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Beware of dirty emails

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A sad state of affairs was brought to my attention during the course of this week involving the malicious posting of two young ladies on the Internet. The technology today is so advanced that once your picture can be placed on a computer it can be manipulated in such ways as to totally misrepresent your personality and character to the rest of the world. In short, this represented a total character assassination of two of our young Vincentian sisters.

The first email involved a young lady’s picture which was taken from a popular website, a short composition was written explaining in great detail that the picture represents someone who is HIV positive and that all young men ought to be aware.{{more}} The second email depicted a young Vincentian female currently enrolled at the University of the West Indies whose picture was manipulated in such a way that her face was attached to various nude bodies. These pictures were then sent or forwarded to persons all over the world.

The ease with which this can be done is frightening. The pain caused to these individuals and their families is devastating. It is apparent that while some are focused on using our extra hours to build this blessed nation of ours, that there are others overridden by malice who are lurking as detractors with the intent to cause pain to the innocent. We must be aware of these emails.

The persons who generate these emails must be made to give an account for their recklessness and this must be done with the greatest sense of urgency. The victims of such malicious practices of character assassination are suffering as a result of someone who deliberately sought to harm through spreading rumors and misinformation on a topic viewed by our society as relating to morals, integrity, and reputation.

The Internet is dynamic and a great asset in the transfer of information in this global network. As the 21st century unfolds, more of us will experience the wonder of the World Wide Web. Some will experience the advantages to be derived and some will experience daggers of the dark side of the Internet. The Internet represents a network of accessible information and the embodiment of human knowledge connecting us in this global village. While the Internet is a great source of recreation and research for persons well intended, it is also a haven for vandals and criminal.

On the international scene, in November of 2006 the story of Louis Conradt, a Texas assistant District Attorney who committed suicide as police tried to serve him with an arrest warrant alleging he solicited sex from a minor was the headline. He was caught in an act that is typical of child predators; an online watchdog agency using a decoy posing online as a 13-year-old boy in a chat room was able to close in on the perverted district attorney.

However in a more tragic story, Toronto was rocked with shock waves in May of 2003 when 10-year old Holly Jones was abducted and murdered. Her body was found dismembered in bags floating on Lake Ontario. Later, her abductor confessed to watching child pornography on the Internet and then waited down the road for a young girl with whom he could experiment. These cases prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there exists a group of persons irrespective of culture and intellect who will exploit others through the Internet.

Of late we are sadly falling prey to many other forms of Internet exploitation. Character assassination is an intentional attempt to influence the portrayal or reputation of a particular persons,in such a way as to cause others to develop an extremely negative, unethical or unappealing perception of him or her. This ambush to ones character has taken character assassination to another devious level.

By its nature, it involves deliberate exaggeration or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person. The impact can cause the targeted person or the victim to be rejected by his or her community, family or members of his or her living or work environment. Such acts are typically very difficult to reverse or rectify, therefore the process is likened to a literal assassination of a human life. The damage sustained can be life-long and more.

We are increasingly being exposed to many uncommon occurrences and must be on a constant vigil. Romans 3:13 is clear on the issue, “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips.” The Bible admonishes us to refrain from such abominable acts as such persons will be ruined without warning and relief.

It is therefore fitting to appeal to the persons involved in these activities to refrain from collecting personal information and pictures of persons and the spreading of lies to fulfill twisted goals. This is a serious matter and has already been reported to our law enforcement bodies where it is being treated as any other crime against another person.

It is our duty to make the public aware of this lewd and malevolent activity; in so doing we are helping to protect more persons from this caliber of attack. We must be aware that the information superhighway is now evolving into an unfriendly and at times deadly place.

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