Dark side of social media: internet shaming

Social media has given new breath to a form of punishment

Photo Courtesy: CNN/WCVB

(CNN/WCVB) – Social media is radically changing the nature of relationships, and bringing the world closer together. But digital connectivity also has a very dark side. The tweet sent round the world, the facebook photo that went too far, and the casualties, like Justine Sacco and Lindsey Stone, the cutthroat world of social media leaves behind.

Social media has given new breath to a form of punishment that hasn’t been formally used in over a century–public shaming.
Though the digital version doesn’t involve the pillories ands whips of old, the end result is similar.

Justine Sacco’s now-famous tweet joking about getting aids in Africa, she tweeted it before getting on a plane, and before she landed it had gone viral.

It brought her not only humiliation from the thousands of users who read and respond to twitter. It also cost her high-profile pr job.
Lindsay Stone met the same fate after she posted a photo of herself mocking a sign at Arlington national cemetery. It was one of a series of photos she took of herself mocking various signs, but this one went viral, and she was widely vilified.

These are just 2 examples of a growing public shaming trend. One that serves as a stark reminder that it takes years of hard work to build a career, and mere seconds to push the send button on a post that could destroy it.

Copyright 2015 CNN/WCVB

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