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I completely despise mob mentalities

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#1
I was going to post this in one of the complaints threads, but it's long, and i'm aware that some people may get offended at me suggesting they aren't literally king Minos, all-knowing judge of the underworld. To those people, i just want to highlight that your behaviour was unacceptable regardless of how you may want to see it. Instead of getting angry and defensive, maybe you need to stop and consider the consequences of your actions instead of jumping onboard a hate train in future.

I've just finished the documentary about the deaths of Shanann Watts and her children, and i find both the major forms of opinion on display, after Chris Watts claimed she was the one who killed their children and he killed her in retaliation, to be pretty rancid. On the one side you had people who seemed completely certain she was innocent and that he's a total monster. On the other you had people completely certain she was guilty, and even going so far as to verbally attack her family like it would have somehow been their fault. The way the legal system works is to state "innocent until proven guilty", because that's how due process works. Because the alternative is idiotic mob law, where things are decided in the court of public opinion instead of on the basis of what actually happened.

And so at the time you couldn't definitively state either option presented here was the truth, because to assume that Shanann was innocent required you to assume that Chris was guilty, and vice versa. As comfortable as you may have felt sitting in judgement on either of these people like you knew for certain one of them was guilty, you are not omniscient, which meant you lacked any form of proof, and you therefore had no right to behave as the sole arbiter of who really killed those children. So stop acting like you did. I'm just sick of seeing people pour out of the woodwork after an incident like this claiming they just know that someone is guilty of something, despite having no solid evidence corroborating their opinion, just a bunch of circumstantial bullshit.

And yes, i am aware that Chris eventually confessed to the murder of his daughters, which makes those assuming he was the guilty party technically correct, but guess what - That still doesn't make your mob mentality "i've decided so it's obviously the truth" shit ok. A point that i think couldn't be better exemplified than by your counterpoints who threw all that abuse at the poor Rzucek family who were still reeling from the loss of Shanann. Only once Chris had confessed, or once a guilty verdict had been passed had he not admitted the truth, would you then have the right to view him as a monster. It still doesn't make things like abusing his family, or gathering together to mass-fantasise about torturing him ok, but yes, it does confirm he is a terrible human being. You could have doubts about him, you could feel it was likely he was the culprit, you could even argue that there was a statistical likelihood it was him before his confession. But you had no right to make categorical statements of his guilt any time before that point.

And we see this happen time and time again. The moment an accusation gets levelled at a person and they gain notoriety you can, as certain as the sun rising in the morning, find a group of people not just speculating about how obviously guilty that person is, but even engaging in some sick socially-accepted game of "Who can describe the most depraved act of torture they want to pretend they'd have the stomach to inflict on this individual". It's like an even more demented version of the two minutes' hate, which is fucking saying something. This shit is how you end up with stories like pediatricians being assaulted because idiots don't know the difference between a pediatrician and a pedophile. Or people being beaten to death over an alleged crime only to later get revealed as completely innocent. Or people's houses being set on fire because there was a rumour they were guilty of a crime they didn't commit. Or hell, doing things like firing a handgun at workers on a 5G tower, because a certain group of people have decided 5G is actually a secret conspiracy to transmit covid (I wish i was joking, but this really did happen).

I don't know why, but i've always had an especially black little spot in my heart for false accusations. They flare up an anger in me that it's hard to recreate in any other way. And so witnessing this kind of hostile, egocentric mob justice in action has always made me feel sick to my stomach with resentment. You can never assume someone is guilty of something. Having your doubts, or leaning towards a certain verdict are both fine, but until you have solid evidence, you can never make these assumptions and still claim to be a rational human being, because it shows you follow your emotional mind more than anything, and simply choose to believe what you want to.
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#3
Very well said. I don't believe in any punishment that is not preventative. Executions are preventative, torture is not. Prison is partially preventative, so are fines.
Well, i think we disagree on the death penalty, but i do agree that the purpose of justice should be to avert further harm, and jumping to conclusions like people did with this case doesn't help that.
 

Dark111

SF Supporter
#5
I equally despise mob mentality and false accusations. That's why I don't go on Twitter anymore; Wrongthink makes you an utter pariah amongst all the virtue signallers.

I'm curious though: Why did Chris Watts provoke your outrage? There's been so many actual false allegations in recent years, people accused of being a bigot for telling an off-handed joke and their lives are destroyed , etc. Why that guy?
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#6
I equally despise mob mentality and false accusations. That's why I don't go on Twitter anymore; Wrongthink makes you an utter pariah amongst all the virtue signallers.

I'm curious though: Why did Chris Watts provoke your outrage? There's been so many actual false allegations in recent years, people accused of being a bigot for telling an off-handed joke and their lives are destroyed , etc. Why that guy?
There's actually no particular reason why he was the subject of my rant. I get infuriated/exasperated pretty universally by these occurrences. I think the Chris Watts case and its documentary just so happened to be the one that brought it to the forefront of my mind and convinced me to get my thoughts on it out somewhere. That and the fact that jumping to these conclusions led to people sending countless insults and death threats to Shanann's family, when she was completely innocent and even if she hadn't been, it wouldn't have inherently been their fault. If anything, it was simply an instance where a certain group of people had been eventually proven to be categorically false in their assumptions, which reframed their actions as having been unacceptable behaviour, regardless of an observer's political leanings, and so it made a better example for my point than most.
 

Dark111

SF Supporter
#7
There's actually no particular reason why he was the subject of my rant. I get infuriated/exasperated pretty universally by these occurrences. I think the Chris Watts case and its documentary just so happened to be the one that brought it to the forefront of my mind and convinced me to get my thoughts on it out somewhere. That and the fact that jumping to these conclusions led to people sending countless insults and death threats to Shanann's family, when she was completely innocent and even if she hadn't been, it wouldn't have inherently been their fault. If anything, it was simply an instance where a certain group of people had been eventually proven to be categorically false in their assumptions, which reframed their actions as having been unacceptable behaviour, regardless of an observer's political leanings, and so it made a better example for my point than most.
Yeah I see what you're saying. I guess Chris Watts just wasn't on my mind and many other guilty-by-mob situations were. And it is a good non-political example. Maybe I spend too much time on hacker4chan :)
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#9
Yeah I see what you're saying. I guess Chris Watts just wasn't on my mind and many other guilty-by-mob situations were. And it is a good non-political example. Maybe I spend too much time on hacker4chan :)
In all fairness, i do find it a shame that politics have become so tribal that the moment someone attempts to present an idea through a certain political lens, or using a certain faction's vernacular, people in the other camp will often treat it as cause to completely disregard the substance of that person's point. It's another component of the mob logic "Us vs. Them mentality" that i resent so much about modern discourse. It's how we've found ourselves in this place with the internet where neither side seems to be making any major headway, instead mostly opting to badmouth each other and propagandise to their own respective echo chambers. Listening to the ideas of differing people is how we become the most well-rounded, well-reasoned versions of ourselves. It's also how we can learn to best effect the change we want to see in the world.
But that's the system we live in, so yeah, a non-political example remains the best way for me to make a universal point. I disagree with that being how life works, but submit to it.
 

Dark111

SF Supporter
#10
In all fairness, i do find it a shame that politics have become so tribal that the moment someone attempts to present an idea through a certain political lens, or using a certain faction's vernacular, people in the other camp will often treat it as cause to completely disregard the substance of that person's point. It's another component of the mob logic "Us vs. Them mentality" that i resent so much about modern discourse. It's how we've found ourselves in this place with the internet where neither side seems to be making any major headway, instead mostly opting to badmouth each other and propagandise to their own respective echo chambers. Listening to the ideas of differing people is how we become the most well-rounded, well-reasoned versions of ourselves. It's also how we can learn to best effect the change we want to see in the world.
But that's the system we live in, so yeah, a non-political example remains the best way for me to make a universal point. I disagree with that being how life works, but submit to it.
Indeed, ideological possession is the name of the game, not open conversation and honest debate. Demonize and/or silence the opponent rather than hear what they have to say in good faith. It's such a shame, I've learned more from people I initially disagreed with than anyone else: why do I just want to hear someone echo what I already know?

Some people like that game. I find it tiresome and uninteresting these days. At least we still have murderous psychopaths to keep us on our toes.
 

EmB

Absolute Peach!
#11
I watched that documentary - I think mob mentalities in general are just vile. I'm sure they also touched on the hate Shannan's family got even when she had been cleared too, saying she "deserved to die" because of some of her texts, which of course, nothing means someone deserves to die (in my opinion). I think people are quick to jump on things like that and it is just horrific.

As for false convictions, they really make me angry. When my dad was arrested, half the people living in our town decided it was fine to also assume my mum was abusive or part of it or supportive of it. People just have no idea what goes on for someone else, so how do they have a right to decide it? I don't know if it's wanting to feel right, just the love for gossip, or something else entirely, but it's just minging.

Sending hugs
 

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