well as drugs and the men were arrested. The internet provided me with this information as well as the face that one of the men’s girlfriends had left him.
There was also the case of a murder in my neighborhood. Within a few days of the murder and the suspects arrest, I was able to access the accused persons Facebook, find their names, photos and address. They are a husband and wife who beat to death a seventy year old man and stole thirty thousand dollars from his bank account.
The internet may be in a stage that may be described as ‘the wild west’ but it is powerful and wide reaching. People can damage businesses with negative reviews , they can humiliate a person by broadcasting personal photos or information and the internet can ever reach powerful celebrities or politicians.
It is an amazing tool, it is a world changing phenomenon and I am addicted to it.
I have recently been trying to build a platform here to promote my book but it is hard. I am not skilled and I struggle to attracted attention but there is something so fulfilling to communicate with people from around the world. I have discovered I have things in common with people who are from completely different cultures, I can make friends with people from countries I had no idea about and I can enjoy hours of videos about kittens. It is the future.