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« No one knows you're a dog | Main | In violent agreement! »

Mob justice

One of the side effects of the massively many-to-many publishing model that is the blogosphere is the following math:
1. controversy is fun to write
2. controversy is fun to read
3. piling on is safe and fun
4. undoing 1, 2 and 3 is no fun, hard work and easy to avoid.

When I was a kid, there was a fair amount of mob justice. A bunch of kids would spread a rumour, a posse would appear, ask no questions, beat the crap out of you and move on.

A friend of mine is now in a similar situation (and, as Arlo Guthrie famously said, "you may find yourself in a similar situation..."). And the question is, what should he do.

If he takes the time to point out to those bloggers that they're wrong, that they've taken one data point and blown it out of proportion while ignoring the facts (and there are many facts that they've ignored) he's just adding fuel to the fire. "Of course you'll deny it," they've said to him on the phone, "that just proves we're right".

Bloggers love a good fight. They love the give and take and the comments and the links. So my friend keeps his mouth shut and waits for it to blow over.

And it will blow over. Blogging is about speed, and no news is bad news if you're in the hunt for an easy score.

So that's the right way to deal with the mob, but it's not fair. It sucks, actually. The mob wins and nobody learns anything.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Mob justice:

» Mob justice from Johnnie Moore's Weblog
Seth writes about what I'd call ratpacking - a group of bloggers getting carried away attacking something or someone. Not fun to be on the receiving end. And I'm curious for details. [Read More]

» Seth Godin on the Search Industry from SEO Book.com
Seth Godin makes another post about the search industry, the search industry remains disappointed in Seth... [Read More]

» Mob Justice from Take the First Step
What I find surprising his advice to keep your mouth shut and wait for it to blow over. One of the features of the internet is its permanence. And the mob posts will be there forever, waiting for the right search engine query.

I think you need to m... [Read More]

» "Pile On! " Playground Dynamics and Advocacy from Network-Centric Advocacy
Back in Catholic school we really only had a parking lot for a playground so we passed the time calling out random "Pile Ons". The kids would pick some poor victim and randomly run and tackle the chump. The rest [Read More]

» The Posse Might Be Right from Brand New Malaysian
Something Seth said. [URL: Mob Justice] While it is often unwise to gang up on issues, certain matters require a hard line on the facts. Tenaga Nasional has had a history of mismanaging crisis. I think it is time they... [Read More]

« No one knows you're a dog | Main | In violent agreement! »