Sunday, December 9, 2012

Australian Pranks and Kant

In the rush to pin blame onto one party or another in the Australian radio prank controversy, and in the degree of hindsight bias and the repetition of the mistakes they themselves condemn, the social-media complex has really shown itself a ferocious beast.

A nurse in a London hospital directs a prank call to Kate Middleton's room, subsequently broadcast web-ward, leading (according to the bewildered fingers of twitter) to her suicide.  The two DJ's who played the prank have endured a torrent of abuse from all over the globe, abuse far more vociferous than the media attention that led to the nurse's untimely death.  And there the inversion dwells.

In Kantian terms an action should be judged by its intent, not consequences, and if these presenters were not the pin-up villain's of the True Path prior to this unpredictable suicide, then they should not be assigned that role afterward, either.  A suicide is usually down to a combination of things, seen and unseen.

And if the rambling outrage of the twitter-verse leads ultimately to the suicide of one of the presenters, then the media complex will probably stop, sputter a bit, and then invert the Narrative again with an attack on all social media.  Those who tweeted or posted borderline violent messages against the radio hosts will be hauled before the courts, and we do the dance again.

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