Cecil the Lion and Walter Palmer
It’s a sad state of affairs this story, as here at Beat The Cyberbully, we are very focused on addressing the issue of Cyberbullying and keeping your online reputation in tact.
The very sad story of Cecil the Lion’s demise is heartbreaking in terms of loss of life, especially of such a graceful creature who had actually become used to human beings and could often be seen coming up to vehicles whilst ‘in the wild’ in Zimbabwe. As you have undoubtedly read over the last few days (and if you haven’t, just Google ‘Cecil the Lion’) this wonderful creature was lured outside of the national park where it is safe, shot with an arrow by this so called hunter, Walter Palmer, left to die for over 40 hours before he was found, put out of his misery with a gun then subsequently beheaded and skinned!!!
What we would like to focus on though is the fall out of this particularly sad incident. The Dentist, Walter Palmer, who continues to state that he went through all the right channels to obtain the right licences to ‘hunt’, has opened a Pandora’s box of vitriol and hatred by posting his endeavours on a social media channel. The argument he offers is a weak one in the first place and highlights a bigger problem with ‘ethical hunting’. We are all for controlling populations of animals that need it, but the fact he paid $55,000USD for the pleasure is sickening as this goes beyond population control and into the realms of ‘if you pay, you can do anything’.
Back on point though. If you had to Google ‘Cecil the Lion’ to find out more about this tragedy, we ask you to now Google ‘Walter Palmer’. He is the dentist in question. Check out the results on page 1 of Google. I am sure you will agree that his online reputation is in the gutter, to say the least. What’s more important to realise is that these results are going to be on page 1 of the search engine results page (SERP) for a long long time. What this means is that Walter’s reputation is tarnished forever.
Read a few more of the articles and you will see that it’s not only his reputation that is suffering. He hasn’t been able to go back to work, his dentist’s surgery remains closed with a note on the door asking people to contact a PR team! His name will be synonymous now with the death (murder) of Cecil the Lion. Again thinking bigger picture, the ramifications of this are far reaching, well outside the effects on him as an individual. His wife, kids, friends and acquaintances will be effected by this, by association. Those connected on Facebook or Twitter or any other channel will have their values called into question. His business is all but finished. Even if you believed him, would you be prepared to take the wrath of those waiting outside the surgery, those that would seek you out online and ask why you are supporting this kind of action from someone like this? I fear the answer is no.
Taking our own disgust at his actions out of the equation, this is a prime example of the power of social media and how quickly it can spread a message, whether you want it to or not.
Stop | Think | Post – you never know how your actions may be interpreted, and as Walter Palmer will tell you, you very rarely get the chance to explain yourself.
Rest in Peace Cecil