04 Jan

Crowdsourced Justice

Social Media has seen continuous growth over the past few years. It was in 2008 that Reuters announced that social networking websites surpassed porn as the “hottest attraction on the Internet”. Well, January 2nd marked another milestone in social media’s expansion: a means to crowdsource a child’s punishment.

The original post, published by Mish61 received many reactions – both positive and negative. Using Reddit as their communications channel, these two tech-savvy parents hoped to have their online community determine what punishment fits the crime:

Hey Reddit…..Please help me come up with a suitable punishment for my teenagers.

Ok so the wife and I go out last night and came home a little early. Low and behold we find a teen party at our house. Cars lining a usually empty street, stumbling kids coming down our driveway and 30-40 teenagers in our back yard smoking and drinking alcohol. The inside of the house has another 10-20 and the place is looking pretty trashed. Everything is cleaned up now and no one (that we know of) got popped for DUI or hurt. We have 4 co-conspirators ages 15-20 all equally guilty in our minds.

So what punishment fits the crime reddit ? We will dole out the most creative and who know maybe post pix later.

Edit…Downvotes ?? Really ??

Edit…in a way, them knowing that ‘the internet’ is determining their fate is punishing. Thanks for your suggestions !

Final Edit – Oh Reddit. I used to love to hate you and now I hate to love you. Sniff. I’ve decided that the punishment will be for us to sit as a family and for the kids to take turns reading your suggestions aloud and choosing from any actual consequence you came up with. Not only will they get a glimpse into the possible consequences and punishments but I feel we will have fun and come together in the process. The best part is that none of this will come from Dad and Mom. Special thanks to Hamakua for planting the seed, and to all of you for being part of my evil scheme. I’m such a dick…..Muuuuaaaaa….haahaahaa.

Needless to say, the Reddit community had thousands of suggestions and even more stories to tell. At the time of this writing the winning suggestion, as voted by Reddit users, was submitted by Hamakua:


I have a real good one.

Come up with an amazingly unreasonable punishment for them, something they would hate beyond any degree. Tell them the punishment then tell them they have the option to come up with a punishment of their own instead, however you have to approve it.

They can only submit “3” and if all are not approved, worst punishment is the default…. this will prevent them from fishing.

This will make them reflect a lot on what they did, and what punishment “will pass” your approval.

The purpose is to get them to reflect on what they did. -which is what a punishment should be designed to do.

Not a bad idea from my perspective! However, I was more impressed with some of the more humorous suggestions and funny personal anecdotes. For example, Ciden stated that the parents should make the four boys live in a van, down by the river!

What will social media be used for next? Have you seen these new communication tools being used in creative ways recently? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments section below!