Internet Vigilantes Get it Wrong Again and Again

Are we surprised that people willing to burn down businesses will destroy someone’s life over an error?

First up… Internet vigilantes falsely link ex-officer to teens’ attack

Baffled by the barrage of hate last Thursday, [John] Damskey plugged his name into the internet and made a horrifying discovery: Mobs of Twitter users were falsely accusing him of being the bicyclist on a Maryland trail who accosted three young adults posting flyers protesting the death of George Floyd.

And then… What It’s Like to Get Doxed for Taking a Bike Ride.

In his mentions, disaster was rapidly unfolding. People accused him of assaulting a child. Of being a racist. They shared a selfie he’d taken in sunglasses and his bike helmet and analyzed it alongside blurry images of another man in sunglasses and a bike helmet.

In both cases they were wrong. It didn’t matter. Because they don’t care about anything or anyone, except proving how woke they are.

In the 2nd case, the nightmare started because his regular bicycle ride was shared publicly on some GPS app, because what could go wrong with a lack of privacy.

Trail shared that information publicly, not just with his network of friends and followers. Someone had located a record of his ride on the path on June 2, matched it to the location of the assault from the video, matched his profile picture — white guy, aviator-style sunglasses, helmet obscuring much of his head — to the man in the video, and shared the hunch publicly.

And the hunch was accepted as fact.

And while I know about these 2 incidents, I’m sure there are more.

One thought on “Internet Vigilantes Get it Wrong Again and Again

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