People who have known me since I first got on Facebook in 2007 know that I do not frequently unfriend someone. First and foremost this is largely due to the fact that when I friend someone on Facebook, this happens for a reason. Either I know or have known you in real life, either you are a longtime internet friend; you can be a writer or an author whose books and writings I love reading or you could be someone I met in a Facebook group or on a Facebook page consecrated to an opinion or an interest that we both share. So, it is safe to say that in my book there must be some common ground before I friend someone on Facebook.
However, today I managed to unfriend the Facebook friend who motivated me to blog again after I practically had abandoned it in 2008. I guess that sometimes it is better to say goodbye than to fight online. While I do like any form of constructive discussion, I will not condone my Facebook friends spreading hoax pictures and articles from dubious news sources. However, everybody is human and everybody makes mistakes. I suppose we have all inadvertently spread hoaxes at one time or other. That is why it is good to have sites like Snopes and other hoax buster sites around. So, when I notice a picture of a sign supposedly telling men in a further unnamed country that it is OK to rape in Finland and that you will not be punished, I do report such a picture to Snopes and other hoax buster sites. Yes, I trust Snopes and the hoax buster sites we have in European countries. And no, hoax buster sites such as Snopes are not left wing sites. We need those sites to keep our heads clear and centered during these dark times. If you cannot trust yourself to trust hoax busters, then you truly are in a dark place.
At this moment, there is a lot of conflicting information all over the internet. What happened in Germany is very bad indeed. In fact, ‘bad’ seems an understatement. What happened is beyond words. Serious crimes have been committed, culprits have to be caught and brought to justice. Therefore, I will repeat what I stated before: theft, groping, molestation and rape are crimes, and not to be associated with cultures or religions! Please, do not say that these acts of violence against young women are to be associated with any culture or religion.
Sadly enough, most women will encounter some form or other of unwanted sexual attention in their lifetimes. No woman wants to be groped, assaulted or worse, raped. However, when it does happen the perpetrator is most likely to be someone close to the woman, and in most cases, in Europe that means the perpetrators are likely to be white and either atheist, agnostic or Christian. Does that mean that rape is a part of the European or Christian culture? No, it is not, because we know that sexual assault and rape is not part of any culture. So, please, do not try and convince me otherwise.
Please do not fall for hoaxes in these troublesome times. It can be easy to do so. When somebody points out a hoax to you, do not persist in what you think or maybe even want to be true. Particularly when you are a blogger, you have a certain responsibility towards your audience. Particularly when that audience consists of all kinds of nationalities, religions and cultures.