Our church webpage has steadily grown in popularity. It is now common for a post on the site to get more than 1,000 views – quite a contrast from when we launched it and 100 views was considered a lot.
The posts are friendly and moving, which is rare. Many churches close their discussion boards or limit posts to registered users because too many people leave nasty and negative comments under false names.
Our website does receive derogatory or accusatory posts. However, they are deleted, according to our policy that requires posters to submit their real names.
People say irresponsible things under false names because they feel that they can get away with it. When I read comments on news stories on the web, I sometimes shudder at how rude and repulsive they are. A young entertainer in Korea recently committed suicide, and in her suicide note she said that she could no longer bear all the criticism and attacks posted on her blog and elsewhere. I think I can understand her agony.
I know of a music professor at a Korean university who is being falsely accused. She was sued for improper use of influence by a fellow professor and accused of corruption by someone on the web. The anonymous person says that they are fighting for justice on the campus and that they are victims of injustice. The phrases are so inflammatory that anyone who reads it can’t help but get angry at the accused professor. I would have gotten angry myself if I didn’t know the truth.
The accused professor knows who is behind the rumor, but there is no material evidence. Government investigators tried to unmask the anonymous writer, but the culprit is so good in hiding their identity that they can’t pinpoint the person.
People who post false accusations on the web anonymously or with fake names are cowardly. Not just cowardly but outright evil, because they attack people without giving them a chance to explain or defend themselves.
When a person comes to you with an accusation against someone else, ignore it. If there seems to be some substance to it, talk to the accused person, giving them a chance to tell their side of the story. When you make derogatory remarks about people without giving them a chance to defend themselves, it’s the same as condoning evil and becoming a conspirator.
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