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The freakout over Harambe the gorilla shows the dangers of internet mob justice

Posted by Steve Schram on June 01, 2016 at 10:23 AM

Originally published on June 1, 2016 on Vox by German Lopez

The internet is on fire over the death of another animal: Harambe the gorilla. It's the latest example of social media causing the death of an animal to proliferate, enabling all sorts of internet outrage about how this could possibly be allowed to happen. Even before the details were clear, or before the experts chimed in, people around the web quickly decried the gorilla's killing and the events that led up to it.

But now we are reaching the next — and scary — phase of these kinds of stories, in which an internet mob demands that someone pay for the death. Specifically, people are asking for punishment of the parents of the 4-year-old boy who was able to crawl into Harambe's enclosure. They argue that the gorilla's death is really the parents' fault, because the parents didn't pay attention to their kid, and the zoo only had to kill the gorilla once the child snuck in and was put in danger.

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