Don't You Dare Judge Amanda Berry, Internet
Cleveland kidnapping victim not immune from trolls
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 1, 2013 11:22 AM CDT
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(Newser) – If you'd been imprisoned and horrifically abused for a decade and then heroically escaped, you'd think the Internet would cut you some slack, right? No, of course you wouldn't think that, because you've been on the Internet. Kidnapping victim Amanda Berry made a surprise appearance onstage at a Cleveland music festival this weekend, smiling and waving to the cheering crowd. This simple, positive moment somehow riled up "the lowest form of opinion generators—Internet commenters," Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon observes. Here are some choice quotes Williams spotted:

  • "It’s just odd given the years of abuse she suffered. Normally she would not have that kind of trust or comfort. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t make sense."
  • "It seems to me she was enjoying it and is gonna use her ordeal to cash in."
  • "A real victim.....lol."
  • Multiple people noted that a man stood behind her and kissed her neck onstage—or, as commenters put it, she was with a "dirt bag hanging all over her" who "groped" and "pawed" at her.
"You don’t expect much beyond a gaping, misspelled void when you stare into the cold dark place that is Internet comments," Williams writes. But it's shocking "that the judging and shaming that rots the soul of online community" applies even to "a woman who spent a decade being abused, because she had the nerve to go outside and be happy. And it sadly presumes that there's an appropriate way to behave after an unfathomable nightmare." Click for Williams' full column, or go here for more on Ariel Castro's sentencing hearing today.

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
Riffran
Aug 1, 2013 7:58 PM CDT
Oh I will judge her alright. I will judge her as a victim trying to return to the real world, and making the best of what she can. I wish her happiness and peace, and the ability to move on.
Sphinx
Aug 1, 2013 5:31 PM CDT
I wish journalists would stop writing articles about internet commenters as though the random musings of anonymous anybodies is worth mentioning. It's just giving weight to the few negative voices. I know it's an easy story, but it's legitimizing trolling. Just let them shout into the abyss, guys. Signed, A Nobody (Fun fact: none of the opinions on this thread are newsworthy)
justreading1
Aug 1, 2013 3:21 PM CDT
I think it is fantastic that she is attempting to have a normal life by GETTING OUT AND HAVING FUN! I have no doubt that she will have ups and downs, and may need or be getting counseling. IF so - that is her business, and it will help. So all of you who disagree with her getting out and being a fan of life- need to keep your negative comments to yourself! She has 10 years to make up for! Besides, until you walk in her shoes, you do not know what you would do.