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Internet as a tool of public shaming

Posted on 2009.06.18 at 10:32
Current Music: D.O.A. - Smash The State
I guess that one of the good things about the internet is that when someone is a complete jerk to you in emails, you can publicize it across the globe, as is the case in this exchange.


sunflower_sky at 2009-06-18 14:43 (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. High-tech, grand-scale lashon hara...

theservant at 2009-06-18 14:55 (UTC) (Link)
Is it? Or is it a cautionary tale, a way to explain to people how to behave and how not to behave?
sunflower_sky at 2009-06-18 15:20 (UTC) (Link)
A cautionary tale wouldn't have to include the intricate details of the interaction, especially not the full name of the "villain" of the story. It wouldn't be lashon hara if the lady harmed him in some way and telling other people about it would protect them from harm... even then, he should reveal only the necessary details.

Unfortunately, someone being a jerk doesn't give us leave to badmouth them... it's one of the hardest mitzvot, because it just feels so unjust at the time, but ultimately it really makes us better people. Not long ago I tried to put up an ad on Janglo (an English-speaking mailing list for Jerusalemites) to search for the videographer who apparently disappeared with our wedding video, and the managers denied it, sending me a message that it was a lot of lashon hara and if I wanted to put up a simple request for information on her without the background story that would be fine. I was pissed at first, especially since it almost falls under the above category, warning people against using her services... but eventually I grudgingly accepted that they were right. We found her and got the video not too long after that, and it was beautifully done if rather late and no thanks to her lack of correspondence... but she was a sweet lady and there was no reason to publicly announce that she ran off with our video and a large chunk of our money.

theservant at 2009-06-18 16:58 (UTC) (Link)
I would have really appreciated it if I knew that a videographer had done that, so that I would hire someone else.
sunflower_sky at 2009-06-18 19:09 (UTC) (Link)
Which is why I would have mentioned it if you had asked for a recommendation (and that would not be lashon hara), but it's no reason to call it out from the mountaintops...

sunflower_sky at 2009-06-18 19:12 (UTC) (Link)
Also, it wouldn't have been true. She didn't run off with our video and our money, she was just a terrible correspondent and didn't let us know what was causing the delay. So it would have been hotza'at shem ra, which is even worse.

The Hammer of Rhetoric
gislebertus at 2009-06-18 20:10 (UTC) (Link)
I, for one, think it is hilarious and justified. Lesson: don't act like a self-important ass just because you consider yourself a gatekeeper.

There are times I really do like the internet.
killerjoe65 at 2009-06-18 22:40 (UTC) (Link)
Jonny - Really funny, I got a kick out of that.

Jon Jon, do you have any other funny emails?

Jack, I appreciate you checking for me - I thought this was really funny.

Jack, Thanks in advance

John, I appreciate it,
theservant at 2009-06-19 16:02 (UTC) (Link)
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