In the olden days, public shaming was part of the judicial process but was abolished in 1839.

Social media has brought it back, though. Author of “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”, Jon Ronson, travelled the world for 3 years to meet people who had been at the receiving end of high-profile public shaming.

Social media is a powerful tool where people collectively outrage and tear apart people like an angry mob.

They can demonise people and get them fired from their jobs too. The book is an honest take on modern life, on the escalating war of human flaws and the part we all play in it.

Here’s an example: Justine Sacco was a New York PR employee boarding a flight to Africa when she tweeted, as a joke, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”.

Her intent was to make fun of the bubble a lot of Americans live in, when it comes to what’s going on in the Third World.

By the time she landed, she had been dragged down by the internet and fired from her job.

Credits: Visakan Veerasamy on Twitter

TO DO: Read So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson which lists high-profile public shaming cases.


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