The shame of public shaming

Russell Blackford, University of Newcastle Public shaming is not new. It’s been used as a punishment in all societies – often embraced by the formal law and always available for day-to-day policing
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Russell Blackford, University of Newcastle Public shaming is not new. It’s been used as a punishment in all societies – often embraced by the formal law and always available for day-to-day policing of moral norms. However, over the past couple of centuries, Western countries have moved away from more formal kinds of shaming, partly in recognition of its cruelty. Even in less formal settings, shaming individuals in front of their peers is now widely regarded as unacceptable behaviour. This signifies an improvement in the moral milieu, but its effect is being offset by the rise of social media and, with it, new kinds of shaming. Indeed, as Welsh journalist and documentary maker Jon Ronson portrays vividly in his latest book, social media shaming has become a social menace. Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (Picador, 2015) is a timely contribution to the public understanding of an emotionally charged topic. Shaming is on the rise. We’ve shifted – much of the time – to a mode of. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

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