Opinion

Beware the mob

There is a fundamental problem with so-called “social” media.  Posts are deleted if they are reported by many people. This method has one major flaw: it strengthens the mob and weakens the individual.

When people submit to a collective ideology, when the individual merges into a mob and dissolves into a legion of many, it becomes dangerous.

It is impossible to talk to a person when they are in the frenzy of a mob. A mob doesn’t listen. A mob screams, makes noises and rages. When the mob comes along with the certainty of moral superiority, it becomes particularly dangerous. It does not matter what the goal of the holy anger is; the method of the mob is always the violence of the angry masses.

Nothing justifies a reign of terror of virtue.

When people who otherwise have little in common unite in the degradation of another person, when hatred becomes identity-building, the mob marauds.

The mob does not allow other opinions. Instead, it explains that words are violence, only to be able to justify physical violence against the speaker.  When that becomes routine and speakers have been silenced, silence becomes violence. The mob declares every deviator and critic to be a danger against which violence can also be used. It’s self-defense, after all.

Out of fear, the mob takes other people hostage over a presumption of violence, or even terrorism. This fear is at the root of totalitarian thinking, which enables violence over thoughts as a preemptive strike.

The means of the mob are pictures. In order to incite a mob against a person, that person must be declared a villain. In the Middle Ages, people were declared witches, black magicians, child-eaters, well poisoners and devil worshipers to justify violence against them. These people were burned for their allegedly dangerous actions against the good life and pure humanity.

Today it is not so much religious or mythical denigration that people deliver to the masses, but rather political insinuations. Today the opponent is either a Nazi, a fascist, a capitalist or some other political monster, depending on the current image of evil in society.

Today people see Nazis everywhere, just as people saw witches everywhere in the Middle Ages. It is a delusion, born out of the conviction that you belong to the only true, good faith.

In recent years Jews have been all too carelessly declared right-wing extremists, black women white suprematists, former Muslims racists, and feminists sexist haters. Candace Owens, and JK Rowling can sing whole songs about it. They were defamed in order to unleash a mob against them on social networks. They all just used words.

Anyone who wants to forbid words because violence can result from them must also plead for a ban on the Bible or the Koran. Countless terrorists have murdered with the slogans of the Koran on their lips. Even Jesus couldn’t keep his words from being misunderstood. So should he not have given the Sermon on the Mount?

Thoughts don’t go away just because they’re not spoken.

Only those who hear the brutal thoughts can defend themselves. Forbidding words doesn’t do anything.

Words and opinions are far less dangerous than a legion that feels so right that it believes it can start a fire to stamp out the danger. Those who banish and burn everything that they do not like become blind to what is going on in society. Eliminating other opinions is as effective as the little child who holds their hands in front of their eyes and thinks the danger is gone. Deleting web pages, believing it will prevent something, is as productive as burning books.

Facebook, Twitter and other social networks block users more often for trivial reasons, while posts that openly and openly preach hate are not deleted. It happened to me several times. My accounts were blocked without giving reasons and only re-activated after legal assistance. As with all forms of censorship, fundamentalists publicly declared their joy at having silenced us. They even work together to have accounts on Twitter and Facebook blocked by reporting the posts on a massive scale.

These companies are children of our enlightened society. Many men and women who fought for freedom of speech have died for their freedom. It is precisely from these people that their most important self-defense weapons are being stolen. Nobody is in danger because citizens are talking. But we are in danger because the mob is talking. And the danger comes from the mob.

A mob currently dominates social networks. It is a victory of the feeling of the crowd over the reason of the individual.

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