Monday, January 12, 2015

(Series Piece 9) Anna Kavanaugh - Syndicated Columnist - Weekly Column - Cyber Abuse: The Virtual Violent Crime

By David Simms, Senior Contributor
The Global Institute for Cyber Safety and Standards

Today we proudly publish for syndication this week's installment of our featured columnist, Anna Kavanaugh, and her brilliant column, Cyber Abuse: The Virtual Violent Crime. This is Series Piece 9 and an excellent read in her column series. Anna's is a distinctive and ardent voice of expertise and wisdom in defining and describing what she rightly deems a global pandemic of virtual confusion whereby a societal breakdown of empathy and compassion confuse and pose serious threat to legal boundaries and civilised conduct. In this piece she discusses the turn of tides in how individuals air their grievances and the measure of damaging avenues available to them, equating by comparison the physical world and online realm. It is our honour to now present you with another perceptive and powerful installment of Anna's weekly column. Comments are open on the full article page for feedback and to encourage discussion.

Cyber Abuse: The Virtual Violent Crime. (Series Piece 9)
Written by Anna Kavanaugh, Syndicated Columnist
Published for syndication by: The Global Institute for Cyber Safety and Standards (GICSS)

Whatever happened to the good old days?

It used to be when we were upset, rejected, blinded by jealousy, had a grievance with someone, held a negative judgment of another, or were just plain done wrong; we aired those sour, unhappy or jilted feelings by complaining to our circle of family and friends. Sure, we could do a bit of damage to the villainous object of our detestation by poisoning the well with our self-serving emotional crusade in desperate search of garnering the sympathy and validation that in theory would somehow make us feel better. No matter how potent, persuasive, and vindictive our histrionic outbursts were, the depth of damage we could create for others was confined by limited reach to an audience that likely was not all that interested, and always counterbalanced by “the other side of the story.” We did not contact someone’s place of work attempting to get them fired by wheedling their boss with personal tales of our distress. We did not publish our version of dirty laundry in the newspaper, on billboards, or flyers left on random car windshields. We did not write to clubs, organizations, restaurants, churches, and gas stations urging them to refuse entry or service to a patron. We did not exploit the world available to us with the intent to destroy every aspect of someone’s reputation, livelihood, and life. Do these things sound absurd? Of course they do. That is why we did not do them.

We just cried, complained and groused about our feelings to the people who were part of, and among the closest, in our lives… those obligated, if not compelled to, commiserate with us. We did this until our emotions began to calm along with our need to vent them. That was what we did. That was what we were supposed to do. That is what we should still be doing today.

Oh yes, those were the good old days. But then, the internet happened.

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