Citizen vs Citizen

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So far all of the cases i’ve written about have been instances of one specific person vs another specific person. But it is also worth mentioning instances of naming and shaming that occur between one mass of people and another mass of people. What i’m talking about are shaming forums, which have become very popular in our current online culture.

Most social medias such as Facebook and Twitter have been appropriated by users to bring online shamers together, building communities of bitter, annoyed, enraged or frustrated people. Facebook pages like “Name & Shame Drivers Who Can’t Park Or Speed” are created and are dedicated to shaming, encouraging members or ‘likers’ to shame people by posting to the site. While on Twitter hashtagging is used to bring tweets of the same shaming nature together, its as easy as putting #naming #shaming at the end of a tweet.

There are two roles in particular these forums play in creating differences between online communities and physical communities unlike the shaming examples I have previously discussed.

1. Massive increase in shaming: suffice to say those who feel extremely strong about certain issues are bound to find a way to name and shame regardless, but the ease of posting online through these social forums mean that many will make the effort to shame whereas they would not have if they did not exist. Added to this there is safety in numbers, its much harder to be individually judged when you are a part of group behaviour. Therefore there is less hesitation caused by being self conscious.

2. Shifts peoples’ attitudes towards shaming: as it becomes increasingly a part of everyday life it becomes accepted as an appropriate means of human interaction. That is to say people view it as a means of venting or a source of humour as opposed to causing harm to another.


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