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... pleads for privacy

Mrs. Dykowski ...

Journalism has always had a dark side.

People have used media to start wars, destroy reputations and indoctrinate the public.

In the past, that power belonged to a small group of professionals, evil and great.

In the age of social media, everyone can play journalist whenever they want.

Just this month we saw a prime example of ubiquitous “journalism” when a group of teens came into contact with protesters at the Lincoln Memorial.

Several eye witnesses decided to play journalist and record the encounter with their cellphones.

We will never really know the whole story or what anyone involved was thinking, but that hasn’t stopped the world from endlessly analyzing every second of the footage and passing judgement on everyone involved based on biases they treasure.

At the end of the day, the star of the video, whether he’s a nice wholesome kid in a bad situation or a uppity, disrespectful racist, is just a kid.

Professional journalists are taught to protect identifying information about minors in controversial or criminal stories, with only a few exceptions, and our readers hold us accountable.

But the internet has given the whole world access to anything it wants to know about this kid, and I bet his mom is terrified.

Maybe he was being an idiot, but should the consequences really color his whole future?

The lesson is, in 2019, youthful stupidity is a luxury we apparently can’t tolerate.

The world has probably already moved on to the next outrageous behavior someone recorded, but this kid will carry this with him forever.

When people look up his name, he will always be that kid in the Trump hat smirking at a Native American protester.

Growing up is about making mistakes, sometimes huge mistakes. But when everyone is a “journalist” looking to exploit you for clicks, your mistakes can last forever.

Privacy is a thing of the past.

For the sake of my children, I ask, how can we rise above and end the keyboard tribunal?

Sarah Dykowski is the wife of Publisher Scott Dykowski. She can be reached at .

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