Hunted By The Internet

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Many years ago, I was lucky enough to glimpse – from a vehicle, a good distance away – a snoozing lion in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. It was a sunny mid-morning, he was partly hidden by high grass, and I recall him being utterly indifferent to all of the attention from the ever-increasing numbers of parked cars and tour vehicles desperate to see him. I also remember the guide saying it was unusual to see one so close to a road at that time of day.

The idea of shooting him? The 19th century is long gone. Frederick Selous and Theodore Roosevelt are dead nearly a hundred years now.

For some, though, a fascination with “big-game hunting” remains:

Screen capture of the BBC web site.
Screen capture of the BBC web site.

Exile was also once a common form of punishment. The ancient Athenians used it. So did ancient Rome. More recently, Britain and other European countries put “outlaws” on ships and packed them off to Australia or “the New World.”

We don’t do physical exile any longer. We’ve moved on. Today, a haphazard form of “ostracism” has appeared and created a form of “virtual exile.”

The internet will follow you, abuse you, heckle you mercilessly, ridicule you 24 hours a day, possibly destroy your business, and ultimately turn you into a pariah. There is nowhere to hide, because the net is “everywhere.” When the internet hunts you, it could ruin you.

On top of all that, a prison cell in Zimbabwe might await you as well.

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