|William Preston as George Jacobs|
While this principle runs into serious complications in situations with crimes that are as inherently difficult to prove as they are horrific, a simple rule proscribing any glib application of morally charged labels is a crucial yet all-too-popularly overlooked safeguard against unjust calumny. In this age of viral dissemination, the rapidity with which rumors spread coupled with the absence of any reliable assurances of the validity of messages bearing on the reputations of our fellow citizens demand that we deliberately work to establish as cultural norms the holding to account of those who make accusations based on insufficient, misleading, or spectral evidence—and the holding to account as well, to only a somewhat lesser degree, of those who help propagate rumors without doing due diligence in assessing their credibility.
|Napoleon Chagnon with a Yanomamö man|
|Disgraced Author Patrick Tierney|
|James V. Neel with some Yanomamö men|