Courage fueled by anonymity


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I love the Internet. I spend a lot of my time (professional and personal) with it and we get on just fine.

But there are things, personality traits if you will, that I don’t love.

I don’t love that people seem to take permission from the Internet to say whatever they want, assuming it is without consequence. Being the moderator of various professional social media accounts makes me hyper conscious of this unfortunate reality. So often I bear the brunt of rude, offensive and down right mean messages that people send to the organisation. They often embody just what they accuse the organisation of, but see no irony. Because I am faceless so they can call me what they will.

And that’s a mild example. But it doesn’t always feel mild to read that “I” (as I am the receiver of the message) am….despicable, like Hitler, rude, ignorant,…the list goes on. And that’s not by trolls or in any way intentionally directed at me. I am but an innocent bystander.

It makes me conscious now of where I channel my rage, complaints or indignation, and with what conditions. I’m not innocent in that I have chosen my job, not only for the money but for what is possible…Which means I have willingly linked myself to a beast that is often a scapegoat or target. The recipient of your outrage may be equally well intentioned and, given their story, you may too regret your quick attack.

You see, the Internet and I have been in this relationship a long time now and yet there are still surprises. What isn’t a surprise is behind every account, every organisation and every voice is a face and I’d warrant a lot of us wouldn’t say as much if we were forced to see the faces we were speaking to.