A couple of evenings ago in Philadelphis, a group of guys and gals were out for an evening stroll after a pleasant dinner together at a restaurant, when they bumped into a gay couple and a couple of the lads in the group decided to start beating the hell out of them. Being as there are apparently some social circles still in existence where gay bashing is considered socially acceptable, no one in the group tried to stop them, although it’s almost certain that some of them will use the old tried and true “it wasn’t ME” defense in court.
Anyway, they probably would have totally gotten away with it if somebody hadn’t got video of the incident. Once it went up online, the networking began and soon other people soon found photos of the group earlier in the evening, names started to be attached to pictures, and all of the culprits were identified.
How often did this kind of thing happen in the PSM (pre-social media) era? Pretty damned often, I’ll bet.
Ditto Ray Rice. He is most certainly not the 1st pro football player to punch his girlfriend. In fact, it’s been happening since human beings came down from the trees, and even before. Now, that kind of shit gets caught a bit more often.
It’s happening all over. Crime, and all sorts of general nastiness which would have previously gone unnoticed, now gets exposed. Nothing to do with the police. They are just as incompetent as ever. But, technology has changed and it’s having an effect on society.
One negative side effect of this is that the burden of proof has shifted, perhaps to a totally unreasonable point. If there’s no video, the event gets treated as if it didn’t happen. Like the Palin family bar brawl, which didn’t actually happen in a bar, but close enough. It was a party at somebody’s house, but alcohol was being served. We’ve got multiple eye witness accounts of Bristol punching the host in the face (mean right hook is no doubt an exaggeration, as she hit him several times and he just kept repeating ‘you have to leave the party.’ I imagine it was more of a rain of ineffectual blows from a hysterically angry, but not particularly threatening, woman. More than one person heard Sarah say “Do you know who we are?”, more than one person saw Todd with a bloody nose, more than one person saw Track flipping people the fuck you finger as they came out of the party, but nobody, apparently, got any video of it.
It can happen, still, I suppose. Not everybody in the world goes to a party with the preconceived plan of getting something incriminating that they can then upload to the internet.
So, the incident will fade into oblivion because there are so many other things where video DOES exist. The Palins are going to get away with this one. No video. Forget about it.