Why False Accusations Are Interesting to Onlookers


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 at recess 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 are careful in how they behave around the vulnerable, as the balance of power between man and child is 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. 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. The closer to home that someone else’s bout with false accusations is, the more sympathy we feel for them. If we can clearly picture ourselves in the victim’s shoes, then our desire to see justice is well fueled.

Revenge, and Defeating Those Who Falsely Accuse

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 those who’ve attacked the innocent. Once a false accusation is discovered, the will to help the accused captivates our vengeful interest. We seek to empower the people who’ve been wrongfully attacked. We seek to support them, even if merely with our attention, to enact justice and bring the scales to balance. The overall task of enacting proper punishment on those who falsely accuse others of malicious things, is to prevent onlookers from partaking in the same behavior. We, potentially, have a personal stake in preventing others from falsely accusing those around them (anyone can be falsely accused). It is this personal stake which motivates the desire to deter people from falsely throwing accusations around.

The malicious onlookers in the situation at hand will have other motives. A false accusation is a good opportunity to advertise that accusations of bad behavior should not be made at whim. A person who constantly has red sclerae (white part of the eyes) from smoking Marijuana before coming into work will likely 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 within the digital realm, is the reputation which they adopt.

Next in line: 

How to Handle False Accusations in Everyday Life

Book Recommendation: 

The Count of Monte Cristo (Penguin Classics)

Disclaimer of Opinion:
This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.