Public Shaming In Social Media

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In this digital age, the Internet has made the information available to the hands of people. Information sharing via social media handles such as Facebook, Twitter and many more have made every content in the web spread like wildfire. With a boon of uploading unfiltered files, the Internet comes with a curse of open access to those data. People can immediately record, upload and share accusatory videos showing uncivilized activities of people being mean, arguing or littering the environment and share it with other unknown internet users. However, people are struggling with defining online shaming as an ethical aspect or unethical since it can be used to humiliate others or to share awareness for justice. I believe public shaming is not socially appropriate.

Public shaming constantly has been a method to punish and teach a lesson to those who have done something socially unacceptable. The contents are shared anonymously in the social media and left out in public to grab the attention of the mass to indulge in the interference of the targeted person’s personal life. This course could mean nothing in the life of the abuser but surely for the person who has been mocked, the effects can last a lifetime. Firstly, the content shared in the platforms are not a guaranteed subject, chances are it can be a performed act. The judgments are made to only what has been seen, apart from that, no people are concerned with seeing what truth lies beneath the matter. Secondly, the target person is abused mentally and physically with all the hate comments and torture of continuous vitriolic threats. For instance, if a video of a teenage girl dancing poorly in her provocative clothes were out, people would blame her parents and question their upbringing. The mass never cares to look in-depth of why it was done in the first place, she might have been a victim of bullying or she might have been unaware of it being posted on the Internet or could even be the case to be recognized.

The Internet has provided the right to every person to record and sell the dishonoring videos. Moreover, the materials pooled in the social sites are nowadays a matter of business and has a monetary value. In other words, there is now a financial reason to shame people publicly and is, therefore, more chances to be triggered, unfairly, by misunderstandings. Online humiliation brings with an intrusion of privacy in people which ultimately leads them to live in an environment full of fear and surveillance. Victims who are accused publicly usually are not provided with the freedom of explaining themselves for the reason they have been alleged. The aftermath, harm their self-esteem, confidence and lead them into a pit of outrageous negative thoughts. Such incidents can be so disturbing that they cause stress, depressions and even suicidal attempts. The best part of social media is that it gives freedom of speech to everyone which also gives them the freedom to criticize other people, publicly for breaching social customs. If only media handles such as Facebook, Twitter have prominent privacy settings so that the person who has been disgraced can at least present her side of reality before the outrageous comment start pooling. It is even the duty of being a civilized person we just resign ourselves to others’ insults or threats online and do nothing, for fear of triggering a shaming wave — that would not be an ethical response But we should never cyber-shame someone unless we’re certain they’ve done what we’re complaining about.

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