You may or may not know that there are web pages out in cyberspace asserting that the Dalai Lama is a “Nazi fascist cult leader”, Mother Teresa led a “Cult of death” and Nelson Mandela was a “Communist, terrorist murderer.”
And these are not just isolated incidents, there are literally hundreds of links to pages spewing forth this nasty, hate filled and vindictive diatribe.
We all know people who seem to delight in occupying the negative viewpoint. We all have known people who have a nasty intention and simply wish to desecrate good works by shrouding them in suspicion and negative here say.
I am connected to people online who roll out volumes of righteous dogma every time someone presents a viewpoint they do not agree with. It goes on all around us. And the internet is where these viewpoints thrive, gain popularity and somewhere in the dark corners of some universe, become truth.
IT is an amazing phenomena. But it is not new. For centuries, people have had a fascination with rumours and have not been able to resist the urge to pass them on, just in case they are true. We have all been guilty of it sometime in the past. It is the same quality in our collective consciousness that allows Newspapers and other Media Outlets to run a story based on some story, and not on confirmed fact.
Some News Broadcasters in the US live off half-truths that get a nation of gossips and critics ready for a lynching, or even war. It is incredible to watch.
We all know that it goes on. If ever you have been at the wrong and of a slanderous story, you will know how difficult it is to regain your state of innocence; that is if you even concern yourself with trying.
I remember my brother in law sharing a story once. He is a big, overweight man, not overly gifted with social graces. In fact he can be quite uncouth. He was on a very, very crowded tram and needed to pass wind. He thought he would try to do it quietly but was immediately hit by an overwhelmingly disgusting odour.
Trapped and surrounded by people he took the only evasive action available. He looked at the man standing directly in front of him and said out loud, “You dirty animal”. That was it. The man was guilty as charged and the looks of disdain and condemnation would have wilted even the strongest soul.
My brother in law thought it was a funny story, but to me it was a powerful case study of what human beings are capable of.
But this is the piece that I find it hard to reconcile. There are people out in the world doing great work. They are backing themselves and with great courage striding into new ground, creating new and exciting things. There are people in every profession, every industry and every human endeavour doing the things that change the world. And there are people attacking them and doing everything they can to bring them down.
I am always bemused when a Politician, who has decided to dedicate his or her life to serving humanity, is all of a sudden all over the newspapers because they had a DUI charge when they were 22 years of age, or for fathering a child out of wedlock when they were 18 or even indulging in an extra marital affair at some point.
Give me a break. Is anyone on this planet perfect? Western culture has much of its roots deep in Christianity. Didn’t Jesus say things like “He who has not sinned cast the first stone” or “Is not the splinter you see in the other man’s eye not but a reflection of the log in your own?” My apologies to those of you Bible scholars out there who might pick up the error in my presentation of scripture and who may use my error to discount the entire article. Yikes!
The Buddhist say that when you point your finger at another person, you should be mindful of where the other three fingers are pointing.
Harry Palmer wrote, “Preaching Morality is Hidden Confession”.
When people accuse, you know what their attention is stuck on. You know where their transgressions against others lie. So, in general, it is quite easeful to deduce that when people openly criticise and accuse, they are confessing their own sins.
See, here is the bottom line, if someone I know does something that isn’t cool, I can accuse or I can support them to clean it up and restore their moral code. I choose the latter any day. And if I find myself feeling critical of someone, it is a red flag and a good opportunity for me to clean something up in my own space.
So back to the critics, detractors and bashers out there in cyberspace. How do their pages get so high on the search engines? Simply because people click on them and read them. See, the Internet does not need any form of censorship. What it needs is for each of us to give these preachers of doom a wide berth and not read their stuff. Every time we click on a nasty link, we are putting oxygen on a fire of deceit and hate.
Here is a way of making amends. If you accidentally end up on one of these sites, get away quickly. Then, get ten friends to go and click around on the official site of the person being attacked. With good intention, these hate filled cyber assassins can be driven to the bottom of search engines.
And you know, I have to put my 20 cents worth in on Wikipedia. There are so many profiles of good people on Wikipedia that have been created by a detractor or even an enemy. There is enough factual information added to give it legs and the rest is here say and untrue. But it sits there for everyone to read as “Encyclopaedia Fact”. I do suggest caution when researching people on Wikipedia.
So when someone tells me something negative about another person, business or service and they inform me that they have “done their research”, I can be pretty sure they have just been trawling the internet to find something that suited their own viewpoint, to keep them in their own comfort zone.
After all, the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa are both icons of personal responsibility and responsibility for the care of others. For some, that is just too confronting. They have not finished blaming and hating. So of course, they have to make them as wrong as possible.
What stance are you going to make? Are you supporting the rumour mills or are you getting in behind the good intentions and creative power of good and courageous people?
Looking After Linked In
I do not know about you, but I feel that Linked In is one of the most exciting resources available to genuine business people today. It opens up so much possibility in the creation of connections, the sharing of information, the promotion of ideas and business offerings and the building of relationships.
The power of the tools to build a profile can see you turn a simple profile into a fully featured online brochure or CV. The groups are brilliant. If you are prepared to get in and roll your sleeves up and engage in the conversations, acknowledge other people’s viewpoints and contribute new ideas for discussion.
The entire platform is brilliant.
But there are a couple of areas that concern me deeply that may undermine the future of this powerful resource.
First, do you ever subscribe to a premium registration? We are all mindful of our cash flow and it is easy to not spend where there is not some level of pressure to spend. But I look at Linked In and see the benefits I gain, I cannot help but ensure that I subscribe, at least for some extended periods, to give back. There is no such thing as a free lunch…or a free launch.
Second, there are so many scammers popping up. You may not notice if you are a person who keeps your connections limited. I, like many, choose to go in the other direction. I am keen to build as many connections as possible to expand the reach of my posts and activities. I welcome every connection.
With this comes a variety of connection requests, most often supposedly from the Gulf Countries and the UK. Some are from India. The first thing you notice is that there is a feel about the profile that is not right. Second, they often put their role up as some level of senior position in Funds Management or Banking. There is very scant professional background.
If I have an overwhelming feeling that the profile is fake, I report it to Linked In. It will get checked out and if after a couple of weeks the profile is still sitting there waiting for me to accept the connection, I will go ahead and accept.
If I have a feeling about a profile but am just not sure, I accept and wait for an email from them. Most of the time, the email arrives. It is telling me about some grand business deal or some funds available and that I need to email them at a given address. The written English in these emails is never great. It is clear now that this profile is not genuine and of course neither is the email.
So, I reject the email is spam and then go to the profile and report it as a misrepresentation.
You see, as a Linked In user, I do not wish o have it over run or tarnished in anyway by thieves, con artists, swindlers and scammers. SO I will take the time out to act when something does not feel right.
I feel it is important to care for the hand that feeds you. And for business, Linked In is potentially an inexhaustible food supply.