We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear — fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts, or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.
This was said in regard to the USA in 2003 by Hunter S. Thompson. This can be easily still be said about USA, but what is scary is that it can also be said about Australia.
I have never experienced a country that is so fearful about everything. It was the first country where I heard someone say, “stranger danger.”
From time to time I often, blissfully, forget this. That I live in a country drenched in fear. Unfortunately this ignorance was disrupted today on Twitter when someone asked if anyone knew the true ID of a user, due to something they had tweeted.
From here on no-one will be identified as it doesn’t really matter who they are.
I agree, the tweet was ambigious and vague, lacking of context, so I can understand why someone might misinterpret that message. However, I do question the fact that the misinterpertation was acted upon, and justified by journalists.
It is truly sad that a certain arrangement of words evoke the thought of suicide. It’s disturbing in two ways. Firstly, it might indicate that there are more suicides, or are there? Secondly, we are easier led by fear; fear seem to control our lives, our actions.
What is more disturbing that the concern was RT (re-tweeted) by two journalists. All it took me to find out it had nothing to do with suicide is scepticism, drive to fact-check and “risk” spending less than a minute to go to the source.
I approached both journalists regrding this, asking if we have become more fearful and if we let this dictate our behaviour. All I got in response was that it is better to be safe than sorry, a wall of silence and even told to not include one of the journalists in the further twitter discussion.
I was even told that sometimes it is easy to jump to the wrong conclusion. That might be true, as we humans are not infallible. This is however an excuse that should not come out of the mouth of a journalist.
With this experience it makes it even more clear why journalists, at least in Australia, are rated so low regarding trustworthiness by the public.
How can we [journalists] expect the public to trust us when some jump to conclusions and says that this is what might happen from time to time. Moreover, not willing to show any regret when making such a mistake, only hiding behind to old adage, it’s better to be safe than sorry – then silence.