The opposite of outrage?

“Elderly war-hero imprisoned for six months for making a recording of an event.” Here’s the protest site.

There’s enough in there to trigger outrage on so many levels!

Where’s our respect for someone who fought for our freedoms? We thought proportional sentencing was going up the spout after the riots, but this? Isn’t this just like Kate Belgrave and her great work to bring public council meetings under greater scrutiny?

In short, you’d expect Twitter to have exploded.

That Messrs Fry, Linehan et al would have been besieged with appeals to amplify the story. That they may even have responded. You’d think some of those wingnuts who made such a blogtastic fuss about my namesake and his shotgun would be right on it. (You can Google all that for yourselves. It began with libertarian outrage but quickly crossed into mainstream.)

But there hasn’t been an explosion.

In that particularly awkward dance of observer and observation, this blog post will no doubt “raise awareness” and make a few more people notice Mr Scarth and his plight.

Anyway, straight away I’m looking for mainstream media coverage of this travesty of justice. And I’m not finding much. Results for “Norman Scarth jailed” give me a lot of blog posts, but that’s all.


My attention is now very piqued.

I talk to @newsmary about it. She’s noticed this too.

And mindful of my recent post about negative dynamics in networks, I start to realise that the absence of “expected” outrage is, of itself, modifying how I feel about Mr Scarth’s case.

In short, it doesn’t smell right.

I found some other stuff too, about his previous brushes with the law. About a conviction for violence. About time spent in jail. (Google can be harshly unforgiving like that, no matter if the sentence has been served. More on this anon, in relation to my membership of the Sector Panel looking at transparency in respect of criminal justice data use and release by government.)

But I’m very eager not to judge the case one way or the other. It’s not my role, and there isn’t enough decent evidence available, even if I were so inclined.

What I am observing is that the lack of an expected response can by itself modify feelings about a situation.

Is this another sign of the conditioning we’re experiencing as our melding with the online world matures?

Category: Other

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