Monthly Archives: June 2011

How to Ruin Somebody Else’s Life

A couple of days ago, I was brunching with friends at the P.O.P.E. when one of them brought a flyer to my attention. Depicted on it, was a guy that looked like a cast member of the Jersey Shore: slicked back hair, arrogant facial expression, and a wardrobe choice straight out of The Situation’s own closet. The picture was perched above a caption which read “Michael Calamari has violently assaulted multiple women.”

Being a kinda-sorta regular at the Barbary, where the flyer alledged that the latest assault took place, my interest perked. After I got home, I made some phone calls, ran a Google search, and then sat back, aghast at the results.

The flyer that I was introduced to three days ago has made its way seemingly onto every tree and community board all over the city. It has also been posted on numerous message boards and websites.

Though accounts vary, supposedly, Calamari was dancing with friends at the Barbary on 6/19 when he came into contact with two women.

Local blog Philebrity  posted:

“When it was all over, punches had been thrown and minor injuries were sustained; it was all over, according to everyone we spoke with, in a matter of seconds. And that was where the confusion really began. Though stories vary, all contend that Calamari, one way or the other, was at the center of this mess.”

Rumors began to swirl, fueled by the Internet mob mentality that Facebook ever so often cultivates. The only truth to this whole things is plain and clear – nobody really knows what happened.

In a day and age when we have a vast well of knowledge right at our fingertips thanks to the Internet, it’s upsetting to think that one man’s life has ultimately been broken because of this same sacred resource.

In no way am I taking sides here, but whatever happened to the whole “innocent until proven guilty” frame of mind that is so integral to our society?

It also brings up the infinite cases of Internet bullying that have been appearing in the news in droves. Stories of teen girls forming a wolf pack against one lone individual and dragging her good name through the mud via the world-wide-web.

Is this Gen Y’s form of witch-hunting? Starting one little Facebook thread or Internet rumor and potentially ruining somebody’s entire life?