Social Media and the Mob Mentality

by Neil Bamforth

Mob mentality has been around pretty much as long as humanity. Our ancestral ape men would band together in a sort of mob, and throw out any weak members of their tribe. During a large part of our existence anywhere on the planet, if a mob formed and you were in their vicinity, you marched with them or, at least, didn’t get in their way, or you would be in serious trouble.

On the TV news, we often see mobs somewhere or other. It might be Brexiteers or remainers marching in Britain. It might be Islamists marching in Pakistan. It might be Christian fundamentalists in America.

Somewhere, as I write, you can pretty much guarantee that a mob is marching and, or protesting about something, somewhere in the world.

Of course, sometimes, the mob have got it right. The Suffragettes marched for women’s equality for example. Sometimes the mob is protesting justifiably, at least from their perspective. Anti-war marches for example.

The problem with ‘the mob’ is when they turn ugly. And they often do.

It’s one thing when a mob on the streets turn ugly. The police often get attacked or, sometimes, the police just whack them over the head with batons whether justifiably or not.

Generally though, unless you are a part of the mob in the street, or have the misfortune to inadvertently be in the same place at the wrong time, street mobs are relatively harmless to most of us.

The social media mob, on the other hand, are far from harmless.

A young British girl, Sharmima Begum, went off to Syria with two school friends at the age of 15 to join ISIS.

Now, at 18, she wants to come back to Britain. The knee jerk reaction from most is ‘no chance’. The mob are angry and, perhaps, understandably so.

She certainly didn’t help her cause when, on being interviewed, she simply shrugged and said it ‘didn’t faze her’ at seeing the severed heads of ISIS prisoners in dustbins.

She had a baby recently and the baby has died. Aid charities are saying, if she’d been allowed back to Britain, the baby almost certainly would have lived.

Social media, – well, Facebook anyway as I don’t really bother with any other social media – is awash with people saying ‘good riddance’ not just to Begum, but to her baby as well. The occasional objector to these diatribes is usually insulted and even threatened.

Now I have no sympathy what so ever with Begum instinctively but, when I stop to think – a rare occurrence I grant you – I do wonder whether, awful creature that she is, she could also be a victim. Was she radicalized in Britain? Almost certainly. Would she have become what she has become without being radicalized? Almost certainly not.

I strongly suspect her family is, to some extent, culpable here.

Anyway, the Home Office decided to strip her of her British citizenship and the social media mob were delighted.

Now, as a result of not allowing her back to Britain – where she could have faced charges regarding her involvement with ISIS – her baby is dead of a lung complaint easily dealt with in Britain.

The social media mob are even more delighted.

A baby. A 3-week old baby. The social media mob are delighted that a 3-week old baby is dead.

“One less terrorist!” screamed one mob member. ‘Likes’ and ‘heart likes’ popped up against the comment.

A 3-week old baby dies and the mob is happy.

If you point out that a 3-week old baby hasn’t the capacity to be a terrorist, or even a Muslim come to that, you are told to ‘fck off and die’. I know this because I was told to ‘fck off and die’ when I had the audacity to point this out on one particular FB page.

I was accused by the mob of being a terrorist sympathizer, a ‘muzzie’ lover, a traitor and several other things.

To the social media mob, my point that a 3-week old baby is, by the nature of things, a complete innocent made me any number of despicable things. Despicable me eh?

Me? An occasional UKIP supporter in the past. A man who firmly believes we have allowed in too many immigrants into Britain. A man who is considered somewhat ‘right-wing’ at times when writing for a devoutly liberal American site. A man who some commenters have even suggested is racist.

Apparently, because I am so very very sad and appalled and, indeed, angry, that a 3-week old baby has died quite unnecessarily, I am a terrorist sympathizer, a ‘muzzie’ lover, a traitor and things I won’t put down here.

Caring that a 3-week old innocent baby dies is showing sympathy to ISIS scumbags? The social media mob appear to have taken leave of their senses – always assuming any of them had senses to take leave of, of course.

Well, I must be all of those things of which I was accused, because the social media mob on Facebook have said so. There is a lot of them. That’s why they are a mob. There is only one of me. My moral compass is clearly broken entirely.

Perhaps the social media mob is a better kind of mob in a perverse way. At least from a personal safety point of view. If I was in the streets with them I suspect I would have been lynched by now.

Lynched for objecting to the completely unnecessary death of a completely innocent baby.

Well done humanity. A 3-week old baby dies and the social media mob rejoices. Well, aren’t we a civilized lot?

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Posted by on March 10, 2019. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to Social Media and the Mob Mentality

  1. Glenn R. Geist Reply

    March 10, 2019 at 10:56 am

    We do act exactly like our Ape relatives and we’re worse because we are able to see it as wrong, as well as to justify our evil nature and our evil acts. We even make up nice names for it.

  2. Michael John Scott Reply

    March 10, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    I like Facebook, but recognize it for what it is. It’s important, for peace of mind, to avoid those loud and aggressive persons who may be vexatious to the spirit.

  3. Pingback: Trumping the Bible, Dangling a Pardon, Manafort Message, the Wall – FairAndUNbalanced.com

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