On the surface, it seems like having friends who are willing to go to bat for your would be a good thing. Everyone wants friends who will defend them against those who wish them harm. But sometimes this can be taken too far, especially on the internet where anonymity makes many people more bold and outspoken than normal.
This post was inspired by a thread I was following recently on an online forum. The OP submitted a lengthy rant about how a popular blogger had committed copyright infringement by using an image, shot by one of her photographer friends, without the proper permission. This person then proceeded to rudely attack this blogger’s intelligence and integrity in a malicious and defamatory manner. Let’s be clear that I am in no way advocating copyright infringement; as it is a very serious matter, especially in this age of new media. What I object to is the manner in which the issue was addressed. The author’s tone was insulting, and their intent seemed to be to damage this person’s reputation.
The photographer herself later joined in on the discussion later, thanking her “friend’ for the support, and also mentioning that she was in the process of resolving the issue privately on her own. Wait… you mean to say that the issue would have been resolved even without this whole huge dramatic mudslinging fiasco? That’s right folks! So, lesson to the originator of said thread: mind your beeswax! K?
But it doesn’t end there. I was really bothered by the fact that the photographer actually lowered herself to participate in this pettiness, despite having dealt with the issue directly on her own. There is something a bit off-putting and unprofessional about that. And the worst part about it is that, because she wasn’t hiding behind a false identity, I know exactly who she is, and chances are I’ll think twice before giving her my business again.
The social media playground is not all fun and games, and just because it’s the internet doesn’t mean that you can completely turn off your filter. Be safe out there!