The Murky Nature of Internet Vigilantes

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Image by Frank Tellez

Freedom allows many things, good and bad. The rationalization of justified Internet vigilantes arguably falls in both camps, depending on your perspective.

We love the archetype of the vigilante, the person who goes out and meters justice when authorities fail to do so. In a romantic sense, it makes sense. Consider our pop culture heros; Batman, Iron Man, Jack Reacher (in spite of Tom Cruise), Clint Eastwood’s many tough guy characters, and on and on. We worship their ability to right wrong in the spite of flawed protection mechanisms.

Thanks to the Internet, practicing vigilantism has never been easier. Social media empowers anyone to speak out for justice, and successful acts are met with attention and notoriety.

That’s unfortunate. Vigilantism (or “digilantism” online) is dangerous because the actor may not be well grounded in their ideas of right or wrong.

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Not Shying Away from Our Great Crisis

Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy by EUMETSAT

2012 brought the United States two more storms of the century, the famed Derecho that hit my area and of course, Hurricane Sandy. Each year, it becomes clearer we’ve created an environmental crisis that continues to threaten the human species.

The impact of climate change has become so obvious, BusinessWeek published a cover story after Sandy that declared, “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.”

Each year increases in heat, 2012 becoming the hottest on record.

Oceans remain embattled. More species are extinct. There is more CO2 in the air than ever before.

Businesses still need to move from pure ROI models to sustainable long term visions that embrace long term community health. We as people need to awaken to our wonton consumerism.

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