Tuesday, April 29, 2014

God is watching and he has a smartphone

I have made many mistakes in life. Not grave. But squalid enough for words. Luckily for me those were the times of instant reprimand and long term lessons. Now the slightest of our wrongdoing is captured forever. Defamation and laws against it seem archaic. Especially when social media can immortalise it.

Following is the transcript of a dialogue between a lawyer and a judge from an episode of the series 'Boston Legal'. It also reminds me of what Ajji (grandma) used to say to me all the time - 'neet waagh, dev baghtoy' (behave yourself, God is watching).

Lawyer: Think of it. We have all had a meltdown or two. A mortifying episode of some sort. Typically we are allowed to live those moments down. But now, thanks to the internet, we can't.

Life's little embarrassing moments are now having far reaching and more devastating consequences. If the day has come that we are going to be publicly and globally shamed of our foolish missteps then the laws of defamation should keep pace.

Judge: Truth is always a complete defense against defamation. But 30 second video blogs without the proper context do not always capture the truth. We live in a video world now where every Tom, Dick & Harry with a cell phone is a de facto cameraman. And via the internet a distributor. Maybe the current tort laws do need adjusting. But right now as they are written, they offer no remedy to those who may be humiliated by this.

The best advice, for all of us to remember is if you're out in the public, assume that the cameras are watching.

(I don't remember the writer's name but all credit must go to him/her alone for coming up with something so apt. )

1 comment:

  1. Fear of God will no longer work out. Today they say "God is watching? Let him do". We need help them to feel what is God.

    Once they do it, they will understand that God has even Super Smart Phones. Let us begin with our home. And Be watchful outside as you rightly said.

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