Steven Spielberg. He should be ashamed of himself. What decent human being would hunt down and kill a poor innocent triceratops? No human being would. Because dinosaurs are extinct. Everyone knows that, right?
All it took was one picture accompanied by sarcastic copy to inspire outrage by some of the internet's "brightest" minds.
Comments from this Facebook post raged from (honest) statements like: I don't care who he is, he shouldn't have shot that animal to others calling him inhumane and vowing to never watch his movies again.
Now maybe the joke is all on us (and the various media outlets that covered it) if every single outraged comment was sarcastic. Unfortunately, I truly believe some folks became overnight dinosaur rights activists because it was easier to join the internet mob.
What can we learn from this?
You can't please everyone all the time
Especially online. An honestly, that shouldn't be a goal. Something that pleases everyone has a good chance of lacking real substance. Trying to please everyone is exhausting. There isn't a subject we all agree 100% on.
Except for Bill Murray. People love Bill Murray.
Correcting facts rarely improves a social crisis.
Let's say this turned into a legitimate public relations crisis for Steven Spielberg. He could go on record saying "this wasn't a real dinosaur, just a prop from my movie." Trying to re-correct facts in an online crises does little in settling down a herd of outraged people. The unfortunate thing is, the internet mob is mostly concerned with inflicting punishment and outrage. It rarely concerns itself with petty things like truthiness.
Some folks just need an ax to grind
People thrive on conflict. It's why reality shows are huge. It's why the news is almost always bad. It's why trolls exist in the first place. Conflict grabs the public attention, for better or for worse. Having the opportunity to jump into a conflict on Spielberg poaching dinosaurs gave people a perfect forum to jump into and/or troll an online debate.
The mob rarely reads. They skim.
Honestly, most of us do. We share headlines but not substance. We skim sub-heads and become experts on a matter. However, in all reality, I could be outraged by the conclusion a headline may infer but actually find common ground with the real meat of what is being communicated if I took the time to read everything or learn more about a subject.
Many online arguments could be curbed if both sides could take time to read. Then again...maybe not.
Being attacked by the internet mob? There's no need to freak out. The attention spans are so short they'll forget that you existed by tomorrow...provided you don't give them a reason to keep the conversation going.