Friday, 10 July 2015

Quote of the day: On altruism & internet lynch mobs


“This is what led Preston to the phenomenon of altruistic punishment which, briefly stated, is the manner in which people will punish perceived wrongdoers despite not personally being affected by the wrongdoing. Brain scans show that when we punish somebody for violating a social norm, we are rewarded with feelings of self-satisfaction. … the internet can overload this sense of righteousness, leading users to take leave of their sense of proportion. There’s a lot to be said for the idea. …
    “An entirely foreseeable result of this is that zealous punishers have little trouble finding each other, feeding off one another and organising themselves into digital mobs to mete out digital mob justice. …
o update a saying of Mark Twain, outrage will go round the world while context is pulling its boots on.”
                             - Liam Hehir, from “When fury, righteousness and the internet are a disturbing mix,” at STUFF

[Hat tip Kiwiblog]

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