The Court of Public Opinion

The Court of Public Opinion

by Chris Adams

“If there is anything that links the human to the divine, it is the courage to stand by a principle when everybody else rejects it.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

Every day in the news, there is a new cause to be outraged over. Usually, the outrage comes before facts and people pile on to show others how good they are. Twitter is guilty of this time and time again. It can't wait to condemn people for something they may or may not have done. As in Jon Ronson's book So You've Been Publically Shamed he perfectly shines a light on the outrage culture that has been growing in our society and the real world consequences it has on all of us.

"A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control." From the review of his book on Amazon.

He has been publically attacked for writing about what's been happening. 

The news organizations aren't any better. They use outrage and sensationalism to get the much needed clicks. When the news media started to report the latest Twitter controversies, I knew they had jumped the shark. 

Here is their process:

  1. Report on the latest controversy 
  2. The public get's outraged
  3. Report on the outrage
  4. Someone tries to defend themselves
  5. People get outraged again
  6. Report on the outrage to the outrage
  7. Repeat

It's a journalistic centipede. Even more disgusting than that film I refuse to think about. 

What can be done?

I, for one, will no longer keep silent and plan to stand up to public outrage. I refuse to let the intoxicating roar of the crowd sway me until all the facts are in. 

In a court of law you are guilty until proven innocent, we should hold the court of public opinion to the same standard.

Stop in the name of, TRUTH!

Thank you for reading.