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Repentance and forgiveness in the online world

By Rosie Perera | September 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Recently I have come across two amazing and redemptive stories that took place in the nexus between cyberspace and “RL” (real life).

In the first story, a Reddit user snapped a picture of a Sikh woman with an unusual amount of facial hair and posted it on the site in order to mock her, and the woman responded with pure grace. Look at what resulted from that gesture and the education that ensued. The story has gone viral.

Photo of woman with facial hair leads to conversation, understanding

Here’s the first place I read about it; granted not a great headline, but it includes the full text of the exchange between the two and is a slightly easier way to read it than how CNN presents the information: Reddit Users Attempt to Shame Sikh Woman, Get Righteously Schooled

In the next story, a blogger and his wife are harassed and their lives made into a living hell by an internet troll. He tracks down the troll, meets him in person, confronts him, and ends up forgiving him.

The initial story: The day I confronted my troll (The Guardian)
And a response to it: Leo Traynor is my hero of Yom Kippur (The Guardian)

Would that there were more stories like these! I bet there are a few from time to time that don’t get as much publicity. But sadly there are just as many, if not more, stories of heartache and abuse. Folks, the online world is just an extension of our real world lives. Who we are in person is the same as who we are in a forum or on Facebook, even though we might choose to hide some aspects of ourselves in such public places for safety. So we should treat each other in virtual space with full awareness that there is a flesh and blood individual behind the avatar.

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