If you could anonymously and safely destroy any one person's reputation online through various postings, would you? If so, who and why?
For starters, most people who have their reputations destroyed online often do it themselves. It seems to me that there isn't a politician alive who hasn't been completely blasted for some misguided tweet or post. But that's them controlling the conversation. What's the saying, "its better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt..."? Hollywood celebrities tend to do the same. Sometimes they get it worse. Got a picture you didn't want out for the world to see? A video? Ask Jennifer Lawrence or Kim Kardashian.
This question does speak more to the online presence that can't be controlled. Crime is a great catalyst for uncontrolled standard and social media reputations. Some people have never been recognized in any way by anybody, then their charge documents hit the local paper. Perhaps the community is small enough that this "criminal" is all the rage. Face it, the reporters don't sit in the public defender's office looking for the opposing angle. This is where the fun begins, right?
If you Google any of the writers for this site, you will notice some variety of ill history that we all have had to overcome. Most centered around the crime(s) that brought them here. But they've developed reputations of being community leaders in our 800 person town, this prison. They are the motivators of positive change, and some even had strong, positive reputations before the crime that led them here. But that's just it, reputation and history are very different to me. Reputation speaks to "what's predictable". It speaks to character. And anything you read about the people who have been convicted is still that thing, the history, that the outside world grabs on to. We know what it means to have someone destroy a reputation. We live it and will always work against it. Our convictions aren't our character, its our errors. We've worked our ass off to develop our predictable reputations, our characters.
I'd never work to destroy anyone's reputation. I already know how difficult its going to be to rebuild my own and the state government and local media have me up against the wall in that regard. I'm listed as a horrible person and I have to work hard at overcoming the perceptions that come with. I just couldn't do that to anyone else. And to do it anonymously? Well that's just chicken shit. At least bring the credibility of a source. Just do what's been instructed throughout time. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Or at least bitch about it in such broad generalities so as to not hurt anyone...
Question originally from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.
For more about this author, visit gregorystock.net
by Rory Andes
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