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Public shaming has become the norm as promoted not only by the Essay
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Nov 19th, 2019

Public shaming has become the norm as promoted not only by the Essay

Public shaming has become the norm as promoted not only by the people who advertise and remodel it into a source of entertainment, but also by those who laugh along and spread this content. In modern society, one mistake can develop into a news story both literally and figuratively. While this is useful in inducing a realization in those who need an intervention on their morals, most times the subject is something embarrassing or private whereby the full story is never heard about or cared for.

This triggers an unequal societal position on a grand scale. It decreases the respect regarded to both individuals and, more indirectly, groups. The public notices similarities in sometimes completely different situations and distorts the story to categorize humans into inaccurate groups. Furthermore, labelling undermines the value of certain groups’ opinions, lowering status regardless of reality. This shapes a whole new image while disregarding overwhelming contradictory evidence, leading to doubt and distrust.

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Attacking people’s opinions turns us into a restricted society in which many fail to voice their opinions for a fear of being dragged by others.

Judgements and miscommunications are made immediately rather than after careful consideration and full explanation. Social media has transformed into a platform feeding off of dehumanization to level out hierarchies and attack the misuse of privilege to discuss class and race even when that is not the case. It has reduced our capacity for empathy; it has blurred the lines between serious and unserious transgressions; it is a cathartic alternative to social justice. For instance, Jon Ronson clarified that Justine Sacco’s seemingly racist post was in actuality meant to mock the gleeful flaunting of privilege.

Much of this drama is caused by a lack of compassion that has led to a decrease in society’s morals. Videos in news stories, use shame for entertainment by only using pieces to support a popular position rather than taking the full content into account. This is not new, and it, unfortunately, happens everyday. Data has been manipulated for years to present “facts” that seem irrefutable. The social inequality that results from misinformed individuals spreading corrupt information and preconceived notions that seek mutual approval interrupt with one’s freedom of speech and ability to express himself/herself.

After addressing the public’s reactions, it is just as important to acknowledge the victim’s perspective. Monica Lewinsky in “The Price of Shame” recounts her harassment experiences that influenced her decision to leave the public’s eyes. Having experienced bullying myself as many others unfortunately do, it is the way one handles the situation that decides how or if one comes out of it alive. You have two choices: to let it destroy your views of yourself or to learn that others’ opinions should not define your self-perceptions. Equality issues hold many defined forms from income to gender; however, a small fraction acknowledge the vitality of public shaming everyday as social inequality.

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