I was just reading some posts in one of my FaceBook groups, and saw something that really got to me. Someone who publicly stated that they’re breaking the law and don’t care about it.
Someone mentioned that they were using images illegally in their posts. They replied that they didn’t care because other sites and people did it, and they liked their odds of not getting caught. If I could, I would have reached through my computer, grabbed them by the shirt front and slapped them. That not being possible, I said that I hoped no one followed their example and it’s on them to deal with the consequences.
Unfortunately, this mentality is rampant on the internet. Other people use images illegally, so I will too. Other people plagiarize, so I will too. Other people break the rules, so I will too. They think they won’t get caught. Whether they get caught or not, they’re doing something wrong and setting a bad example.
Just because others are breaking the rules or the law doesn’t make it okay for you to do it. You should do the right thing no matter what anyone else is doing. If a bunch of people were kicking a dog to death, would you join in because it’s okay if they started it? Of course not. Just because nothing dies when you break the rules of a site, doesn’t mean it’s a victimless crime or make it any less wrong.
It is up to each of us to do the right thing no matter what. It’s a lazy, selfish thing to break the rules hoping you’ll never get caught, and using other people’s bad behavior as justification. Follow the rules and obey the law, even if no one else is. Be better even if everyone else is being a flaming hunk of dren.