From the Sunday Times top ten best-selling author of The Psychopath Test, a captivating and brilliant exploration of one of our world’s most underappreciated forces: shame.
“It’s about the terror, isn’t it?”
“The terror of what?” I said.
“The terror of being found out.”
For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world, meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us – people who, say, made jokes on social media that came out badly or made mistakes at work. Once their transgressions were revealed, collective outrage circled with the force of a hurricane, and the next thing they knew they were being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered, demonized, sometimes even fired from their jobs.
A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people’s faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.
Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws – and the very scary part we all play in it.
Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of two best sellers, Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats, and two collections Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness and What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness. He lives in London.
This is an updated edition with new afterword, written and narrated by Jon Ronson.
If you follow my blog you will know I have only just recently discovered Jon Ronson on Audible and find him fascinating, highly entertaining and his subject matters both interesting and thought-provoking so I downloaded this book/audible as we’ve all known someone who has been publicly shamed on Social Media and perhaps even taken part in the shaming too!.
It’s only recently that the public have seen the real power of Social Media Shaming which has resulted in high profile suicides, destruction of livelihoods and reputations and the ability to ruin someone with a few “juicy” comments or retweets and in 2015 Jon decided to travel the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us – people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they’re being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job. People are using shame as a form of social control.
During this book we meet people who have made silly comments in what they thought were an attempt at humour and became viral enemy #1 overnight, people who became ostracised for having a private joke with a friend in a public place, the former head of F1’s governing body, Max Mosley who was publicly shamed by the Sunday Papers for his alleged Nazi Orgy with 5 prostitutes and a journalist for was exposed for plagiarism and misuse of quotes.
This is a fascinating account of the power of social media and the mob mentality when ordinary people like you and me decide whether something is acceptable or not.
Scary, thought-provoking and entertaining.