iLynch: The Moral Police of the Internet and Guardians of Approved Speech

November 4, 2013

Lately I’ve heard much about anti-bullying initiatives and I suspect that it has been getting wide spread attention in large part because at one point or another we have all been bullied. But then, if we all have been bullied, it begs the question, who is doing the bullying, and what qualifies as bullying? See, whenever I hear the term anti-bullying, the first person I think of is Wanda Sykes and her “That’s so gay” commercial. Pro-gay? Sure. Anti-bullying? Not so sure. What I mean is, are you sure Wanda Sykes is the personality that you would want to have as a spokesperson on bullying? From what I can remember about Wanda Sykes, she’s the same woman who made a fortune off of bullying innocent people all for a few laughs and dollars in her pockets. She even once made a joke that she hoped a radio talk show hosts has a heart attack. Not a bully at all.

But while this “anti-bullying initiative spreads through Facebook and  the rest of the internet, there is a new form of bullying on the rise- iLynchings. People who have appointed their self as the moral police of the internet. They serve as judge, jury, prosecutor, and wardens, all at the same time. They alone get to decide what is appropriate to post and what is not. They get to decide who is allowed to have internet access and who should have a job.

But while I appreciate their zealotry in standing up for justice, I do get quite confused over their priorities. While Mexican drug lords and Islamic terrorists post threats and their follow through death videos on the internet, what really gets the ire of the iLynchers is pictures. Yes, pictures of a Halloween costume that is distasteful. Often the person is young, in their 20s and they made a stupid, immature decision, but the iLynchers aren’t going to let a stupid choice get in their way for deciding what speech is allowed.

And please, spare me the ridicule, the ostracism, and threats, I’m not condoning their behavior. Allow me to repeat myself before you jackals go all out and dig into my every move because you disagree with me. I am not defending the actions, merely their Rights, and your lack of right to attack strangers with whom you disagree.

In many of our lower class neighborhoods, we have what is called “street justice”. While so many of us live in our brick homes surrounded by a fence and with a fireplace inside, it’s easy to judge other people who live by a code that when their “family” gets shot, you get revenge. But for many of these people, the person that was  shot is somebody they have known almost their whole life. These are often brothers or cousins, and if not actual blood relative, still “family” as in best friend.  Again, before you iLynchers go all crazy dressing up in hoods and start fires in my trash cans, understand that I am not condoning the behavior.

I do have more sympathy for those people wrapped up in street justice than I do for people who spend their time scrounging the internet trying to be the Grandmaster of the iLynching du jour. At least those people caught up in gang violence actually knew the people they are fighting for. They knew the person who was attacked and helped bury their loved ones.

Yet most of the iLynchers probably never met a Boston Marathon victim and I’ll bet they never met Alicia Ann Lynch. Wait, never mind, it’s ok to iLynch her, she wore that terrible costume and her last name begs for a good old fashioned iLynching… but I digress.

Yes, I will agree, very insensitive of her to wear that costume and to post it on the internet. How shameful of her. How many Boston Marathon victims lost their job because of her picture? How many Boston Marathon victims would have seen that insensitive picture without the publicity the self-righteous iLynchers gave it? There are a lot of things I don’t understand from the moral police of the internet. I don’t understand why they think that it’s okay to be much worse to the people who happened to be young and posted something stupid. They are young, they are supposed to do stupid things. And really, haven’t you ever done something stupid? How would you like it if you did something stupid and before you know it, you’re losing your job, your parents are getting harassed, your personal information spread all over the internet, and people defecating in boxes and mailing it anonymously to your house?

Here are three examples of iLynchers, the self appointed moral police and the guardians of approved speech.

 Josh Duhamel – “Is that chick with the marathon bombing halloween costume dead yet? have we killed her yet? If we havent, then what are we waiting for?”

Mark @mchugh – “I forgot you can anonymously send s*** (literally, s***) through the mail. I think @SomeSKANKinMI can expect a delivery.”

Keith Gilchrist-“Alicia Ann Lynch @someskankinmi@shankaskank is the bitch from MI who wore the marathon bombing costume. Make sure she fries, ignorant clam.”
You see, which is worse? A bad costume posted on the internet? Unfortunately Alicia Ann Lynch isn’t an isolated incident. It’s just a matter of time before they next iLynching occurs. Perhaps they will be next? Or perhaps people will realize that there are much worse, more offensive, more insensitive things on the internet, and it’s not their place to decide what speech is approved.  FYI, just as I don’t approve of iLynchers, I don’t approve of their lynching either. I just hope they think twice about the internet they are creating before they harass the next one.



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