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Anna Kavanaugh’s Syndicated Column-Cyber Abuse: The Virtual Violent Crime




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.

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