Would You be A Snitch?

(No, I’m not talking about that little golden ball that wizards chase around). But would you blow the whistle, when you witness or heard someone you know… does something that might be considered as wrong.

Ever since we were young, teachers always preach that we must always speak up when we see someone does something “bad”. But a Snitch never has a good reputation. Even kids don’t like friends who tattletale.


If you witness a friend cheats in the exam, would you tell the Professor about this, while knowing that he/she might face a serious consequence?

If you know for a fact that your friends are engaging in business practices that has questionable ethical implications, would you reveal this case to the media or police?

If you know someone (e.g. a competitor) in the industry doing something shady, would you then blow the whistle?

You must always speak up and do the right thing, they say.
But whistle blowers are often faced with status degradation and shamed by the people around them. Because let’s face it, being a Snitch (for whatever reasons, be it for good intentions or not), will always stir up drama. And thus, for most of the time, we really couldn’t be bothered.

Psst. It’s our secret, okay.
Sometimes, we feel “privileged” when we were let out on a secret, and keeping “a secret” together could give a sense of camaraderie between people. Therefore, we are less motivated to whistle blow on others – especially if we are not put into a direct disadvantage when we did not whistle blow – because it could potentially destroy this sense of camaraderie.

So would you do it? Would you “betray” someone you know by exposing certain things to bring out “justice”? Or would you practice double standard, by only doing so when it’s your competitor (instead of friends) in question.

Still, what is justice? What is considered as right by one side, is considered as wrong by the other – and vice versa.

For example… if you tattletale on a friend, the crowd might applause you, but you are condemned by your group of friends. But staying quiet might also be considered as wrong by society’s standard (who proclaims that you have to speak up for a better world)… Huh.

This post is not a rhetoric question. I honestly am curious what you think.

So… would you be a Snitch?

-Vic.

Picture credit

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28 thoughts on “Would You be A Snitch?”

  1. No.

    Bad contains good, and since we ALL are plagued by the Morals Of Human Consciousness, bad is nothing but Messed-Up-Ness.

    And in a way, everyone’s messed up, so I wont be a snitch.

    What about you?

    1. Thanks for sharing your thought! It’s an interesting way to look at things.
      Me? I have no idea. I mean I have never been a snitch… mostly because I simply think that it’s not really my business to do so. But I can’t say with absolute certainty that staying quiet is a good choice either. Sometimes, when I look at whistleblowers… I admire their bravery. But at the same time, I also wonder do they feel any guilt doing it….

  2. I think it depends on the situation. If it is snitching on one cheating on an exam, they will end paying their own price for it in time. On the other hand it takes great courage to speak out on the bigger things that effect humanity as a whole, when a you see atrocities that happen to animals, people, the environment and such. The difference between the two is one you just don’t like, and the other is one you can’t live with.

    1. Thanks for sharing. I like the way you said “things don’t like” vs “things you can’t live with”. And I think I do agree with you. But maybe… the more we are indifferent with things that we don’t like… (saying it’s not that big of a deal anyways).. the indifference level increase bit by bit… And so sometimes, we might find ourselves becoming okay with things, that we might not be okay with a few years back. And if this cycle continues……. until maybe you can live with most things.

      1. If I can, then that means it’s (what they’ve committed) not something I would snitch about. I’ll only snitch on a friend of he/she murdered somebody, cheated a bunch of people with their retirement money (or something of that sort, something illegal), or is abusing someone physically, etc. But cheating on a homework, exam, or lied about an application for a job or school, gossiping, etc– I would never snitch on those reasons.

      2. Yeah, I would probably do something similar.. unless it’s something truly horrible then probably would not be a snitch. But y’know, sometimes I have fleeting thoughts: what if we get used to accepting kinda-wrong-but-not-really-horrible things / things that-aren’t-really-our-business-to-mind… that we kinda stop caring when bad things truly happen? …but yeah let’s just hope that it won’t ever come to that, of course.. haha.

      3. My friend was on vacation and stopped by at a fast food place. She saw a woman beating up her son badly inside the restaurant. She was in shock, and froze, not knowing what to do. Then the woman realized she was looking at them and yelled at her. When the woman and her son left, my friend was still in shock and noticed that there was a fire dept in the corner. She went in and asked if they can follow the woman and told them what had happened. They told her they can’t do anything after the fact, she should’ve been caught in the act before anyone (police, etc) can do something about it.
        Anyway, I know this is going away from the topic of ‘would you snitch if it were your friend?’ But my point is even if we know it’s wrong sometimes we don’t do anything about it. (my friend wasn’t the only one in the restaurant but why is it that no one even did anything to help the poor child out?). With so many incidents here in America, people carrying guns, I don’t blame her for not knowing what to do or not acting up quickly with the fear that the woman can harm her and her two girls. We told her that she should’ve videotaped the incident with her iPhone. That’s what’s great nowadays we are equipped with gadgets!
        I really hope that we all do something if we know someone has done horrible things, even if they were a friend. After all you wouldn’t want to continue the friendship with that person after committing such horrible ‘crimes’ right? 😜

      4. Thanks for sharing your story about your friend. Yeah, unfortunately bystander apathy often happens: there’s so many others who witness the same thing, why do we have to be the one who takes the risk?

        But you brought up a great point: even if we know it’s wrong sometimes we don’t do anything about it. Sometimes because we couldn’t react well enough (like in your friend’s case, which is totally understandable). True, technology helps like you said.. but the other side is, it might make people practice normalization, saying, “See, even that parent beats up her kid. So many other parents beat up kids. Beating up is pretty normal occurance.. I can beat up someone and it doesn’t make me a bad person.. etc”.

        //sorry, I don’t mean to be pessimistic, haha. But I think these are the issues that are often happening. What I can hope for is that.. at least, the next time your friend witness something similar, she would be able to react better (e.g. film it for evidence / interfere /etc). And now that she share it with you (and me by extension).. we would be able to so something useful the next time we witness something like that.

        And I think the fact that we are thinking about such things is a step better than being indifferent about home violence etc and simply assuming “it’s not my business, can’t do anything to make a difference”. 🙂

      5. You are totally right! I’m glad you have this post so others can think “at what point do we snitch on our friends- what is considered snitching and what is not”. And to what extent can our social conscience take when we see something horrible. How do we go about it?
        Enjoyed your blog! Let’s keep sharing our thoughts, ideas and journey along the way 😄

    1. Hi, thanks for the reply :). I admire that mindset, of wanting to stand on the right side, all the time. Most of us are just treading on a fine rope between indifference and indignation.. Sometimes wanting to speak up, and yet afraid of the consequences of truly whistle blow on someone. And sometimes wanting to do something right, but never sure what the right thing truly was.

      1. That’s beautifully put, and it certainly makes me think. I agree, at the end of the day.. all the things we choose to do / didn’t do will be the ones who make us who we are. And perhaps, the easiest way is simply to ask our conscience, “Will I regret this decision in the future?”

  3. Like they all said. It would depend on the situation. I would in fact confront the person doing the wrong, as it is chicken s**t to call the authorities before you get the whole story from said person. If what they are doing is hurting someone else, and they don’t care, I will do justice. I hate when people don’t confront me, if they feel I am doing wrong. But, no one likes a snitch!

  4. Hey Victoria, I doubt that I’ll be a snitch because I believe in karma. And why whistle blow when now you have something to blackmail the poor fellow with? 😉

      1. Oh no! I haven’t thought of that! But if that fellow did something bad enough to be blackmailed then he deserves to be blackmailed, and I am in fact, doing a good deed! Is it possible that the karma I get back is… good karma? 😮

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