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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: A JOKE GONE TOO FAR? OR DID SOCIAL MEDIA TAKE IT THERE? Featured

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: A JOKE GONE TOO FAR? OR DID SOCIAL MEDIA TAKE IT THERE?

Technology is such a wonderful thing, but can also be anyone’s worst nightmare. In these days and times, a screenshot is mightier than a deletion—a lesson every person on social media should know by now.

But unfortunately, not all do, and hence, the results could be dastardly. As was the case yesterday, and a joke between two friends went awry.

Who doesn’t have a person in their life, who they may only see in a certain setting, whether it be in a restaurant, a sporting event or a gas station. Through time you get to learn things about each other and before you know it, you consider yourselves friends.

A joke is exchanged in the midst of sometimes contentious times, and while, aesthetically you each look like ‘the nemesis’, neither of you carry such vitriol in your hearts.

Enter Facebook, the forum which can be the best place to be on your birthday, but the worst place to be on a day when no one agrees with you!

What started out as joke between a Portuguese woman and her Black unionist friend, ended up being the culmination of a nightmare the lady never planned on.

And the majority of us fell for it, though the conspiracy theories began to swirl. There was just no way that she would make such a post. Had she not heard of the infamous “just lightened up” line? Or was she of the many who wore White privilege with pride and no remorse?

Bloggers became inflamed.

“Who does she think she is?”

“R.O. just gave them all permission to act like this!”

“This is sick!”

And those were some of the mild comments.

Today In Bermuda was contacted by a high-ranking Government official. He said he’d been told the post had been manipulated; there was no way the lady in question would post such a thing.

Although I wasn’t fully convinced she didn’t post it, I felt something was amiss. Due diligence was needed to prove who this woman really was (or wasn’t).

And it turns out, the only thing she is guilty of is not knowing how quickly a bad joke between friends can make the rounds within seconds of posting. Gone are the days of making a mistake on the internet and trying to retract it, because it is safe to assume that it is captured within seconds of you hitting “POST”.

We have learned that it got so bad that she decided to deactivate her account because of the volume of feedback she was getting…and, sigh, the threats. Her page was set to 'private' so unfortunately she has had to learn the true meaning of a Facebook 'friend'.

While I agree it was a horrible joke, I couldn’t help but to take a step back and ask myself, “How can you tell the difference?” regarding people’s personal attributes.

This was clearly a case of bad judgment (interestingly, her union friend encouraged her to post it. They are from the same generation so he had no clue either!) but are we that on edge as a community that as soon as something has fur on it it’s a rat?

Do each of us regardless of hue have to take a step back and take a breath before we jump to conclusions (I’ve even been told that unkind words had been hurled her way)?

How do we decipher the toxic and the jokesters? Can we not take a joke?

Or should we be careful of the jokes we tell?

In this case, this lady meant no harm. Cut her some slack, stop bothering her. She simply made a mistake and has learned a valuable lesson.

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