Archive

Posts Tagged ‘due process’

What we Learned From the Passing of a Best Friend Carried on the Fleet Feet of Social Media

January 13, 2012 Leave a comment

The Passing of a Best Friend Carried on the Wings of Twitter

A sad note that marred an otherwise unseasonably-warm and dry week in Grand Rapids was the death of a blogger’s dog after a careless right turn by a man driving a truck who then left the scene (even though he later admitted to being aware that the distraught owner was trying to flag him down; I also refuse to believe he didn’t know he’d hit something).

The dog’s owner wrote a moving essay about the experience that has touched all of us.  He also provided an example of forgiveness and compassion that I’ll think long and hard about for the rest of my life.

The Incident

There were witnesses to the tragic accident and the reaction of the driver of the truck.  As is increasingly the case, those witnesses had access to smartphones and tweeted what they had witnessed.  One witness, who I’m proud to call a friend, took action and captured information about the truck and its driver.  The truck was a work vehicle, so it was emblazoned with the name of the business – and the witness also managed to get (and tweet) the license plate. Read more…

Advertisements

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Crassly Exploits AZ Shooting With Facebook Ad

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

[Updated] Check out this utterly crass and opportunistic ad that just appeared on Facebook featuring the mugshot photo of Jared Loughner pitching a message in support of gun control.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Facebook Ad

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Facebook Ad

The ad is linked to the webpage of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and a petition to implement gun control measures.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Petition Page

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Petition Page

Apart from the vulture-like timing, there are at least a couple of things wrong with the ad (not the least of which is the reality that none of the measures proposed by MAIG would have stopped Loughner given that he legally-purchased his firearms from licensed vendors):

  1. It uses Jared Loughner’s image to endorse something without his permission.  As near as I can remember, we’re still living in the United States where we afford the accused due process before they’re convicted.  Talk about “poisoning the well.”
  2. Even the Dalai Llama would likely find it difficult to muster sympathy for Loughner, but the reality is in all liklihood he is severely mentally-ill.  Exploiting the fearsome, contorted visage in his mug shot is nothing short of macabre and cruel (and ultimately contributes to the stigma that mental illness carries with it – making it less likely that others will seek treatment).
  3. As if reality weren’t scary/horrible enough, it also appears the MAIG doctored the photo of Loughner; cutting his head out of his mugshot photo and pasting it into a body wearing a hoodie and standing in front of a criminal line-up backdrop.  I guess a suspected shooter in a white t-shirt isn’t menacing enough; he needs to be stereotyped by clothing as well?
Apparently Doctored Photo of Jared Loughner in MAIG Ad

Apparently Doctored Photo of Jared Loughner in MAIG Ad

In the communications field, it’s important to contextualize your message and relate it to current events.  This, however, is a rather cynical and unethical application of those principles.

Shame on the MAIG for exploiting the tragedy to serve their political ends (after the nation has had a long, deliberate discussion about precisely how misguided that practice was immediately after the tragedy) and shame on Facebook for approving that ad for publication.