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The Issue of Public Shaming on the Internet

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Since the early 1800s, public shaming has been part of American history.It is not surprising that people have learned so well about the practice of shaming others publicly for their wrong actions. Through today’s age the exploitation of social media and new technology has advanced. Not only do they have to be embarrassed for a short time like the old days, but they have to live in embarrassment all their lives because of the internet. So You’ve Publicly Been Shamed is a book by Jon Ronson that examines the increasing public shaming in the web era. Ronson is a Welsh author who writes about popular culture, particularly because it crosses the Internet in today’s world. He has been described like a Gonzo writer, a person of his own, and he has wrote and published nine books. His recent book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, was released in 2015. Shaming is a proven method of social control that, since the advent of the Internet and social media, has taken on a new role in life. The theoretical concept of shaming means that'[ someone] is humiliated or unpleasant by failing or overcoming them.’ There has been public shame for decades, but technology has brought the idea of public humiliation to a completely new and terrifying stage. The intention, methods and effects of social shaming are common and not all minor crimes should therefore be subject to public humiliation. Ronson claims in his book that every social media user is up to mock, shame and rob an otherwise innocent target and he argues also that shaming is not only bad for the ones being shamed but also bad for the ones shaming. We are going through what Ronson considers a ‘great public humiliation revival.’ Social media and new technologies have also risen more than ever and I believe that we must stop shaming through the use of the internet and put an end to it so that the lives of people are not destroyed.

You may not be in the ordinary people category, but it takes a person with strong principles to guarantee that at some stage they are not interested in someone else’s online humiliation. Many have become unnecessarily cautious in a world where one can be targetted for simply using the wrong emoji, not because someone has been trolled away unintentionally with hurtful comments but by being publicly shamed. Justine Sacco of New York PR tweeted a sarcastic joke saying, ‘Go to Africa.’ Hope I don’t get AIDS.’ Just kidding. I’m white! Before getting on the plane. When the plane landed, she was a hate figure online. The Twitter mob mentality does have the power to turn us all into evil human beings. One big example is Adele, who spent most of her speech when she beat Beyoncé to Grammys ‘ album of the year, describing why she didn’t deserve the honor. Could she already see the recuperation if she can’t recognize the woman in the room that so many people thought she deserved to win?

Ronson is devoting a whole chapter to Justine Sacco in his book So You Been Publicly Shamed. She was the number one trendsetter that night following her sarcastic Twitter joke on AIDS. Shockingly, she woke up to find out that her name had been destroyed. People like you and me did indeed punish Justine Sacco for the crime of a poor sarcastic tweet joke, as if some embarrassing text were an indication of its secret inner evil. The fact how she managed to get things right after a year was used to prove that bullying was not a big thing from the start. I can’t understand how criticizing Justine made things easier when her joke was intended to mock racism. Over time, public shame becomes more and more common every minute.

Humanity has many shortcomings, including the need to dominate others socially. This necessity makes ordinary people like you and me to say things to others that are crucial and demonizing, other people we consider unworthy or not thankful enough for what they have. Knowing others in the same way makes us want to strike them in all possible ways when they make the least mistake. The public harassment message can clearly be seen. A person who feels wrong turns to Facebook or Twitter, and finds a crowd of like-minded supporters capable of helping their cause. Virtual involvement also increases understanding that a shutdown of justice avoids problems and the possible avoidance to litigation occurs. Normal people can always pursue the matter onto their own hands. The anonymity of the internet as a village provides numerous opportunities for online humiliation. As people post more of their life, knowledge and views on the media, they are given two choices; disguise their identity or agree that everything they say online is forever documented and regulate accordingly. The undeniable memory of the Internet means that even many years after the incident, the information will still always be there pointing to the shamee.

Even with all these negatives, social media has its own advantages which allow people to deliver their problems and concerns to others on the list of their friends and help them achieve a solution to their challenges. Social media has the authority to control people’s lives and if someone wants to commit illegal acts of any kind, their deeds can be tainted to the point where they can have trouble finding a way out of social media. Since we have seen a lot of public outcry via social media, Mr. Smith’s case could be an important example of how his whole potential life was ruined by his a video he had recorded of himself going off on a Chick-Fil-A employee. Since uploading his video on YouTube, his video viralized all social media platforms in seconds. Many people were upset and most mad at Mr. Smith, because not only did he lose his job, but he received so many letters of threat that he was afraid of even sending his kids to school. Like the letters were not enough, direct threats and alerts were also addressed to him. All these actions forced him to leave the town in which he resided in and move to another town. This is a perfect example that displays public shaming on the Internet in its greatest form. All of these points demonstrate that public shaming on the Internet is always inside our lives because it helps to know a lot about the bad shames that offer others a negative image of society.

This may be what we want to see at the moment — the pleasure of making someone else hurt with regret. But the enduring harmful effects of this and the uncertainty that it creates may affect us more than the sense of justice does. Everybody is a public figure in the online world, so everyone is a target. The discussions previously reserved for friends, family members and communities are now open for scrutiny, criticism and even prosecution of people with a WIFI connection and a temperament. It takes fear of ostracism outside the public sphere and puts it in our homes squarely.

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The Issue Of Public Shaming On The Internet. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 17, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-issue-of-public-shaming-on-the-internet/
“The Issue Of Public Shaming On The Internet.” GradesFixer, 09 Jun. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-issue-of-public-shaming-on-the-internet/
The Issue Of Public Shaming On The Internet. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-issue-of-public-shaming-on-the-internet/> [Accessed 17 Jun. 2021].
The Issue Of Public Shaming On The Internet [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jun 09 [cited 2021 Jun 17]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-issue-of-public-shaming-on-the-internet/
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