There seems to be a pattern of people who are falsely accused, being rewarded with positive attention after the fact.
Once the false accusation is proven to be incorrect, the person or thing which was unjustly attacked by others becomes interesting. There is a sense of justice at play, and rewarding attention is granted to the person who endured a false accusation. People seem to gravitate toward propelling truth, punishing those who attempt to sway truth, and rewarding the victims of truth swayers.
What are the reasons for rewarding those who have been falsely accused?
Perhaps the reason for the interest garnered by a victim of a false accusation is solely an attempt to ease their misfortunes. Could other, more selfish, factors be at play however? Could those who reward others who have been falsely accused of negative behavior be acting to lower the chances of them being falsely accused of the same thing? Could the people who reward the victims of false accusations be attempting to lower the chances of their own legitimate bad behavior being brought to light?
The tendency to reward the victims of unjust attacks is an interesting one to think about. This article hopes to spark your interest in the topic, and hopefully serve to unveil a new perspective on instances in which the victims of unjust attacks are rewarded for their victim-hood.
Justice, and the Interest of What Led to a False Accusation
Let’s begin with the safe assumption that most people don’t yearn to be falsely accused. We are typically careful about which ways our behavior can be misinterpreted to be malicious when it isn’t. An example of this is simply being a healthy, strong, adult man spending a little too long looking at children playing in the school yard. Being falsely accused of any tendency to commit a crime to do with kids is a nightmare for any average, healthy-minded man. Men who have a head on their shoulders are careful in how they behave around the vulnerable, as the balance of power between man and child is obviously swayed in contrasting ways.
The act of us not wanting to be falsely accused ourselves, entices us to be interested in what someone else has been falsely accused of. We want to study what not to do, vicariously learning any lessons in hopes of prevention. Innocence being misinterpreted for malice is a frightening proposition, as there isn’t much more an innocent person can do in a prospective wrongdoing than actually be innocent. When the innocent are punished due to false accusations, attempts to place ourselves in their shoes seem to elicit feelings akin to the ground caving in under our feet.
In an attempt to determine what led to the false accusation taking place, we develop an interest in those who’ve been attacked by their accusers. The victims of false accusations are therefore given a voice to tell their story. They’re treated well in order to be motivated to share the details of their accusations. How did it happen? Did they in any way encourage a false understanding of their behavior by others? Those who look on wish them well, and feel for their suffering, but there’s a selfish motive to the interest too. The closer to home that someone else’s bout with false accusations is, the more that feelings of sympathy merge with our self-protective desires. If we can clearly picture ourselves in the victim’s shoes, then our desire to see justice is fueled while our interest in the case grows.
How the Innocent and the Guilty React to False Accusations
An attack which is proven to be unjust, is an easy target for revenge. What better thing to empty the tank filled with desire for revenge on, than on those who’ve attacked the innocent. Once a false accusation is discovered, the will to help the accused captivates our vengeful interests.
We seek to empower the people who’ve been wrongfully attacked, and that desire to balance the scales involves damaging those who have falsely accused. The overall goal of enacting proper punishment on those who falsely accuse others of malicious things, is to obviously prevent onlookers from partaking in the same behavior. However, the nature of such a scenario often tingles our darker urges.
We have a personal stake in preventing others from falsely accusing those around them because innocence was the only crime. It is this personal stake that motivates the desire to deter people from falsely throwing accusations around.
The malicious onlookers in the situation at hand will have other motives. They’ll learn which false accusations have the capacity to damage reputations, end careers, and ruin relationships without repercussions.
The ones who are actually guilty of a crime someone else was falsely accused of will see this as an opportunity to deter others from making similar accusations. A false accusation is a good opportunity to deter people’s desires to accuse others of crimes which you are guilty of. For example, a person who constantly has red sclerae (white part of the eyes) from smoking Marijuana before coming into work will likely vehemently defend someone falsely accused of doing the same. Though the accusation they witness is a false one, if accusations like that become more common, they become likelier to get caught actually doing the deed. It is thereby in the best interest of the innocent as well as guilty to deter anyone from making false accusations lightly.
Depending on the accusation, false accusers get punished stringently. Perhaps the most painful punishment of all, especially in the digital realm, is the reputation which they adopt.