How many people react immediately to everything they hear and rush to comment on social media is almost beyond my comprehension. What is this need to be one of the first to react? What is it that drives thousands of people to spread even the most blatantly improbable rumor without first trying to check its improbability? How do they decide to judge and, above all, criticize, often with extreme attacks and characterizations, based on a vague reputation?
The case of Giorgos Kapoutzidis and the “news” that he decided to join the N.D. in the upcoming election is typical of the distortions of the Internet. Without it being clear how it started, the rumor spread like wildfire and references to Kapoutzidis were so numerous that his name emerged as one of the top trends. Rage, hatred, attacks, homophobia, racism, innuendos abounded. He responded a few hours later, saying that he has no intention of getting involved in politics and adding, very aptly, in relation to what he read, that “to curse someone on social media, they don’t have to say or do anything. You just have to have, inside you, the need to curse him.”
Even after the rebuttal, many of those who had previously accused him continued the attacks. Instead of admitting their mistake and just keeping quiet, they started criticizing him because the refutation didn’t seem strong enough. It was not enough for them to say that he would not be involved in politics. According to them, the ND party should also renounce. to be okay. To somehow meet the criteria for granting an online waiver for something that, I repeat, started as just a rumor.
The case is one of almost daily ones in the world of social media, where many feel the need to indulge in a daily competition for the most meanness, for the most extreme insult. Not for arguments and serious confrontation. For obscenities and poison.
Going through the comments about Giorgos Kapoutzidis, my attention was drawn by some who mentioned that if he comes down as a candidate, the love and appreciation he has earned will be lost. Is it because he will deal with politics in general? Or are comments based on partisan bigotry that dictates that “he who is not with us is against”? Why is it that, while we often complain about the level of political personnel, we are quick to disparage someone who is held in lower or higher esteem if it is mentioned that they intend to enter politics? Is there, after all, a greater deterrent? And, after all, does the rowdy online community have a right to complain when it behaves like this?