Monday 15 August 2016
One of the problems with false or hyperbolic accusations is that they encourage your target to do the very thing you falsely accuse them of doing. E.g., if the company isn't collecting private data but you make people believe they are, then perhaps they might as well collect it. If you actually care about the issue in question, this is likely to be counterproductive to your cause.
I understand the urge to lacerate an opponent and I've been guilty of it myself, but I'll try to keep the above in mind.
Another reason to restrain oneself is given by C. S. Lewis:
“Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one's first feeling, 'Thank God, even they aren't quite so bad as that,' or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything -- God and our friends and ourselves included -- as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.”