So for those of you not aware, Mr. Paul Christoforo was subjected to an Internet Lynch Mob today. Basically, he was exceedingly rude to a customer, arrogant, and generally annoying. Read more about it here.
Due to the way he acted, his email correspondence was made public and quickly made its way around various blogs, news agencies, and commentators. Very, very quickly (within a few hours) he was humiliated and information was dredged up about him from the depths of the internet. To me, the most telling piece was this case information
. While it is a matter of public record, the fact that me, living in South Carolina, can find it so easily is interesting.
From what we can tell, when the dust settled Paul was simply a bully a bit out of place. His attitude pushed him into Sales, and then into SEO and "Internet Marketing" as a consultant. It has been found out that his site was plagiarized
(note that although the main post was removed, much of the detail is in the comments) from multiple different sites, all of his blog entries could be attributed to various industry publications, and he was generally disliked by those who worked with him (even Geico poked fun
at him). So, generally a thug pretending to be a marketing guru to cash in on the social media revolution. Not too uncommon of a story, really. Only thing that makes this guy any different is the fact that he managed to do it to a gamer, and a few gamers of note can be very touchy about bullying (like Gabe). So, now his marketing business has crumbled, he will probably continue to receive hate mail, emails and phone calls for the next few weeks, and he's going to more than likely suffer from the consequences for years (considering the emotional trauma being haunted by thousands of angry people must cause).
My question is... what can we learn from this? Obviously, that being an asshole doesn't quite pay off, but more than that what else can we learn?
Information is so incredibly freely available nowadays, is it worth trying to do damage control prior to a problem occurring?
Is this simply a symptom of a more connected society? Considering that the entire thing exploded over someone being an asshole to someone else, and the asshole was the one to suffer primarily, does it matter? Is it simply another form of social justice, akin to ostracism in Greece or excommunication in the Catholic church?