Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette.
As many of us have noted, anyone who wants their “issue” talked about just has to invoke the Zimmerman or Trayvon name into their agenda for it to get some attention.
Over the last several weeks, we’ve been discussing emails received by some who may have had an agenda in trying to control the online discussion on various blogs. The use of sock puppet accounts, leave the possibility of trying to insert a hidden agenda into online discussions. They try to influence the beliefs and attitude of others.
I often wondered if some of the online commenters were members of the Martin family. I’m 98% certain, I talked with some of the family members online on facebook. The persons were far too emotionally invested in the narrative to have been strangers to the family. Their behavior went beyond that of a stranger. I wondered if the prosecutors weren’t posting online to direct the conversation or maybe even the defense team.
I did recommend one time that the defense join one of the non-public facebook groups so they could be aware of what we GZ supporters were sharing in there. I thought at times, some of the family correspondence with others, was putting GZ in jeopardy. The response I got back was that would be deceitful. They weren’t prepared to do anything that they felt they couldn’t defend.
That was put to the test when they emailed Carole Green to rally some supporters and I made that request publicly known. The defense didn’t back away from what they did or deny it. They owned it and they posted on their website a public appeal for help in fighting the gag-order.
When I posted about the case online, in the beginning, I posted on facebook. I used my real-life facebook account and it never occurred to me to use a fake I.D. There did come a time when I seriously contemplated using another account to protect my friends and family from harassment and to be quite honest, to protect myself in defending how much of my time I spent discussing the case with others. My friends and family thought I was crazy to get so involved in a case from another country. Perhaps they are right. But if I had to do it over again, I’d get just as involved.
What I came to believe was I was witnessing an absolute public lynching of an innocent man. A man who truly shot in self-defense and a pack of lies being sold to the public by media with an agenda, politicians with an agenda, lawyers with an agenda, and as it turns out, bloggers with an agenda.
I decided to keep posting under my real identity. While it does have it drawbacks, it kept me honest. I couldn’t pretend to be a personality with one group, while pretending to be someone else with another group. While I get mad, like most, I knew my nieces and nephews read what I posted. So it kept me civil (for the most part) in my discussions with those I disagreed with.
The online discussions are so uncivil at times and this is because, in my opinion, people don’t think they will be found out as to who they are.
I can’t imagine living in such a way. Social media has given us, the public, the means to shine light on the entity that was suppose to keep those in power, in line, the media. Now we can disclose with each other their agendas and why we need to question what we see on the news and read in the papers. We can hold them accountable and ensure careers get ended if blatant disregard for the truth is manipulated.
I hope twitter, facebook, blog software providers, find a way to clamp down on fake identities online. All the anonymous voices with their hidden agendas are confusing the public. If we have an agenda, it should be honestly stated and each reader can decide whether it’s valid or not.
Until these controls are put in place, I encourage anyone who is truly interested in bringing the facts and the truth to light, to refrain from using multiple identities, post in a way anyone in your life would be proud of and always state honestly where you are coming from.
As readers of online content, we have to be aware of those commenters who are less than honest and have hidden agendas. Always look for the source of the information and judge for yourself if it is valid or not.
The media overall is doing a disgraceful job in bringing facts to the public. It seems too many are now posting their opinions rather than the facts. We do have power over them. We can choose to not buy their material, until and unless, they go back to the days of reporting facts, leaving the consumer to draw their own opinions. Reporters should leave us guessing, do they vote right or left?
In today’s world, finding the truth is getting harder and harder to attain. Finding opinions take a nano-second.
To those who engage in multiple online identities, I encourage you not to add to the problem of finding the truth. State your opinions honestly and be prepared to back-up or defend your position. Keep yourself honest and civil by allowing anyone who personally knows you to read everything you write. Trying to manipulate unsuspecting readers only puts you in the same boat of the media we criticize.
For those using the Zimmerman or Trayvon name to give their agenda some clout, I think ultimately you will fail. For anything to succeed it must be built on a foundation of truth. Having said that, I’m left scratching my head that Crump and Co. has been successful in getting an estimated $5 million dollars for the Trayvon Foundation.
A kid who assaulted another and died as a result, is being heralded a martyr by some. When will people wake up? Has the world gone mad?