Bonnie Stewart, the theoryblog, May 22, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Really good set of notes on the phenomenon of public shaming. "First, public shaming is in no way a new or online phenomenon," writes Bonnie Stewart. "We’re not gawking because it’s new. We’re gawking because it’s uncomfortable." Second, public shaming is used to exert control, either to force people to conform to the status quo, or to push back against the status quo. She writes, "We don’t want a society entirely driven by shame. Those always turn out dangerous. But I am wary of the ways that pundits and media are lining up to denounce shame at this juncture, particularly when their words tend to sympathize with the risks that white, middle class Justine Saccos face in this 'mob morality,' rather than with the risks and shame that those #FHRITP guys were trying to inflame as they aggressively asserted their own right to complete and utter shamelessness."

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