Dystopian futures

Social media justice

The other day, I was watching The Orville on Hulu – great show. You could describe it as a funny Star Trek show. In episode 7 of season 1, they deal with a society with majority rule. In essence, your behavior and performance are constantly judged by everyone – both online and offline with buttons on your shirt. It created almost a Black Mirror-esque of dystopian future.

It reminded me of this TED talk (video below) by Jon Ronson called “how one tweet can ruin your life”. You could call it social media justice.

Recently, an opinion piece appeared on the NY Times called “the cruelty of the call-out culture“.

Sometimes it feels like we live in this future today and I’m not a fan. We’ve grown beyond lynching and public shaming and built a justice system with impartial justices who enforce the rule of law. We vote for representatives in our government to lay down those laws. It really wasn’t pretty in the Middle Ages.

I think the power of social media is around awareness and public debate. The #metoo “campaign” did its work and was great in surfacing and creating awareness around unethical behavior. Those are valuable contributions to society. Public lynching is not – the courts are a better venue for that.


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