Public Shamings That Ruined People's Lives

Public shaming has presumably been used as a punishment since people realized they could shame one another, but while shaming was once localized and would usually involve a pretty big faux pas, the internet means someone's entire life can be ruined by total strangers over something as minor as a tasteless Tweet.

This great TopTenz list demonstrates ten times people were publicly shamed online in ways that totally damaged their lives. While you could argue that at least most of them should have known better, it's hard to fault the baseball fan who tried to catch a foul ball and then ruined his team's chances of making it to the Series.

This makes me feel uncomfortable because on the one hand it points out that people's lives were ruined by making this information public, yet on the other hand it seems to enjoy outing the people yet again. Why did an article that ends with "Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop" have to mention the names and show the faces of the people involved? It could as easily have left the names out and blurred the faces to get the point across ... though I must admit that I'm not sure what the point is.

It also leaves out the live ruined by so-called "name and shame" laws and attempts, like from 2000 where "News of the World" stopped its name-and-shame campaign "after a string of vigilante attacks on men either named or mistakenly identified as those named by the campaign.", or Florida's short-lived law "requiring women who put up their infants for adoption to first publish their sexual histories in a newspaper if they didn't know the identity of the father". Or those who were publicly shamed for reporting cases of child abuse ( ) or "reporting misconduct to [police] Internal Affairs Bureau" ( ). These somehow all seem like they should be higher on the list than a woman whose didn't clean up after her dog pooped in a subway.
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Eh, I'm reading through the Ocean Marketing saga on Penny Arcade now (#8 on the list) and as far as I'm concerned, the guy asked for it, deserved it and got exactly what was coming to him. Sorry, but if your *job* is PR and you crap all over a customer, you deserve to lose your employment. I can see some shuttered coder (like myself) having horrible soft skills... but if your *job* is Public Relations, you should know how to... well... relate to the public. :)
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You are right - it was about internet shaming only, so my second paragraph can be ignored. My first paragraph stands - why repeat the names or show the faces, when doing that is what ruined their lives in the first place? In a more technical note, #10 says "This was one of the first cases of Internet shaming", in 2005, while #1 says "The affair first came to light on the Internet gossip column, the Drudge Report, on January 19, 1998." Given the internet, I find it hard to believe there were few cases of public shaming for 7 years. Certainly "the Star Wars Kid", who was ridiculed and taunted for his recorded moment of fun in 2002, and spent years working through the shame, is a well-known earlier example of "how some embarrassing behaviour was recorded and subsequently went viral thanks to the Internet".
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#1 makes no sense... Monica Lewinsky was not an internet public shaming at all. When your name reaches presidential impeachment hearings, you're going to be world famous, even in the old days with just newspapers.
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You're right, rcxb. The Monica Lewinsky thing wasn't an Internet thing, but I guess was sort of an early example of the pattern.
The whole thing was sordid. Bill lied, Hillary lied, and I think politically a lot of attention was pushed onto Lewinsky to distract from the fact that it was blatant sexual harassment.
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Now I know how my dog must have felt that time I farted in a subway and blamed him. Other dogs would bark at him all the time whenever we went for a walk after that. I'm sorry, Rex.
(And I should also apologize to the other people in the subway. All they wanted was a sandwich.)
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