crowd-sourcing judgement

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Some days I wonder about people.

Someone has an artist for a brother, and she’s proud of his artwork so she shared on facebook some pictures he’s done that are somewhat gruesome. He draws zombies. They are a bit of an acquired taste. A local person who dislikes the woman’s husband having the job he does posts up around facebook complaining about the pictures. Within a couple of hours the artist’s sister has her facebook page locked to friends only and posts up about how frustrating all the hate-mail is. Should her loyalty to her brother and his acceptance of his artwork influence anyone to judge her husband’s work? The one with a vendetta says it shows how messed up the family is and that the wife works for/with her husband too.


That is my local example of online craziness. Further away there are television stars preparing to do a fundraiser for a couple whose attempt at adoption has fallen through. The child has been a ward of the state of Tennessee and the adoptive parents went around the foster care system to try to terminate the father’s parental rights on their own. When that failed, foster care proposed a slow reunification plan which the foster parents refused to abide by, and eventually the child was abruptly torn away from the people she was taught were her parents and placed with her biological father. She had no preparation for the transition so the foster parents were able to talk about how traumatic it was for everyone, and air on television her last phone call with them where they prompted her to tell them about how dirty the house was. The foster care system forbids the father from allowing her contact with the former foster parents because they said it was detrimental to her and that even if her temporary placement with her biological father falls through and she remains a ward of the state they will not place her back with the former foster parents. Over a period of months the child’s lawyer reported the slow changes in what the child wanted, from going home to the foster parents to staying with her father but returning there for visits, to not having any contact with them whatsoever. She’s 10 years old and was embarrassed when people at school approached her about things the former foster parents put on television. Now television stars her foster-father worked with are doing a fundraiser for the foster-family to continue their pursuit of her.

The biological father has a criminal record. He ran a strip-club. People want to use that against him, saying he should not be raising a daughter. (He has other children, older than the one being fought over, including a daughter who tweets about the fun she has shopping and doing her younger sister’s nails.) Should strip-club owners be banned from raising daughters? Should that ban still stay after they switch jobs?

Judgement. Judgement. Judgement.

There is so much judgement in the world and problems too. I read something recently where someone was arguing that all police officers should wear video cameras while on duty, and that the live feed from the cameras should be available publicly on the internet at all times. The person thought this would allow police officers to be held accountable and make them less likely to step out of line.

I don’t have a problem with police being video taped while on their job, but I think what a disaster that could be if the video taping was shown publicly. I can picture the tumbler site for “bad things caught by police” where people would mock the random people who encounter police officers through their day, laugh at what people in domestic disputes say to one another in front of police officers and ridicule people’s facial expressions as they are given tickets for whatever.

There have to be ways of holding people accountable, particularly those in positions of power. I believe there could be ways of holding police officers accountable in other methods. I believe that the governments could form structures, alter the way they do things, to find solutions.

Yet I don’t necessarily believe that crowd-sourcing the accountability is a good thing. I don’t think mob justice is a good thing. I don’t have much faith in the average person.

I know in my own life I have been to apt to judge people. I have judged people for smoking, for making choices different than my own, etc. Slowly I learn to widen my understanding of why people do things, and to change my ideas around justice to include more compassion.

I have little faith in crowds today.


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