Saint Michael Albertville Bulletin Board Post Sparks Debate Over Mob Mentality on Social Media

How often do you see this behavior on social media

July 23, 2019
mob mentality, herd mentality, what is mob mentality

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If you're a part of a Facebook community page, you've probably read a post like this, or even posted one yourself: you ask a question for clarification and instead of getting an answer, everyone gangs up on you to make you feel incompetent, stupid or small. 

This is exactly what happened last week in the Saint Michael Albertville Bulletin Board when a parent asked for the public's help to explain the difference between a warning ticket for speeding and an actual citation for speeding. 

They explain that their son got pulled over for doing a 40 in a 50 but the officer knocked the ticket down to 45 and said it was a "warning ticket;"  does that mean it's a warning, which most believe you don't need to do anything with a warning ticket, or should they fight it?

mob mentality, herd mentality, what is mob mentality
Saint Michael Albertville Bulletin Board via Facebook

A simple answer would be, "I would call the sheriff's department to get clarification on the ticket. Typically a warning doesn't require you to go to court or pay a fine. A citation is simply the document that notifies you of the charges and sets out your options. Call and confirm your options."

Seems like a reasonable response; but this isFacebook after all, and some of the responses were anything but reasonable. 

Going through the thread of comments, it's clear that the mob mentality has taken over.  If you're unsure of what mob mentality is, by definition, it "describes how people can be influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors on a largely emotional, rather than rational, basis."

The general consensus among the masses in this group (there are over 350 comments BTW) is that this parent is a total moron for even asking, and that his child should be publicly scorned by strangers for even speeding in the first place; that turned into hypothetical situations that involved drinking and driving, personal stories of how speeding took the life of a loved one, people bragging about having a clean driving record, and eventually it turned into a free-for-all where commenters just started bashing each other. 

mob mentality, herd mentality, what is mob mentality
Saint Michael Albertville Bulletin Board via Facebook


All of that for one simple answer that leads to a very complicated question- are Facebook community pages turning into hot beds for mob mentality? Why do we feel so safe to pass judgement and gang up on complete strangers when we're behind a keyboard?

If you're in a community page and you want to respond to someone's question, do it respectfully; do it in a manner in which you would want someone to respond to you. If you see that someone has already given an acceptable response, don't even comment and move on.