21 Jan The photo Dal suspended a Mormon whistle-blower for ‘liking’
In internet-speak, it’s known as a “meme”—an allegedly funny image, video, or text that spreads rapidly through social media. A familiar sub-genre is a photo in which an unknowing subject is inadvertently juxtaposed with a sign giving rise to risqué double entendre.
When the Disciplinary Committee of the Dalhousie Dental School was casting about for something—anything—it could cite as retroactive justification for suspending the male student who blew the whistle on the obnoxious Facebook group Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen, it discovered that Ryan Millet had once clicked the “like” button beneath such an image on the DDS15 group. Here’s the photo:
It’s not exactly uproarious, but it is exceedingly tame by internet standards, the sort of picture a 20-something Mormon—Millet is a 20-something Mormon—might find humorously naughty. Apparently, it struck other people as funny, too. Here’s what you’ll see if you do a Google image search for the photo:
Clicking that like button is the only positive act by Millet the discipline committee was able to cite.
The committee did cite five other posts on the Facebook group. Two of them, Millet had never seen. Three, he had seen, but not commented on or liked. It is his failure to protest against all five that Asst. Dean Blaine Cleghorn, in effect the prosecutor in the case against Millet, construes as gross professional misconduct. Remember, this is the student who did protest against several other misogynist posts—to Facebook, to the dean, and to the female dental student who was the target of a particularly vicious post.
In short, it was not enough for Millet to repeatedly take positive action against misogyny on the group. The fact he did not protest each and every instance of misogyny now threatens his dental career.