During the years that I became used to the insulting and threatening hate-mail that was sent to me, I had a front-line view to bear witness to a new development in which varying degrees of anger-expression entered the online world.
What were once standard ‘babelfish-translated’ letters circulated between friend’s e-mail networks, distributed with the intention to copy-paste them en-masse to my mailbox are now anti-TINKEBELL. facebook pages, online petitions and amateurishly written “news”-blogs spreading the globe.
The biggest difference is that the hate-mails are no longer send to my private mailbox. The threat is now public. This results in competitions; who is the most irate writer? Who knows how to insight the most fury in men?
Everything is permitted.
Online petitions are more likely to be signed when the story has been exaggerated and laced with vile descriptions. A blog is validated by the grace of “likes” on facebook, Thumblr-reblogs or, better still, “The Real News” (traditional news media, i.e. News Papers etc.) who take advantage of this. If there are enough online quotes to use as a source, even if it is not the truth, the most-told story may be published as “trustful news”. This will often be a compilation of the most far-fetched, sensational accounts that attracks the most readers, advertisers and again-reblogs to yield themselves as a mutating story in more and more languages to travel around the web.
And so now I rarely get a threat because I twisted my sick cat’s neck. No, it’s because there are “hundreds of pets in my house that I torture every day, just for fun ofcourse. The living chicks that I hang on hooks until they bleed to death and the hundred hamsters from which I took the eyes out, put them into balls for weeks, spinning until they died of starvation.” – published in several newspapers and websites worldwide such as the Polish Gazeta Wyborca, the Italian Leggo.it and many more
Recently, I myself made the first response under such a story on an animal activist newsblog to make clear to both writer and readers that the truth lay somewhere else. One of the responses I got was that as google results clearly indicated that I really took pleasure in my daily animal-torture-habits, the story had to be true.
The notion of “truth” has taken on a new meaning by this way of spreading ‘news’:
That of the most re-blogged one.