Letter to the editor: Athenian ostracism should be applied to campus meme groups

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COURTESY PHOTO / MARK HUTCHENS

Although in today’s democratic society we have adopted a lot from the ancient Athenians, there is one custom that seems to have been forgotten: ostracism. Ostracism was a process by which the citizens of Athens could nominate any individual to be exiled for a period of 10 years.

The people of Athens could ostracize one person each year, and they could do so for any reason. No specific law had to be broken; they just had to feel that the individual nominated was a threat to the community.

In today’s rough political climate, ostracism could be a powerful check against individuals who are not technically breaking any rules, but still constitute a threat to society. Any individual who abuses their platform would have to fear this ultimate scrutiny. Once instituted, a policy of ostracism would give the average person more power, reduce the reach of certain individuals, and increase the overall quality of memes posted in the group.

Wait, you thought I was talking about American democracy? Hell no, that would be extremely dumb.

I am suggesting we adopt a policy of ostracism on the Facebook group Swampy Memes for Twampy Teens. It is well known that certain individuals have a habit of spamming repetitive and unfunny memes that technically don’t break any rules. Arbitrary bans from the admins would probably constitute an overreach of authority, but if instituted in the form of a democratic process, these bans would be perfectly acceptable.

All the admins need to do is hold a poll at the end of each semester, with the most voted user being banned for the following semester. Users will make an effort to post good memes, rather than spamming the page in an effort to get noticed.

So, are you with me? Let’s bring back ostracism!

Sincerely,

Lucas Otal

ljotal@email.wm.edu.