Oct 5, 2016

Dex's Book Review:So you've been publicly shamed

Jon Ronson is s British journalist and an award-winning writer and documentary maker

Public shaming had been part of the  judicial punishment during the 18th century in UK and the US. It was phased out during the 19th century amidst calls for compassion.

Public shaming is back! And through the advent of social media like twitter and facebook,it can strikes anyone,anywhere and anytime.

Jon Ronson has interviewed some recipients of high profile public shaming like Jonah Lehrer,Justin Sacco and Lindsey Stone.

Jonah Lehrer is an American journalist whose works had been exposed to be plagiarized and quotes fabricated. And during his apology speech which was carried live together with twitter, a big screen was placed behind him and a small tv in front on the podium stand.As the speech was read,criticisms were streaming in and shown live on the screen.The way he was pilloried, I could feel the trauma Jonah went through. His career was destroyed beyond redemption.

In the case of Justin Sacco,she twittered  she was on her way to Africa and that she would not get Aids as she was white. A couple of hours later as she disembarked from the plane,her twitter account was bombarded with criticisms of racism and her integrity as a PR employee was questioned. She was fired subsequently.

Lindsey Stone, a caregiver was with a group of adults with learning difficulties during an organized trip to Washington DC. At the Arlington National Cemetery,she posted a photo of  her showing the middle finger with a shouting posture beside the Silence and Respect sign.What happened next in the social media, is anybody's guess.

In the many other cases presented by  Ron Jonson, it made us aware how public shaming can have a profound impact on our lives.

Is public shaming necessary?

If Justin Sacco or Lindsey Stone were from the east,will they be condemned and pilloried as  seriously as the west ? In my opinion, I do not think so. They will survive simply because the eastern culture has much more compassion.

Please remember to think carefully before you press the Send button because beside your friends,there are many millions of others whom you do not even known will receive your postings as well.

So be forewarned.

Rating: 7/10

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