Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Did It for the “lulz”: Wal-Mart Gang Initiation Hoax

Wal-Mart Gang

Lately there's been a disconnect between younger users of the internet and other communication technology and reality. Everyone hollers about freedom of speech, but no one uses it to say anything worth saying. These young people are now teaching us the error of our ways i.e. that freedom of speech has consequences. Every time you read a story about something seemingly serious, it comes from some kid that says "I did it for the lulz", meaning it was all just a joke, regardless of how demented, vile, horrific, life threatening it was. Also, you never hear of that same juvenile getting any penalization for it, nor their parents going to jail for it.

I draw your attention to the latest "lulz". An internet
hoax dating back to 2005 has caused drama in Thomasville, Georgia including media coverage and public warnings. Apparently several people received text messages that spoke about a gang initiation. The “Walmart gang initiation” hoax takes several forms, but usually involves gang members planning to kill black women at a local Walmart as an initiation for new gang members. These text messages were actually received across the country. One t.v. station however, not researching what it was about, not only ran with the story as true, but contacted local police, who responded in kind, without checking any sources.

The News Media Rarely Checks Their Sources

They all figured out that it was a hoax later, however there is no mention of anyone being punished for a real public threat. Also, the fact that the potential victim were Black women and no retribution was had, speaks volumes as well.

No action is ever taken. No action is taken against the kids [or even adults who do this also]. No action is taken against the parents.

What if, one of these "lulz" were so horrific that people were dying of heart attacks from the sheer terror of the hoax? What then? Oh it was just a joke? Meanwhile Black kids are thrown in adult prisons for even less than these horrible practical jokes and no one bats an eyelash. In fact, black kids, as young as 13, are being sentenced to life in prison without possibility for parole. I'm sure there are some horrible kids out there, but i'm sure at 13, life imprisonment is not the answer. I am willing to bet all I own on that fact.

What's good for the goose, is good for the gander. Throw the "lulz" in adult prison along with their parents.

Freedom of speech has consequences. We need to teach that to our children and.... apparently our citizens.

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