It's Too Late Now


The murder of Annie Le at Yale last week has dominated the headlines online, television and in print, her image and life embedded in thousands if not millions of sites.

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"He looks guilty"

What hasn't surprised me in this tragedy is the speed that the suspect Raymond Clark III's life has been sprayed across the internet (he was arrested this morning) . Photos from his Facebook today appeared online, on Huffington Post. The Facebook pages have since been taken down, but not before someone connected to him pulled off the images of him and his fiancee and plastered it all over the web, they did not see the collateral damage it was going to do to the people also in the images around Raymond Clark III, and they probably didn't care. (Advice to people on Facebook, it's time to delete those Spring Break photos and the ones of you dressed up as the Devil.)

"Guilty! Oops not Guilty! Our bad."

Also today the five students accused of gang rape of a Hofstra female student were released from custody; their accuser admitted it was a hoax. Yet the last few days mug shots of the young men were again spread across the web, their lives changed forever. Their names and mugshots will float across the internet long after we have forgotten, but will follow these young men forever.

Short Term Memories, Long Term Repercussions

The speed of information has now made us all into a roving posse ready to point fingers at anyone, regardless of their guilt or innocence. We are also able to embed their images into our blogs, Facebook pages, Tweets, Friendfeeds, anywhere we want. If they are found to be guilty, then it was "alright to post it", but what if they are innocent? Do we backtrack and take down those images? Apologize? Do we hang our heads in shame for participating in a mob mentality? I doubt it, those images are way back in page 14 of our blogs or forgotten and replaced by the latest "you've got to see this" images and videos.

Before you jump on the bandwagon, remember it could be you one day and those images posted online of your birthday, vacation, nights out could become internet fodder and dissected for every nuance of guilt or innocence. Take a step back and let the mob go by, you are better than that.

Image: Ophelia Chong / Death in a blink of an eye

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