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Shame: What Is It Good For? (Probably Nothing)47:00Download

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Public shaming. In the age of social media, it happens fast and furious. We’ll look at shaming takedowns and what they tell us.

Monica Lewinsky, the former Clinton White House intern, delivers a TED Talk, "The Price of Shame," at a 2015 TED Conference in Austin, TX. (Courtesy TED)
Monica Lewinsky, the former Clinton White House intern, delivers a TED Talk, "The Price of Shame," at a 2015 TED Conference in Austin, TX. (Courtesy TED)

The machinery of public shaming has never been more fast and furious than it is today. The Internet and ubiquitous social media can pull someone from complete obscurity, make them a global name, a global cause, decide they are despicable and completely trash them – sometimes destroy them – in a matter of hours. Maybe they deserve a shaming.  Maybe they don’t. Journalist Jon Ronson says the online shaming ritual has reached such a frenzy of glee, savagery, that it’s time for the shamers to look at themselves. This hour On Point: public shaming in the age of social media.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Jon Ronson, author, screenwriter, documentary filmmaker and journalist. Author of the new book, "So You've Been Publicly Shamed." Also author of "The Psychopath Test," "Lost At Sea" and "The Men Who Stare At Goats." (@jonronson)

From Tom’s Reading List

NPR News: Who Needs The Pillory When We've Got Twitter? — "Writer Jon Ronson has spent a lot of time tracking people who have been shamed, raked over the coals on social media for mostly minor — but sometimes major — transgressions. He writes about some of them in his new book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed."

Vanity Fair: Monica Lewinsky and Jon Ronson on How Social-Media Shaming Turns Us All into Bullies — "Her own experiences, Lewinsky says, have convinced her of the importance of 'upstanding'—the practice of building people up on social media instead of tearing them down. 'I don’t know how many negative comments you get, but I’ve had my fair share,' says Lewinsky, who joined Twitter earlier this year and recently delivered a TED talk on 'The Price of Shame.' 'Someone who just posts something positive about you.... I don’t know—it makes me feel better.'"

Slate: Were We Too Hard on Jonah Lehrer? — "I hope that Lehrer finds a way to fix his life, and that it makes him generous and happy. I hope he makes a living, writing books or otherwise. But there are rules to telling stories, even stories of redemption. You can’t fabricate forgiveness."

Read An Excerpt Of "So You've Been Publicly Shamed" By Jon Ronson

https://www.scribd.com/doc/260618721/Excerpt-From-So-You-ve-Been-Publicly-Shamed-By-Jon-Ronson

This program aired on April 2, 2015.

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