So my original plan for this week was to write an article about the Syrian Civil War that nobody would particularly care about or be interested in. I know my friends talk about me behind my back, "Sam keeps texting me about Bashar al-Assad, someone tell him I really do not care."
However, something happened in my old hometown that garnered considerable media attention, and unfortunately, it was not, as they say, "good press."
The long and short of it is, video footage was taken from Snapchat, featuring freshmen from the high school I graduated from, physically attacking a child from a different high school that is close by. And as soon as the evil deed was done, rumors immediately started circulating that the child had autism.
The reaction from the community was naturally quite explosive. People began defending my high school as a place that is safe for people with special needs, and I assure you this is true.
And, people began condemning the actions of the freshmen. Even Internet superstar, Supreme Patty, commented on one of the boys' Instagram accounts.
I was proud of the community for rallying together to condemn this act. I thought the action was so grotesque it warranted that kind of response.
However, the revelation eventually came out that the boy did not have autism. That rumor was started, and everyone spread it like wildfire. It reminds one of the game "whisper down the lane." As Adolf Hitler said, "if you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed."
Now there is nothing wrong with being autistic, obviously, but I also understand why someone would not want to be mistaken for an autistic person. Unfortunately, everyone involved in this incident fell victim to social media sensationalism.
Many people from my hometown love gossip, myself included, so it should come as no surprise we would want to circulate a possible hate crime happening with no regard to how the outside world would perceive us.
Now, these boys who beat him up are punks, they are clearly not model citizens younger children should emulate. However, is there a moral equivalency between two people ganging up on one kid, vs. two kids ganging up on a special needs kid?
Yeah, they are both bad but one is far worse than the other!
So this raises the question of if it was justified to doxx these boys. One of their addresses was exposed online, but now there are rumors going around that that was not even the right address!
Taking all this into mind, should they be doxxed?
The answer is, of course, no, but that does not mean all doxing is bad. I think doxing is justified when someone creates a danger for other people in the community.
For example, if you live next to a white supremacist, you should doxx them, because they are a danger to all non-white people in the neighborhood.
If the victim, in this case, did have autism, the presence of his attackers creates a danger to special needs people, so doxing them, even though they are minors, would have been totally justified.
We can reckon the "jumping the gun" aspect of this case by not getting your news from social media and instead of doing the right thing, and doing your own research when you hear about cases like this.