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“Justiceporn” – What does it say about us when vengeance becomes entertainment?

These are some of the titles of the increasingly popular forum on Reddit dubbed “JusticePorn.”

For the unaware, “Reddit is a social news website where the registered users submit content, in the form of either a link or a text “self” post. Other users then vote the submission “up” or “down,” which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site’s pages and front page.”

In it’s own words, it’s “The frontpage of the internet.” It largely is for much of the younger generation – with tens of millions of registered users, it has quietly become one of the most popular sites on the internet.

A big part of Reddit is the ability to create sub-forums on almost any topic at all – from general topics like law to discussion of My Little Pony characters. If it exists, there is probably a discussion happening about it on Reddit. And if there isn’t, users can create forums for new topics.

Nine months ago, one Reddit user created a new sub forum entitled “JusticePorn.” It isn’t about a deviant sexual quirk featuring judges and courtrooms. On Reddit, there exists and entire network of dozens of “porn” forums dedicated to images or video of certain objects or activities. The “porn” suffix is used to indicate that these are images and video worthy of entertainment, or perhaps guilty pleasure.

So Room Porn features shots of interesting architecture. CityPorn features long shots of cities. Bookporn features pictures of old books and libraries. Etc.

Justiceporn’s tagline is “Bullies getting their just deserts.” It’s blown up in the past few weeks with over 20,000 subscribers. It features video after video of some sort of confrontation between people. The videos generally seem to feature an “innocent” person unsuccessfully attempting to defray a conflict situation. When there is no way out, the “innocent” person manages to overcome the bully/aggressor/larger person.  There are a variety of other clips. A woman who commits a hit & run is chased down. A cyclists is cut off in traffic and punches off the side mirror of the car who did it.

All in all, the videos are framed as bullies  receiving their due comeuppance. But the videos exist without context. 30 seconds of traffic. 2 minutes of a scuffle in a backyard. There is no real way to tell what is happening in any of the videos. And more importantly – why? But those questions aren’t important to the viewers.

What matters is that these people are getting what they deserve. A couple weeks ago I wrote about millennial jurors desire for entertainment – in the context of the courtroom. Millennial jurors who were surveyed had shorter attention spans and reacted favorably to lawyers use of technology in the courtroom. The millennial jurors wanted things to be lively and engaging. Less testimony and more motion graphics.

Reddit’s users are, by and large, millennials. So here are videos of “justice” being done, submitted by and voted on by potential jurors. Even better, there are comments for all to see on every video. What does the younger generation think?

  • Aww man, the sound of those machine gun punches slapping against the fat kid’s cheeks was glorious.
  • The kid shouldve beaten the shit outta that dude, he needs to learn his lesson.
  • The sound that haymaker to the side of the head made must have been glorious, in person – like hearing angels sing.

As long as you have the right 30 seconds of video to show – justice is done. Police corrupt, courts too slow, lawyers merely crooks. True justice is street justice.

The video proves it.

 

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About Keith Lee

I'm the founder and editor of Associate's Mind. I like to write, talk, and think about law, professional development, technology, and whatever else floats my boat. I practice law in Birmingham, AL.

One comment

  1. There’s nothing new about vengeance serving an entertainment purpose as much as any other. Consider the relish with which the public watched public hangings. What is new is the immediacy and availability of our access to this “guilty pleasure.” Just like it was titillating when I was 12 years old to look at a Playboy my buddy found in his father’s closet (yes, I’m old), a 12 year old would probably need a live video feed of some kind of perverted sex act to feel that same level of titillation in 2012.

    Scary: what’s going to turn us (and our kids) on in 2025 or 2030?

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