Mob Response

Let me get this out of the way, Paul Christoforo acted like a self-important jerk in his correspondence with a customer about delivery of an Avenger controller accessory. His self-congratulatory, imperious, dismissive explosion of barely literate correspondence to a customer asking a completely legitimate question touched as much a raw nerve with me as anyone else who has ever had to endure what passes for customer service these days. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that every single person who read the e-mail chain that began with the customer and ended with Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade took vehement exception with virtually everything Paul said.

Though contrite now and quick to talk about how he was having a bad day —- despite the fact the e-mail conversation stretched over the better part of 2 weeks — he presented the gold-standard example of the worst kind of service. But this article is not about Paul. This article is about the response, and how deeply disquieting the sanctioned retribution of the online hit-mob has become.

The people of the internet know no limits to their charity, but neither do they seem to know limits to their bloodlust for abuse, revenge and humiliation. Even a small corner of the virtual universe can focus into unimaginable pressure — just ask GoDaddy, which has been under siege for more than a week after coming out publicly in favor of the Stop Online Piracy Act. Now, like Paul, GoDaddy isn’t exactly a sympathetic figure, but they are a cautionary tale that when the Sauron Eye of an organized internet mob turns to put your indiscretions under the microscope, the results can be devastating.

In truth, what I have taken away from both these incidents is that there is good reason to fear the tyranny and unrestrained animosity of a virtual lynching, for there is no compassion to be had in its almost random punishment.

At times like this my thoughts always turn to Micah Whipple. He was the unfortunate Blizzard employee caught in the storm of angst associated with the company’s quickly discarded idea to require the use of RealID on Battle.net. Micah made the unenviable decision to prove that using your real name on the internet is safe, and the internet seemed to turn as one to squeeze Mr. Whipple and show him the deep error of his ways. Within minutes his private information became the plaything of hundreds of thousands. How his world must have turned upside down for a day. Or a week? Or even a month?

Unlike Paul or GoDaddy, it’s hard to find much reprehensible fault with Micah. Yes, it was probably naive of him to throw himself into the middle of a brewing storm, but the result must have been terrifying not only to him but all those near to him. The level of harassment brought to bear on him is the kind of thing that will wake you up at night in a cold sweat.

In moments like this, here on the safe periphery, it all looks pretty entertaining. Heck, I’ve laughed at a few of the more clever pokes delivered to Paul Christoforo over the past day or two. But, spare a moment to imagine what it must be like to be the focal point of the laser beam. Suddenly you are completely vulnerable, exposed for an angry world with malicious intent to see. For all the good that internet communities are capable of, they have equal capacity for nothing short of unfiltered hate.

Did Paul deserve an angry rebuttal? Yes. Did he deserve to get fired? Yeah, probably. Did he deserve to get inundated with thousands of e-mails, harassing phone calls, public rebuke from hundreds of thousands and even threats of violence against himself and his family — including his two-month-old infant? Does that punishment really fit the crime?

The truth is, I’m frightened of the internet. I’m really troubled by the thought that someday I will write the wrong thing and somehow it will be the thing that locks into focus at just the right place. I have sometimes specifically considered stopping this writing endeavor and getting out while the getting is good. I’ve had as many as a few hundred people really annoyed with me before over things I have written, and that is unsettling enough on its own. I can’t begin to imagine what the pressure of hundreds of thousands or millions must feel like. And, I don’t want to know.

There is a hypocrisy at work here that villanizes people like Paul but takes no issue with the almost criminal response. Yeah, the guy was a complete tool to a customer, but you can’t tell me that’s worse than threatening the guy’s 2-month-old baby. How is that OK? How is it that we didn’t all stop at exactly that minute and turn our holier-than-thou scorn on the people that decided the best response to a guy who provided crappy service is a death threat? Sanctimonious rage, unrestrained abuse and impotent threats of violence are far more troubling to me than that someone acted inappropriately in a communication with a customer.

This is a mob, as sure and as dangerous as if it had formed in the street to throw garbage cans through windows and topple police cars, and now that it's done with Paul it's looking for the next target. And the mob mentality in its virtual form is as terrifying a thing to witness as it would be in the real world. It is remorseless, relentless and without compassion, and to me it is the real story of the past few days.

Comments

TheHipGamer wrote:

bullying them back like Mike K. did isn't cool, either.

I don't really get how Mike K. bullied him. In fact I thought he was pretty cool given the way he was being treated by PC.

I loved the line "I do run Pax, but I also run a website called penny arcade. It’s kinda popular". It was obvious this guy, Paul, had no idea who he was dealing with and it was handled in a very subtle manner without any in your face taunting.

This is probably already mentioned in the "Everything Else" thread which I haven't bothered wading through, and granted anybody else is probably going look like a saint in comparison, but Paul's replacement seems like a mensch.

Also, I take back what I said about doubting whether Paul actually has a family...*cough*

TheHipGamer wrote:

Private email from Mike. Guy still gets fired, without the theatrics, and without taking a dude who is clearly not in a good place -- people in good places don't behave like this -- and driving him further into whatever hole he's in.

What on earth makes you think that would have had any effect? Are you still living in the fantasy world where being reasonable works? Sorry, but some of us are unfortunate enough to have to live on Planet Earth, not Planet Happy Rainbows. In the real world, bullies win and prosper if nobody does anything about them. Being reasonable = being a doormat.

CaptainCrowbar wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

Private email from Mike. Guy still gets fired, without the theatrics, and without taking a dude who is clearly not in a good place -- people in good places don't behave like this -- and driving him further into whatever hole he's in.

What on earth makes you think that would have had any effect? Are you still living in the fantasy world where being reasonable works? Sorry, but some of us are unfortunate enough to have to live on Planet Earth, not Planet Happy Rainbows. In the real world, bullies win and prosper if nobody does anything about them. Being reasonable = being a doormat.

A private email from Mike to Paul's client would likely have ended this much more cleanly.

wordsmythe wrote:

A private email from Mike to Paul's client would likely have ended this much more cleanly.

Kind of like Kotaku's email to Avenger, that was answered by the douche. There was no one to contact.

http://www.natesnetwork.com/Poor-cus...

Calling, emailing, there was no one to get to, because the douche was the face of the company.

It was always going to come to this.

I get that he's the one who received the "contact us" emails. That doesn't mean he's the only possible point of contact with the company.

Thank you for writing this, Sean. I'm glad GwJ has not just chosen to use the opportunity to howl with the wolves.

CaptainCrowbar wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

Private email from Mike. Guy still gets fired, without the theatrics, and without taking a dude who is clearly not in a good place -- people in good places don't behave like this -- and driving him further into whatever hole he's in.

What on earth makes you think that would have had any effect? Are you still living in the fantasy world where being reasonable works? Sorry, but some of us are unfortunate enough to have to live on Planet Earth, not Planet Happy Rainbows. In the real world, bullies win and prosper if nobody does anything about them. Being reasonable = being a doormat.

The condescending tone isn't really needed here.

That aside, yes, I think that would have had an effect. This idea that you have to be (or even can be) a Bigger Badder Bully is the same bullsh*t I've seen in every martial arts dojo since the mid-80s: revenge fantasy wrapped in the weak justification of efficacy. The problem is the same in both manifestations: at best, it doesn't work because (as pointed out above) it just shifts it to someone else, and at worst you misjudge and it just pisses the guy off more, and what could have been a simpler confrontation becomes wrapped up in ego and face.

Over the years, I've learned that perception of "what works" is telling about the person who holds it. Guys who walk around talking about "the real world" -- and I'll lean again on my predominant experience, martial arts -- are really talking about some idealized, perfect bully whom they can take down without consequence. They don't stop and think about what happens the hour or day after their Marvelous Victory: the guy goes home and drinks himself into a stupor, or finds a pack of friends and tracks you down, or decides to eat a bullet because his life has hit its all time low.

If you think being an asshole is the way to resolve conflict, you're part of the problem.

TheHipGamer wrote:

If you think being an asshole is the way to resolve conflict, you're part of the problem.

One thousand times this.

Dimmerswitch wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

If you think being an asshole is the way to resolve conflict, you're part of the problem.

One thousand times this.

Not that I necessarily disagree with you but I don't know anyone who has been a victim of bullying (myself included) who was able to stop said bullying by taking a pacifist stance. I and many friends were badly bullied as kids. Curling up into a ball and taking it didn't stop it. Seeking the advice of proper authorities didn't either. You know what did? When several of us stood up to the bullies and showed that most of them become blubbering cowards when pushed back. The idea that every bully will just go pick on someone else if you push back is simply not always true. A "private e-mail from Mike" is no guarantee that the guy would have been fired.

CrashMonkey wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

bullying them back like Mike K. did isn't cool, either.

I don't really get how Mike K. bullied him. In fact I thought he was pretty cool given the way he was being treated by PC.

I loved the line "I do run Pax, but I also run a website called penny arcade. It’s kinda popular". It was obvious this guy, Paul, had no idea who he was dealing with and it was handled in a very subtle manner without any in your face taunting.

Seconded.

Also, when the hell did standing up to bullies become bullying?

Threatening the guy's family was wrong and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Calling him out on his bullsh!t was not bullying.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:
Dimmerswitch wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

If you think being an asshole is the way to resolve conflict, you're part of the problem.

One thousand times this.

Not that I necessarily disagree with you but I don't know anyone who has been a victim of bullying (myself included) who was able to stop said bullying by taking a pacifist stance. I and many friends were badly bullied as kids. Curling up into a ball and taking it didn't stop it. Seeking the advice of proper authorities didn't either. You know what did? When several of us stood up to the bullies and showed that most of them become blubbering cowards when pushed back. The idea that every bully will just go pick on someone else if you push back is simply not always true. A "private e-mail from Mike" is no guarantee that the guy would have been fired.

Another thousand times this.

Further, if everyone stood up and said "You're Not Getting Your Strength From Me" then the bully wouldn't have anyone to victimize.

As my father, student of history, frequently said: In the early 1900s little French children were taught to be nice and kind and nonviolent. Little German boys were taught to be hard and aggressive. Then came 1930, and those little German boys rolled over those little French boys in 30 days.

Bad people will always be grasping for strength. The proper response from good people is to be stronger.

Dimmerswitch wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

If you think being an asshole is the way to resolve conflict, you're part of the problem.

One thousand times this.

What about stopping an asshole from continuing to victimize people? At what point is it appropriate to step in?
I'd argue that it's more important to act to prevent (confirmed) ongoing damage/victimization than it is to wonder about what the asshole/victimizer/bully is going to do in response to being shut down.

It's still appropriate to consider the consequences, but the former is clearly the more important consideration in my mind.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:
Dimmerswitch wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

If you think being an asshole is the way to resolve conflict, you're part of the problem.

One thousand times this.

Not that I necessarily disagree with you but I don't know anyone who has been a victim of bullying (myself included) who was able to stop said bullying by taking a pacifist stance. I and many friends were badly bullied as kids. Curling up into a ball and taking it didn't stop it. Seeking the advice of proper authorities didn't either. You know what did? When several of us stood up to the bullies and showed that most of them become blubbering cowards when pushed back. The idea that every bully will just go pick on someone else if you push back is simply not always true. A "private e-mail from Mike" is no guarantee that the guy would have been fired.

For what it's worth, I have a lot of sympathy here. I can still remember being bullied as a kid, having rocks thrown at me, and being encircled and beaten up in a locker room at summer camp. My point in this discussion, however, is that the strategies which were appropriate in childhood (where hitting the guy back worked) should not be the benchmark for moral or ethical decisions in adulthood.

Bad people will always be grasping for strength. The proper response from good people is to be stronger.

When your "good people" are simply more effective at the very thing that your "bad people" seek, who gets to decide where someone falls on which side of your binary division? I'm pretty uncomfortable with Might Makes Right as an organizing factor in adult society.

Being stronger and being an asshole are not the same thing. Mike pretty much acknowledges he's being a bully here.

Mike Krahulik wrote:

I have a real problem with bullies. I spent my childhood moving from school to school and I got made fun of everyplace I landed. I feel like Paul is a bully and maybe that’s why I have no sympathy here. Someday every bully meets and even bigger bully and maybe that’s me in this case.

The bullying analogy would be getting bullied, then responding by telling the details to your older brothers, who beat up the bully and then pull his pants down. He may or may not "learn his lesson", but that doesn't mean the response was appropriate.

There is a pretty huge area between "passively allowing bullies to treat people poorly" and "engaging in the same kind of behavior you claim is not okay in the first place". I'm not advocating that anyone keep turning the other cheek in the hopes that a bully gets tired, only pointing out that (at the very least) you concede the moral high ground when you engage in the same kind of behavior you find reprehensible in others.

After reading Elysium's article and following all the source material, it got me wondering about David Kotkin, the creator of the Avenger controller. How does his company recover from the collateral damage from the bad PR firm and internet firestorm? The time it takes to create a good reputation has not caught up to how fast the internet can destroy it, methinks...

Firstly, thanks Elysium. This article helped me take a much deeper look at this event, and its implications. I absolutely love the way this community dissects complex subjects.

I'm in the "punch the bully in the nose" camp. The call for more reasoned and adult response is based on an idealism that I wish were true. The fact is that in any power struggle, you can only create change by leveraging more power.

Like some, I had some issues with bullying in my youth. I started with advice from my grandparents, "punch him back." It worked. Later as I was older, I tried reasoning, joking and all sorts of other tricks. However, that generally just left me in a more vulnerable position, increasing the bullying. I've noticed that this same pattern is true regardless of the power struggle: poker, antagonistic bosses, unhelpful customer service.

True with the proper wit, writing ability, societal standing, you can use different tools. But sometimes, you need a hammer. An understanding that I wish our president understood.

However, beyond this singular incident, which I feel was justified (sans the cp-supposed death threats), the power of the internet mob is concerning. The thing is, I see the 21st century as a time of corporate power consolidation. A powerful, rebellious mob may very well be the one thing we can rely on to thwart it.

(But maybe I've read too many Dune books. )

TheHipGamer wrote:
CaptainCrowbar wrote:

People keep trotting out trite advice about how "the answer to bullying isn't to be a bigger bully", but as far as I can see nobody has actually suggested a concrete, practical, specific course of action that Dave and/or Mike could have taken that might have led to a better outcome. In the real world - as distinct from the fantasy dream world where you can win battles just by being a nice guy - the only possible responses to bullying are to be a bigger bully or be a doormat.

Private email from Mike. Guy still gets fired, without the theatrics, and without taking a dude who is clearly not in a good place -- people in good places don't behave like this -- and driving him further into whatever hole he's in.

It doesn't have the gratification of a public lynching, or the "justice" of getting back at a bully as an adult to compensate for whatever negative things happened to Mike/Dave/whomever as a kid. It would not have led to the same sense of schadenfreude. Nobody could talk about righting the wrongs of the world because a private, "that's out of line, and you're not welcome to continue to do business with us" was sent. But it might have been more humane, more dignified, and more representative of the kind of people that are pleasant to share this planet with. At least for me, that's the Good Fight that I'm interested in, rather than self-assured vigilantism.

I'm of the same mind set. PA could have handled this in private with communications directly to the manufacture. Guy would have still been fired and the customer would have gotten compensation. Frankly PA's handling of the situation will end up probably hurting them with some larger sponsors who might be wary of their response if a customer goes to them with a complaint.

But sadly like the bully they bullied...PA when confronted with someone "larger" than them probably won't react in the same manner..

TheGameguru wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:
CaptainCrowbar wrote:

People keep trotting out trite advice about how "the answer to bullying isn't to be a bigger bully", but as far as I can see nobody has actually suggested a concrete, practical, specific course of action that Dave and/or Mike could have taken that might have led to a better outcome. In the real world - as distinct from the fantasy dream world where you can win battles just by being a nice guy - the only possible responses to bullying are to be a bigger bully or be a doormat.

Private email from Mike. Guy still gets fired, without the theatrics, and without taking a dude who is clearly not in a good place -- people in good places don't behave like this -- and driving him further into whatever hole he's in.

It doesn't have the gratification of a public lynching, or the "justice" of getting back at a bully as an adult to compensate for whatever negative things happened to Mike/Dave/whomever as a kid. It would not have led to the same sense of schadenfreude. Nobody could talk about righting the wrongs of the world because a private, "that's out of line, and you're not welcome to continue to do business with us" was sent. But it might have been more humane, more dignified, and more representative of the kind of people that are pleasant to share this planet with. At least for me, that's the Good Fight that I'm interested in, rather than self-assured vigilantism.

I'm of the same mind set. PA could have handled this in private with communications directly to the manufacture. Guy would have still been fired and the customer would have gotten compensation. Frankly PA's handling of the situation will end up probably hurting them with some larger sponsors who might be wary of their response if a customer goes to them with a complaint.

But sadly like the bully they bullied...PA when confronted with someone "larger" than them probably won't react in the same manner..

Furthermore, PA could have handled this in a public manner without resorting to outright bullying themselves. Mike could have helped his reader and put the PR guy in his place with post like this:

Does anyone know the makers of the upcoming Avenger controller, some of our readers are having serious issues with their customer support/marketing contact and we would like to bypass that person and reach someone who is more accountable.

Instead Mike chose to respond in kind.

If this had been the first occurrence of this behavior I would be more inclined to give him a pass but as others have said, I have a hard time separating this from the Dickwolves episode. I said then that the PA guys need their own PR consultant to help them edit themselves when these sorts of issues crop up.

TheGameguru wrote:

Frankly PA's handling of the situation will end up probably hurting them with some larger sponsors who might be wary of their response if a customer goes to them with a complaint.

According to them they're already turning down some pretty big fish, so I'm not sure that really concerns them. From their viewpoint, and the audience they wish to serve I'm sure they think they're doing okay.

Scratched wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Frankly PA's handling of the situation will end up probably hurting them with some larger sponsors who might be wary of their response if a customer goes to them with a complaint.

According to them they're already turning down some pretty big fish, so I'm not sure that really concerns them. From their viewpoint, and the audience they wish to serve I'm sure they think they're doing okay.

You read to much into my statement (doesn't surprise me though at all) nowhere did I state that PA was struggling or not finding a sympathetic audience and more importantly plenty of sponsors more than willing to pay them good money. Or in fact that PA is worried in the slightest about any backlash.

Re-read my statement and don't infer more into it. I stated a simple fact.. some "larger" sponsors might be wary of doing business with PA.

I think the internet makes cowards of even the best of us. When you combine the power of anonymity with total disregard for consequence, it's near impossible for most people to resist the temptation to unload their repressed anger (for things that have NOTHING to do with the issue at hand). Now, I know I sound like a head-shrinker, but I think forums have become our personal journals. It's where we dump our demons. Maybe I'm oversimplifying it, but every time I've typed something nasty on a forum, I usually delete it before posting because I know I'm just reacting to something that's silly and destructive (to myself and the recipient of my hate), and frankly, it felt like therapy to just to type it and get it out of my system. Again, it's probably only because I'm pissed about something else in my life that has nothing to do with Skyrim bugs. I wish more people would just let their words sit there for a sec before hitting the "post" button. They'd probably feel just as satisfied with the result and nobody gets hurt.

I was just reading his Reddit interview today and it made me think about the whole wife and baby thing. He continues to bemoan the amount of attacks on his family in every interview. And I don't doubt that there have attacks. But, I have read 100s of @ replies on twitter and about the worst thing he was ever called was "a douchebag", entirely appropriate in this case. Yet, he keeps throwing his wife and baby around like some kind of shield at every opportunity. That, along with every apology being followed by how the internet is so unfair, or how he didn't know how famous Mike was, or how he wasn't trained to be doing CS, really makes it hard to feel bad for him. Really, there is no reason to suppose that the man thinks he did anything wrong other than getting caught. So, while I feel sorry for his family and the situation that he has put them in, he seems to be avoiding every opportunity to dig himself out of it.

Just read the email thread on Penny Arcade. Sad. You can actually feel the guy's soul melting as the emails degrade. And I thought my holiday was stressful.

I don't think PA has much interest in anyone helping them edit. They're just being - well - themselves. And honestly, I give them a lot of credit for that. I don't always agree with it, but I've never got the sense then they were being other than who they are.

I don't think PA abused their (bully) pulpit here. I do think it went wildly out of control. Such is the way with mobs.

nel e nel wrote:
Timespike wrote:

Let's just address the elephant in the room, shall we? Threatening something this guy held dear sure got through to him, didn't it?

Is it justice? No. Is it fair? No. Is it right? NO! But if you want to know why people make death threats against the innocent loved ones of jerks on the internet, there it is.

Sophistry is alive and well I see.

Let me be clear about this, since you seem to think I'm subtly condoning threats against women and children: I'm not condoning the threats against innocents. Terrorism "works" too, and I find that utterly abhorrent. And when you come down to it, threats against a person's innocent loved ones is on the same spectrum of action as terrorism, albeit much less extreme. Using fear, brutality, and coercion is pretty much unequivocally wrong unless it's in a declared war and even then it's not exactly a nice thing. I do not approve of what this mob did, but I can understand why they picked the tactics they picked, despicable as they were. But don't misunderstand me, here: comprehension is not excusing. If the authorities can find the folks responsible for the threats of violence (and I think they should at least make the attempt) those people should be occupying cells.

Because when you come right down to it, if you're going to threaten Christoforo's kid, you're worse than he is.

I just wonder at the way he continues to stir the pot on Reddit, Twitter, and in interviews. It really doesn't strike me as the behaviour of someone who is concerned about the safety of their wife and baby. So, it begs the question, were there ever any such threats made? Certainly not publicly, so at this point we only have Paul's word to go by. That being the case, then does a few hundred people calling him "a douchebag" on twitter really constitute an "out of control internet mob"?

Elysium wrote:
I don't think it's our prerogative to "teach him a lesson" any more than we should use our cars to "teach" a jaywalker to use a crosswalk.

This is where I keep landing. People keep talking about an apology like they are owed one. Some people are unapologetic -- you've just got to get over it or else it's not their problem. It's yours. You can spend your life waiting for some people to stop being the dicks they basically are, and in the end you'll have a big box full of disappointment and frustration. Here's a tip, even if Paul says he's sorry, he's not. He's never going to be. He think he's the victim here, and nothing (Nothing!) you say can change his mind. You could have a scholarly dissertation on why he's wrong and it wouldn't convince him. It ain't never going to happen, so stop waiting for it.

My point: none of that entitles anyone to abuse him. Even just a little bit.

Good point Sean, but here's a counter-point. Is posting mean and degrading things about Paul online real and actual abuse? I'm going to say no, and I'm a guy who was thumped quite a bit as a schoolyard nerd and then went into the military where I received my share of real threats to my personal safety. In other words, I know what real abuse, violence and death threats look like. You can easily just ignore the Internet and write off the meanest comments as just idiots who don't know anything about you. The great Internet "mob" is not literally burning crosses on your lawn or building a gallows outside your front door. They're just using words, and best of all Paul can easily ignore the trolls by simply not reading any forums, setting social media to private and closing his old e-mail accounts.

Until there's clear proof that someone wants to physically hurt Paul and his family, then I really don't think he's been a victim of anything but trolling. Which of course happens to everyone who uses the Internet. And as others have pointed out, we still have no proof that he's not just lying and using his little kid to garner sympathy. Proving a death threat is pretty easy - just post a police report or ask a police spokesperson to confirm that he's actually in danger.

Wait. Are you saying that unless it is physical that it isn't abuse?

mudbunny wrote:

Wait. Are you saying that unless it is physical that it isn't abuse?

No, I'm saying that I don't consider Internet trolling that abusive for a grown man. I'm a freelance writer and my work has been trolled from time to time. It's just something you learn to deal with. It's the kind of abuse that Paul can easily get away from, and if he stopped giving interviews and fanning the flames it would quickly go away. As GT Chris pointed out, being called a "Summer's Eve .... Douche" online is not an example of out-of-control mob violence.

In other words, Paul's attackers may lack good taste or compassion, but I'm just not seeing the bloodlust here.

Elysium wrote:
I don't think it's our prerogative to "teach him a lesson" any more than we should use our cars to "teach" a jaywalker to use a crosswalk.

This is where I keep landing.

Was this guy really just jaywalking? Is this like running someone over with your car? The more time I spend on the internet, the less a fan I am of analogies. The idea of an analogy is for everyone to look at it, easily see the similarities, and get the logic. All I see here are issues that need a trip to Cleveland to take care of.

wordsmythe wrote:

The reason we route punishments through government or other authorities is largely because we believe that punishment, like any other hurtful act, should be applied cautiously, justly, and in a manner commensurate with the crime.

We don't, though. Certis doesn't need a judicial order to Fire someone--at least I think not! We apply punishments outside of government authority *all the time*.

I'm not saying there isn't a really important discussion to be had here, but I don't think bad analogies and misstatements is the place for that discussion to start.