Wednesday, April 21, 1999
Carnage in Colorado
The Internet Didn't Do It!
by Clinton Fein
|In the wake of our Supreme Court decision, the explosive violence at a Colorado high school and amid accusations and intimations from individuals and the media that our site or philosophies, in any way shape or form, promote violence, annoy.com urges the following caution:
In the understandable confusion surrounding the gruesome murders at Columbine High School and in our natural desire to seek answers, it is all too easy to seek a scapegoat upon which we can project our anger and outrage. Do not blame sites like this. Do not blame the Internet.
The Internet is not responsible for this killing, anymore than talk radio was responsible for the Oklahoma bombing, or CNN for the Persian Gulf War. The medium itself simply reflects the society we live in. Whether it's the clinical references to "collateral damage" by the bombing of innocent civilians, or the live coverage of freeway suicides by MSNBC, the answers to this senseless violence are not easy or accessible.
There will be people who will use the Internet for intentions that are evil and wrong. Just as there will be sycophantic politicians and presidential candidates who will exploit this tragedy to try and win votes. But for every misuse and abuse, there is someone who is using the Internet to make the world a better place; to reach out to people or to aspire to benefit mankind by using the medium with all its hope and promise.
Don't let idiots, like the criminologists pontificating on MSNBC talk shows point to the Internet. Or let appalling coverage in the name of ratings shoulder the responsibility. In our quest to seek answers as a society, think and analyze, but don't blame abstracts or communications tools. It's not the tools that are at fault; it's those using them.
Our sincere regrets are with the families and the victims of yesterday's violent rampage in Colorado. And with the families of those bombed in Belgrade last night. Our regrets are with anyone who is a victim of violence and their families, no matter how inflicted or wherever in the world.
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