By Amber Murray
Being the new kid on the block has its challenges, but it all works out for the best, right? You have to make yourself known around the town. Well, I’ll like to introduce you to the new kid on the block, Internet shaming. Internet shaming has been brought to the front lines in social media this year. But, what is Internet shaming? Internet shaming is a form of public shaming or humiliating using technology and social media. Internet shaming comes in all shapes and sizes; Internet shaming has always been there. I am personally against Internet shaming in all forms because it is degrading and humiliating to people.
The latest types of Internet shaming are public, label, and body shaming. Public shaming became a trend when parents posted photos/videos of their children holding signs of what they have done wrong, basically publicly humiliating an individual or group of people. Label shaming is socially labeling a person or a group of people of the photo/video posted of them. Body shaming was at its all time high when Youtuber, Nicole Arbour, posted a video titled Dear Fat People. Along with Internet shaming, there is also cyber bullying. There are a lot of forms of cyber bulling but here are a few. There’s trolling, flaming, harassment, exclusion and catfishing. Internet shaming and cyber bullying work hand and hand with each other. Whether you want to be part of it or not, it’s always going to be there.
Being part of Internet shaming isn’t always putting up the post. You can like, share, repost, and comment on the post. The only way to combat the problem is to not engage. These actions will help the user spread the post out like wildfire, even commenting on it. Whether you’re for it or against it, a social media ‘fight’ will grab attention and make the post even more popular then it needs to be. The best way to stop Internet shaming is to post positivity online.
Sometimes when I see a post I wonder, did you really think before you posted this? Internet shaming, in my opinion, needs to be stopped. I know there is freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion but social media is not a place to have ‘tea-time’ talk. Social media users have become sensitive that anything you post needs a lawyer to proofread it before it’s posted. No one can post what he or she wants anymore because the repercussions that follow are outrageous. With that being said, anyone can post what he or she want but most of the time it is a reaction/payback post which get people into trouble. We all go through days that you feel you can say whatever you want and no one can touch you, some people have those days more than others. You post, comment, share, and repost but the repercussions of these instant reactions are costly.
According to CNN, Victor Paul Alvarez, a Boston reporter, wrote a brief news story containing a bad joke about John Boehner. The wrath of social media fell on his head. Despite an apology, he was fired. Justine Sacco, she’s the public relations executive who tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Thanks to public shaming, she lost her job and was left wandering in the wilderness. Or how about the guy who made a joke about a dongle at a tech convention — or the woman who called him out? Or the woman who posed mockingly at Arlington National Cemetery? Or the columnist who cast aspersions on a boy band star’s death?
Ordinary people on the Internet are being shamed for what they posted. You can’t simply say whatever you want because people will retaliate and put you and others to shame. I understand that no one is perfect and that we all make mistakes, but sometimes the mistakes are base off of inhumane behavior and that is what Internet shaming is all about.