How one tweet can ruin your life | Jon Ronson

How one tweet can ruin your life | Jon Ronson

In the early days of Twitter,
it was like a place of radical de-shaming. People would admit
shameful secrets about themselves, and other people would say,
“Oh my God, I’m exactly the same.” Voiceless people realized
that they had a voice, and it was powerful and eloquent. If a newspaper ran some racist
or homophobic column, we realized we could do
something about it. We could get them. We could hit them with a weapon
that we understood but they didn’t — a social media shaming. Advertisers would withdraw
their advertising. When powerful people
misused their privilege, we were going to get them. This was like the
democratization of justice. Hierarchies were being leveled out. We were going to do things better. Soon after that, a disgraced
pop science writer called Jonah Lehrer — he’d been caught plagiarizing
and faking quotes, and he was drenched in shame
and regret, he told me. And he had the opportunity to publicly apologize
at a foundation lunch. This was going to be the most
important speech of his life. Maybe it would win him some salvation. He knew before he arrived that the foundation was going to be
live-streaming his event, but what he didn’t know
until he turned up, was that they’d erected a giant screen
Twitter feed right next to his head. (Laughter) Another one in a monitor screen
in his eye line. I don’t think the foundation did this
because they were monstrous. I think they were clueless:
I think this was a unique moment when the beautiful naivety of Twitter was hitting the increasingly
horrific reality. And here were some of the Tweets
that were cascading into his eye line, as he was trying to apologize: “Jonah Lehrer, boring us
into forgiving him.” (Laughter) And, “Jonah Lehrer has not proven
that he is capable of feeling shame.” That one must have been written
by the best psychiatrist ever, to know that about such
a tiny figure behind a lectern. And, “Jonah Lehrer is just
a frigging sociopath.” That last word is a very human thing
to do, to dehumanize the people we hurt. It’s because we want to destroy people
but not feel bad about it. Imagine if this was an actual court, and the accused was in the dark,
begging for another chance, and the jury was yelling out, “Bored! Sociopath!” (Laughter) You know, when we watch
courtroom dramas, we tend to identify with the kindhearted defense attorney, but give us the power,
and we become like hanging judges. Power shifts fast. We were getting Jonah because he was
perceived to have misused his privilege, but Jonah was on the floor then,
and we were still kicking, and congratulating ourselves
for punching up. And it began to feel weird and empty
when there wasn’t a powerful person who had misused their privilege
that we could get. A day without a shaming
began to feel like a day picking fingernails and treading water. Let me tell you a story. It’s about a woman called Justine Sacco. She was a PR woman from New York
with 170 Twitter followers, and she’d Tweet little
acerbic jokes to them, like this one on a plane
from New York to London: [Weird German Dude: You’re in first class.
It’s 2014. Get some deodorant.” -Inner monologue as inhale BO.
Thank god for pharmaceuticals.] So Justine chuckled to herself,
and pressed send, and got no replies, and felt that sad feeling that we all feel when the Internet doesn’t
congratulate us for being funny. (Laughter) Black silence when the Internet
doesn’t talk back. And then she got to Heathrow,
and she had a little time to spare before her final leg, so she thought up
another funny little acerbic joke: [Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS.
Just kidding. I’m white!] And she chuckled to herself, pressed send,
got on the plane, got no replies, turned off her phone, fell asleep, woke up 11 hours later, turned on her phone while the plane
was taxiing on the runway, and straightaway there was
a message from somebody that she hadn’t spoken
to since high school, that said, “I am so sorry
to see what’s happening to you.” And then another message
from a best friend, “You need to call me right now. You are the worldwide number one
trending topic on Twitter.” (Laughter) What had happened is that one
of her 170 followers had sent the Tweet to a Gawker journalist, and he
retweeted it to his 15,000 followers: [And now, a funny holiday joke
from IAC’s PR boss] And then it was like a bolt of lightning. A few weeks later, I talked
to the Gawker journalist. I emailed him and asked him how it felt,
and he said, “It felt delicious.” And then he said,
“But I’m sure she’s fine.” But she wasn’t fine,
because while she slept, Twitter took control of her life
and dismantled it piece by piece. First there were the philanthropists: [If @JustineSacco’s unfortunate
words … bother you, join me in supporting
@CARE’s work in Africa.] [In light of … disgusting,
racist tweet, I’m donating to @care today] Then came the beyond horrified: [… no words for that horribly disgusting
racist as fuck tweet from Justine Sacco. I am beyond horrified.] Was anybody on Twitter
that night? A few of you. Did Justine’s joke overwhelm
your Twitter feed the way it did mine? It did mine, and I thought
what everybody thought that night, which was, “Wow, somebody’s screwed! Somebody’s life is about to get terrible!” And I sat up in my bed, and I put the pillow behind my head, and then I thought, I’m not entirely sure
that joke was intended to be racist. Maybe instead of gleefully
flaunting her privilege, she was mocking the gleeful
flaunting of privilege. There’s a comedy tradition of this, like South Park or Colbert
or Randy Newman. Maybe Justine Sacco’s crime was not being
as good at it as Randy Newman. In fact, when I met Justine
a couple of weeks later in a bar, she was just crushed, and I asked her to explain the joke, and she said, “Living in America
puts us in a bit of a bubble when it comes to what is going on
in the Third World. I was making of fun of that bubble.” You know, another woman on Twitter that
night, a New Statesman writer Helen Lewis, she reviewed my book on public shaming
and wrote that she Tweeted that night, “I’m not sure that her joke
was intended to be racist,” and she said straightaway she got
a fury of Tweets saying, “Well, you’re just
a privileged bitch, too.” And so to her shame, she wrote, she shut up and watched
as Justine’s life got torn apart. It started to get darker: [Everyone go report
this cunt @JustineSacco] Then came the calls for her to be fired. [Good luck with the job hunt
in the new year. #GettingFired] Thousands of people around the world decided it was their duty
to get her fired. [@JustineSacco last tweet
of your career. #SorryNotSorry Corporations got involved,
hoping to sell their products on the back of Justine’s annihilation: [Next time you plan to tweet something
stupid before you take off, make sure you are getting
on a @Gogo flight!] (Laughter) A lot of companies were making
good money that night. You know, Justine’s name was normally
Googled 40 times a month. That month, between December the 20th
and the end of December, her name was Googled 1,220,000 times. And one Internet economist told me
that that meant that Google made somewhere between 120,000 dollars
and 468,000 dollars from Justine’s annihilation, whereas
those of us doing the actual shaming — we got nothing. (Laughter) We were like unpaid
shaming interns for Google. (Laughter) And then came the trolls: [I’m actually kind of hoping
Justine Sacco gets aids? lol] Somebody else on that wrote, “Somebody HIV-positive should rape
this bitch and then we’ll find out if her skin color protects her from AIDS.” And that person got a free pass. Nobody went after that person. We were all so excited
about destroying Justine, and our shaming brains
are so simple-minded, that we couldn’t also handle
destroying somebody who was inappropriately
destroying Justine. Justine was really uniting
a lot of disparate groups that night, from philanthropists to “rape the bitch.” [@JustineSacco I hope you get fired!
You demented bitch… Just let the world know you’re planning
to ride bare back while in Africa.] Women always have it worse than men. When a man gets shamed, it’s,
“I’m going to get you fired.” When a woman gets shamed, it’s, “I’m going to get you fired
and raped and cut out your uterus.” And then Justine’s employers got involved: [IAC on @JustineSacco tweet: This is an
outrageous, offensive comment. Employee in question currently
unreachable on an intl flight.] And that’s when the anger
turned to excitement: [All I want for Christmas is to see
@JustineSacco’s face when her plane lands and she checks
her inbox/voicemail. #fired] [Oh man, @justinesacco
is going to have the most painful phone-turning-on moment ever
when her plane lands.] [We are about to watch this @JustineSacco
bitch get fired. In REAL time. Before she even KNOWS
she’s getting fired.] What we had was
a delightful narrative arc. We knew something that Justine didn’t. Can you think of anything
less judicial than this? Justine was asleep on a plane
and unable to explain herself, and her inability was
a huge part of the hilarity. On Twitter that night, we were
like toddlers crawling towards a gun. Somebody worked out exactly
which plane she was on, so they linked to a flight tracker website. [British Airways Flight 43
On-time – arrives in 1 hour 34 minutes] A hashtag began trending worldwide: # hasJustineLandedYet? [It is kinda wild
to see someone self-destruct without them even being aware of it.
#hasJustineLandedYet] [Seriously. I just want to go home
to go to bed, but everyone at the bar is SO into #HasJustineLandedYet.
Can’t look away. Can’t leave.] [#HasJustineLandedYet may be the best
thing to happen to my Friday night.] [Is no one in Cape Town going
to the airport to tweet her arrival? Come on, twitter! I’d like pictures] And guess what? Yes there was. [@JustineSacco HAS in fact landed
at Cape Town international. And if you want to know
what it looks like to discover that you’ve just been torn to shreds
because of a misconstrued liberal joke, not by trolls, but by nice people like us, this is what it looks like: [… She’s decided to wear
sunnies as a disguise.] So why did we do it? I think some people were genuinely upset, but I think for other people, it’s because Twitter is basically
a mutual approval machine. We surround ourselves with people
who feel the same way we do, and we approve each other, and that’s a really good feeling. And if somebody gets in the way,
we screen them out. And do you know what
that’s the opposite of? It’s the opposite of democracy. We wanted to show that we cared
about people dying of AIDS in Africa. Our desire to be seen to be compassionate
is what led us to commit this profoundly un-compassionate act. As Meghan O’Gieblyn wrote
in the Boston Review, “This isn’t social justice.
It’s a cathartic alternative.” For the past three years, I’ve been going around the world
meeting people like Justine Sacco — and believe me, there’s a lot
of people like Justine Sacco. There’s more every day. And we want to think they’re fine,
but they’re not fine. The people I met were mangled. They talked to me about depression, and anxiety and insomnia
and suicidal thoughts. One woman I talked to,
who also told a joke that landed badly, she stayed home for a year and a half. Before that, she worked with adults
with learning difficulties, and was apparently really good at her job. Justine was fired, of course,
because social media demanded it. But it was worse than that. She was losing herself. She was waking up in the middle
of the night, forgetting who she was. She was got because she was perceived
to have misused her privilege. And of course, that’s a much better thing
to get people for than the things we used to get people for,
like having children out of wedlock. But the phrase “misuse of privilege”
is becoming a free pass to tear apart pretty much
anybody we choose to. It’s becoming a devalued term, and it’s making us lose
our capacity for empathy and for distinguishing between serious
and unserious transgressions. Justine had 170 Twitter followers,
and so to make it work, she had to be fictionalized. Word got around that she was the daughter
the mining billionaire Desmond Sacco. [Let us not be fooled by #JustineSacco
her father is a SA mining billionaire. She’s not sorry.
And neither is her father.] I thought that was true about Justine, until I met her at a bar, and I asked her
about her billionaire father, and she said, “My father sells carpets.” And I think back on
the early days of Twitter, when people would admit
shameful secrets about themselves, and other people would say,
“Oh my God, I’m exactly the same.” These days, the hunt is on
for people’s shameful secrets. You can lead a good, ethical life, but some bad phraseology in a Tweet
can overwhelm it all, become a clue to your secret inner evil. Maybe there’s two types
of people in the world: those people who favor
humans over ideology, and those people who favor
ideology over humans. I favor humans over ideology, but right now, the ideologues are winning, and they’re creating a stage
for constant artificial high dramas where everybody’s either
a magnificent hero or a sickening villain, even though we know that’s not true
about our fellow humans. What’s true is that
we are clever and stupid; what’s true is that we’re grey areas. The great thing about social media
was how it gave a voice to voiceless people, but we’re now creating
a surveillance society, where the smartest way to survive
is to go back to being voiceless. Let’s not do that. Thank you. (Applause) Bruno Giussani: Thank you, Jon. Jon Ronson: Thanks, Bruno. BG: Don’t go away. What strikes me about Justine’s story is also the fact that if you
Google her name today, this story covers the first
100 pages of Google results — there is nothing else about her. In your book, you mention another story of another victim who actually got
taken on by a reputation management firm, and by creating blogs and posting nice,
innocuous stories about her love for cats and holidays and stuff,
managed to get the story off the first couple pages of Google
results, but it didn’t last long. A couple of weeks later, they started
creeping back up to the top result. Is this a totally lost battle? Jon Ronson: You know, I think
the very best thing we can do, if you see a kind of unfair
or an ambiguous shaming, is to speak up, because I think
the worst thing that happened to Justine was that nobody supported her —
like, everyone was against her, and that is profoundly traumatizing, to be told by tens of thousands of people
that you need to get out. But if a shaming happens and there’s
a babble of voices, like in a democracy, where people are discussing it,
I think that’s much less damaging. So I think that’s the way forward, but it’s hard, because if you do
stand up for somebody, it’s incredibly unpleasant. BG: So let’s talk about your experience, because you stood up by writing this book. By the way, it’s mandatory
reading for everybody, okay? You stood up because the book
actually puts the spotlight on shamers. And I assume you didn’t only
have friendly reactions on Twitter. JR: It didn’t go down that well
with some people. (Laughter) I mean, you don’t want
to just concentrate — because lots of people understood,
and were really nice about the book. But yeah, for 30 years I’ve been writing
stories about abuses of power, and when I say the powerful people
over there in the military, or in the pharmaceutical industry,
everybody applauds me. As soon as I say, “We are the powerful
people abusing our power now,” I get people saying,
“Well you must be a racist too.” BG: So the other night —
yesterday — we were at dinner, and there were two discussions going on. On one side you were talking
with people around the table — and that was a nice,
constructive discussion. On the other, every time
you turned to your phone, there is this deluge of insults. JR: Yeah. This happened last night.
We had like a TED dinner last night. We were chatting and it was lovely
and nice, and I decided to check Twitter. Somebody said, “You are
a white supremacist.” And then I went back and had
a nice conversation with somebody, and then I went back to Twitter, somebody said my very existence
made the world a worse place. My friend Adam Curtis says that maybe the Internet is like
a John Carpenter movie from the 1980s, when eventually everyone
will start screaming at each other and shooting each other,
and then eventually everybody would flee to somewhere safer, and I’m starting to think of that
as a really nice option. BG: Jon, thank you.
JR: Thank you, Bruno. (Applause)

98 thoughts on “How one tweet can ruin your life | Jon Ronson

  1. The PC culture of snowflakeology is so insane, but they force us to play thier stuck-up nose-in-the-air game whether we want to or not.

  2. I always hated twitter. A megaphone for idiots. Stewart Lee calls it the Stasi for the Angry Birds generation, run by gullible volunteers.

  3. I'heard about the JustineSacco story when it happened, and my thought was – what a stupid, idiotic woman… Feels bad to looking back at it now. And who guarantees you that you won't be the next one that's tweet/comment gets misinterpreted and then you are the one with the destroyed life?

  4. WOW jon. you are one intelectually dishonest s.o.b. at 2:57 you say "we were getting jonah because he was perceived to have misused his privilege". PERCEIVED? what the F*** kind of chemical drugs are you on? he was not PERCEIVED to have misused his privilege. he was ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT FAKING QUOTES, and pathologically lying to cover it up. you're talking about the internet shaming him like he's an innocent little 10 year old who cheated on a math test. he's a grown adult putting words into other people's mouths in a public forum with a huge audience. i know you wanna feel like the white knight hero who goes around definding people who've been shamed by the evil people of the internet. but sometimes these people, like jonah, absolutely deserve to be shamed. and you defending him just tells me you dont give a s*** about journalistic integrity or truth. or the people this guy wronged by making up quotes. you just care about making yourself look like a hero. f*** you

  5. Humanity aside, Jon might just be the final evolution of Sandshrew from Shippidge's Pokemon series training hoomans it's not ok to be a bully.

  6. Anyone else here focused on that one chick in the audience who looks like she thought it would be a great idea to hang an all-nighter before going to a Ted Talk?

  7. And then came Facebook where people found another avenue to roast each other. I'm from the Philippines and this just spoke volumes to me.

    Recently, I was browsing on my Facebook newsfeed about random things, mostly about other people's cats, when suddenly, my interest was caught about a post revealing a frat-related violence during its initiation rights in one of the premier institutions in my country. By and far, this is against the law and certainly prohibited by the university.

    In a matter of hours, not only was the whole fraternity stigmatized, the members during the hazing incident revealed by an anonymous account on twitter, then spread via Facebook, were announced and 'burned at the stake'. The members involved in the hazing incident, who were admired student leaders and respectable chairpersons of their respective college student councils, were called out to resign and be impeached. One of them submitted a hastily written resignation via email. The same email became an object for jeers and taunts.

    Sadly, when I browsed through my feed this morning, the same student leader who submitted his letter of resignation passed away. I'm not sure if committed suicide since the family declined to give out details but one can only guess, given the day and age we are in and from the toxic comments section. Given that, yes, it was morally and ethically wrong of them to conduct such rites despite fully knowing that it has long been prohibited, there are better ways to call for justice and having their actions duly processed. There are better ways to address a political issue and sanction them for it.

    A lost life can never be returned. Needless hate comments only added fuel to fire. In the end, no one will be held culpable for his death and most of those who had expressed their rage against him will finally have been silenced. I wonder, though, if it had been really worth his life. I'm sure there are better ways this could have been managed without reaching such a sad conclusion.

    Penny for my thoughts.

  8. No one is going to speak up because we will be compared to the person we are defending. We will he called racist, bigot, mysogenistic, homophobic, xenophobic, and the 100 other words that basic twitter people will use against you. I don’t want my life ruined because I stand up for what I believe in. I will continue to stay quiet until the world is more accepting of everyone.

  9. what she said was racist and I don't feel sorry for racists 🤷 the whole group of people suffers because of racial discrimination, why couldn't she just shut up

  10. It makes me sad that a majority of people are too stupid to recognize satire when they see it. Rather, it makes me sad that people ignore the satirical nature of a joke or comment because they cannot wait to destroy someone so completely they want to kill themselves.

  11. How could that joke be taken as a racist thing? Obviously being white doesn’t protect one from aids.. so I see it as sarcasm. I don’t get it

  12. I couldn't finish watching this video, it's just so infuriating and depressing at the same time. I wish all the best for this poor woman.

  13. Religion used to curb free speech then some people decided that people should be able to say whatever they want then descendants of these people decided that some speech should be banned not those which are God insulting but some others. Really, in old days blasphemy was the worst speech and now this thing is allowed but some others are not???????????????????

  14. Glad I never downloaded twitter & have quit FB ,,,, people aren’t ready for this tech.
    We went from the integrated circuit to supercomputers in 30 years.

  15. Just say no to social media. Having an opinion is over rated nowadays. Keep your discussions and jokes to normal day to day encounters. You won't be missing out on anything. On the contrary, you'll see how quiet and ordinary your life really is.

  16. I called a kid gay back in middle school. I have a master degree, and worked as a high end corporate officer, but now I sell shrimp in a van down by the river because he tweeted about it back in 2010

    The ironic part is I blew a guy for .50 cents last week for the bus

  17. This happens to me a couple of times, and the thing is I don't even own any social media. I had to find out through my friends the horrible things they were saying about me, like how I was ugly and how I dress like a slob. People who I went to school with dehumanized me in an instant, jumping on the taunting train. It made worse my already unstable mind set that I was never enough. The internet connects people from around the world but, behind a screen, it becomes all to easy to forget the people on the other end are human to.

  18. So women always have it worse? Reminds me of a recent article saying that one third of homeless people in San Francisco are women and that this is a big issue completely ignoring the fact that two-thirds are men.

  19. "Women always have it worse than men" I know women have it hard but these spot of absolute definitives are very wrong. Girl at my school was socking a guy over the back on the head for maybe a minute and a half because she liked him but he left her at a party when he was kicked out. He was trying to get out but her friends shoved him back towards her so he stepped on her foot then shoved her and she fell back into a small chili garden the kitchen uses. He was then beaten up by about 4 guys who just kept kicking him. 1 of them "protected" her by helping her to her feet. To be fair she told them to stop it but nevertheless they didn't and they put his picture in toilet stalls with death threats. A good mate of mine was accused of the R word and was driven out of the country back to England where he had come from about 3 months prior. She later admitted it was all bs and she was "just damaged and having a hard time" like that somehow justifies ruining someones life. Men do not have it harder than women, but women do not have it harder either. Individuals have it harder than other individuals.

  20. This is why I rarely post anything on Facebook that I've written beyond compliments. I'm terrified something I've written could be taken out of context and I'll be attacked forever. Once it's on the internet its forever, it's sad on both sides. I love this video, its true we need to be more understanding.

  21. Awesome speech I love this, it's all so true. Plus I'm guilty of not using my voice on the internet because I don't want any misunderstandings or trouble. I've always seen how lives are ruined easily by misunderstandings, overreacting or overkill on the dehumanizing attacks. It's like a car wreck, we all slow down to watch the misery, knowing that slowing to watch causes more problems with traffic.

  22. Most online communities are "mutual approval machines." They are echo chambers for our collective consciousness and we seek validation to make sure our groupthink is correct. Want real change, ditch online forums… oh wait, I'm posting on YouTube… :/

  23. i'd tell them all to f**k off. so what if she said something about AIDs & being white. most of her audience are flesh eaters & are in no position to be criticizing others, especially for words. that they feel in any position to be judging anyone just shows they're at least as stupid as they are hypocritical

  24. I stood in our mall, many years ago, and watched a crowd of people cheering for the destruction of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. There were children in that building. I knew no one in that crowd knew anything about the situation. But they were cheering!

  25. Anyone else not racist, yet isn't "horribly disgusted" because we don't way over exaggerate someone's personality based off of one thing they say? Like Jesus to me that's insane and the context of her tweet was nonexistent if you didn't know her humor.

  26. trying to get someone fired over the internet is just so pathertically petty imho… why would you do that? Recently I've even noticed people in my country forming campaings to prevent people who have already been fired due to spurious claims from getting hired to another job. So apparently some people think that if someone is accused of something and get fired for it they should never be able to work again. I don't think this is even done to convicted murderers (maybe?) but for some reason if someones downfall is caused by internet activists they should never be able to have a normal life again cause of their crimes. I'm all for people not getting away with crimes or inappropriate behaviour but this is just absurd. Also I've noticed most of these people who appoint themselves as judges on the internet (I know quite a few of these people personally in my home county since I went to a rather liberal school and am still in liberal circles, yes I'm a pretty liberal person) are basically losers in real life (and from my conversations with these people I've gathered they're basically too obsessed with society being fundamentally flawed to do anything with themselves, and I guess they feel that they shouldn't do anything with their time since then they're taking part in this apparently flawed society, note that I live in one of the most equal countries on earth and probably the single most sexually equal and open to liberal ideas in general), and if they're not the classical type of loser they've managed to get jobs with the city or government as advisors for little councils that seem to have been made just for them, basically siphoning money from these public institutions as payments for meetings where they discuss their biased views. Ok… guess I kind of went off there but this is something I really need to get off my heart, since most of the people I affiliate with seem to turn hostile as soon as I mention that maybe their approach isn't the most reasonable. As a liberal person this is extremely frustrating, since a few years ago many of these people were very open to discussion on various political and societal topics but for some reason they've turned into extremists in just a couple of years.

  27. Did she deserve to lose her job? I don’t know! What I do know is that her comment was racist & heartless. I’m sorry but… I’m not sorry. 🤷🏽‍♀️

  28. “Say Billy, what colour do you like the most?”
    “I like green!”
    “What about the other ones?”
    “They are fine.”
    “Do you like to mix the colours?”
    “Because it makes more colours, and it’s really cool!”.

  29. I'm just thinking of those people using words like "retarded" to describe Justine in their Tweets. Now, only a few years later, using that word is completely unacceptable and could lead to those same people facing the same consequences as Justine did. It's crazy how arbitrary these things are, and how totally not worth it is to ruin someone's life over.

  30. I understand she was making a joke and doesn't deserve personal attacks. But as far as getting fired – if your job is to advise companies on how to manage their public image, and you mess up your own public image this badly, perhaps PR is not your field of outstanding talent.

  31. Last week I didn't know what "cancelling" someone meant. The first time I saw it in a comment I thought the poor kid just has bad grammar. Now I see it all the time. I used to think that people were basically good, deep down at least. I don't think that anymore.

  32. "We had a weapon of social shamnig they didn't understand, but we did, and so it was time for true democracy and justice, because we can hit the, and hit them hard" – no, you didn't have a tool for justice, you had a tool for a mob law at best. And not any mob, but the sjw mob of a particular set of views, denying all the rest of the view spectrum their right to exist and repressing them for expressing their views. You were as far from democracy as possible.

  33. The vast majority of us who live in the modern era and don't live in a third world country are vastly more privileged than any other human beings have ever been.

  34. I wish the world and humanity would have changed but I knew that it was going to get worse. I’ve been publicly shamed for supporting my friends through their own shamings and my own and it’s disgusting how I was treated. I was told to die and kms and for a while I had almost done that.

    Don’t let them win. Fight until the end. And to anyone out there struggling, just know that you aren’t alone, so don’t let the world make you alone.

  35. Basically what this guy said is, shame on you for shaming without context.. especially when you shame for self-gain & not justice.

  36. People exhibit medieval mentality. What do you think witch burning and sacrifice was about? Externalizing blame for the sake of entertainment at the expense of another human being. Desire to sidestep justice and avoid reasoning. In your mind the conviction against the person is so strong, that you ignore all arguments to the contrary. And the pressure of the public opinion. Many of us join opinion groups in order to reinforce what we already believe in, as it is safer than having ideas challenged. We gravitate to people who resemble ourselves, and then the mass develops it own gravity, sucking in even more participants. When the mass goes against an individual, that person is defenseless, unless they are protected by a more influential group. Over time this devolves into turf wars between large social networks and media groups. Their power is in the ability to rule over an individual, by controlling their social image. What people say you are is what you are forced to be perceived as. Shaming is not new either. All medieval trends made digital. The internet acts like a tribal village.

  37. If only Roseanne had watched this.
    Then again- had she stood her ground and DIDN’T HAND OVER HER OWN SHOW…
    She would’ve came out on top.
    Everybody knows what happens when you surrender to BULLIES.

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