Our Frankensteinian World

I was reading a CNN article this morning on what life is like today for Casey Anthony. It’s not a surprise that she’s such a social pariah that she’s afraid to leave the house. When I hear that, all I’m thinking is “good”. If she isn’t in prison I’m glad that her life is miserable.

Though it’s not a perfect comparison, one the closest comparables would be O.J. Simpson. He didn’t get the same treatment though. He went golfing and clubbing after his murder trial. In some ways it was almost as if his ordeal never happened.

So what has changed over those 20 years? I would think that O.J. would have had it worse, since he was a celebrity prior to his murder trial, but reading this article and seeing O.J. videos from after 1995 on Youtube they have very different realities.

But as we saw with Donald Sterling, the internet and social media are so strong that within a day there seems to be a unified narrative on all major stories. O.J. didn’t have to deal with this form of mobilization. While in Anthony and Sterling’s cases, I would agree that they are getting the treatment they deserve, I’m worried that this mobilization will create a lot of unfair situations in the future.

Sterling was recorded in a cell phone conversation to his girlfriend. He had no reason to know that he was being recorded. And while he is racist and meant everything he said, in the future there’s going to be that person who makes inappropriate jokes or says things they don’t really mean privately who is going to be put through the ringer on social media. And while people may think it’s easy to filter their remarks 24/7, it’s not. If you record anyone enough they are bound to say things that make themselves sound bad. So while Anthony and Sterling are monsters in their own respects, I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before we treat the innocent like them.

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