I thought about this when a colleague recently shared a picture of a person who apparently had committed a driving offence. Showing the woman standing rather startled-looking at her car door, the photograph provided no evidence that she had actually done what she was accused of; it simply captured her face and number plate. I asked my friend why she had shared it, stating my dislike for this particular form of public shaming unfounded or otherwise. Her reply: 100,000 or so people had done so before her and what, if any, difference would another share make? It matters because we’re not complaining to our inner circle anymore. The internet is a megaphone. It is wrong to assume that you’re just talking to your friends and followers even if your account is locked those who you are talking to most likely do not. The failure to grasp the power of social media when airing grievances and identifying individuals, justifiably or not, can have serious consequences for both those doing the shaming and those being shamed.
Southern Poverty Law Center
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- West Papua Human Rights Center, USA — West Papua Action Network
- The Global Rise of Right-Wing Extremism
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- Nashville residents block ICE from arresting local father – The Washington Post
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