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Op/Ed

Customer leaves irate review of a restaurant for another customer suffering a heart attack

Society in general has always gobbled up content at an alarming rate. Social media has exasperated the situation. And the fact that social commentary can originate from someone hundreds or even thousands of miles away creates a perceived safety buffer in the minds of many.

fair housing

Kudos to the Kilroy’s manager who was mad as hell and couldn’t take it anymore when he received what appeared to be a New Year’s Eve rant from an inebriated patron. He responded in kind, the entire dialogue went viral, inebriated patron is humiliated, manager rides off into the sunset and the world is a better place for what transpired.

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Negative reviews. You gotta love’em. Our ability to go viral with virtually everything from photos to video to negative commentary is really the WTF moment from 2015 and will most certainly evolve into a much uglier beast in 2016.

For all to see

The Indianapolis Star recounted the entire incident (which you can read about here). It speaks volumes about what many psychologists are referring to as a communication “mob mentality”. The Indy Star quotes Irina Raicu, director of the Internet ethics program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University who says, “The lack of being face to face discourages people from editing themselves on the Internet.”

Raicu goes on to say that “…Suddenly [we] have this tool that allows people to respond very off the cuff to a much broader audience than they used to and without the sense of the consequences that come of that. We don’t see each other, and we’re just shouting at each other.”

Distant recourse

Society in general has always gobbled up content at an alarming rate. Social media has exasperated the situation. Everything is newsworthy to someone. And the fact that social commentary can originate from someone hundreds or even thousands of miles away creates a perceived safety buffer in the minds of many.

Adds Aine Donovan, director of the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth College and a faculty member at the Tuck School of Business (from the Indy Star),

“The [whole] notion of the Internet is speed, and speed often is the enemy of reasoned discourse. There’s a worldwide epidemic happening right now of a lack of civility. There’s a direct relationship between anonymity and incivility, so when people know there’s no cost to that behavior, they ramp it up.”

Code of ethics

If anything good is resulting from anonymous verbal harassment and negative reviews that go viral it’s that slowly but surely some sort of social medial etiquette is coming to the fore. A sense of internet integrity is being established.

Whether or not anyone abides by such a thing is another story altogether.

#NegativeReview

Written By

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

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