Internet users worldwide are still reeling after a Facebook user was persuaded to change his mind based purely on facts and rational argument.
‘RandomMeness’ — actually a teenager from Kentucky called Aaron Breeding — had commented on a post concerning a letter from John Cleese to the people of America, which had allegedly been sent in response to Donald Trump’s elevation to President. Having given his opinion of Brits in general, Breeding suggested Cleese should, “mind his own f*ckin bizniss”, finishing with, “get back in ya box ya limey asshole”. This type of comment usually earns maybe a few ‘likes’, heaps of scorn, several well-trodden memes and the ubiquitous chance to earn $350 a day from home.
Typically, anyone trying to present the truth would be slapped down as an idiot, one of the ‘sheeple’ or, of course, a purveyor ‘Fake News’. But not this time. Amazingly, when faced with evidence that the letter was written in the year 2000, and not even by Cleese, Breeding admitted that he had been mistaken. And then, not content with just this one departure from convention, he went on to apologise for the aggressive tone of his original post. This sort of behaviour is rarely, if ever, seen online and that is a shame according to leading psychologist, Phillip Wiltshire. He claims that the internet would be a much nicer place if only everyone followed the example of ‘RandomMeness’, although he freely admits that spelling and grammar would still suffer terribly. A controversial theory, perhaps, but does Dr Wiltshire believe that such an enormous change in attitude is likely to happen?
“Put it this way,” he told us. “A couple of thousand years ago, there was a guy who spoke of being nice to others and spreading tolerance and love. And, unlike most of the folk who share motivational memes online, he actually practised what he preached. They nailed him to the cross for it.”