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Internet shaming is a form of online antagonism in which the victims are publicly humiliated and identified using social media networks.
It could because of something that was said or posted. It is an act that can destroy the reputation, career, and lives of targets of online shamers. Online shaming is a form of bullying. The shamer uses private and personal information of the target and publicizes the info on the internet.
They ridicule and scorn the person. Shaming can evolve into a large gang targeting the culprit for something they’ve said that they disagree with causing great shame and humiliation.
Online shaming begins so innocently on the part of the victim. Perhaps they make a negative comment on Facebook, tweet a racist remark or make some other explanation that is perceived negatively.
Before they know it, people are now flooding their mentions with four-letter words and death threats. This is known as online shaming, and it is only going to get worse.
Being part of a large group and the fact that the internet does provide relative anonymity can foster a mob mentality. People may say and do things they would never dream of doing to someone in person.
The internet provides distance and a false sense of courage which promotes cyber shaming. The consequences can be extremely damaging reputation, professionally personally and emotionally to the victim.
To better understand online shaming, listed below are the five stages of internet shaming and what they mean.
The 5 Stages of Internet Shaming
Stage 1: The Call Out
The culprit has made a remark online that may be sexist, racist or opinionated. Suddenly, they have hundreds of notifications, they have been noticed. It is the beginning of the end for the person being targeted for their comment. The callout can become vicious and relentless for the target.
Stage 2: The Storm
This is where things get going. The callout (negative comment) has been retweeted, and now the gangs are coming in. Slowly the rate of retribution increases. People are savage. The culprit is attacked maliciously. The callout has been retweeted; there are hashtags, the number of followers increase and jump o the and wagon of negative and vicious attacks.
If the person that is being shamed is famous or well known if any circle, the shaming can be even worse as there is a lot more personal information readily available for the cyber shamers. The storm can be hard for the victim to deal with.
Stage 3: The Disappearance
The silence falls. The culprit has deleted all social media accounts and has gone into hiding. This is usually followed by the cancelation of events. They could be fired for all the negative shaming online. The culprit is nowhere to be seen. They have been shamed into silence and have disappeared from the internet. Everyone returns to business as usual.
After the storm calms, the culprit reappears with a statement. It usually sounds something like; I have been under a lot of stress, this is not something I would generally say, this was out of character for me, it was a poorly judged joke. It is an apology and an attempt to be forgiven and end the cyber shaming.
Stage 4: The Legacy
The question is how long will this be remembered. Depending on how well known the target of shaming is, will determine the legacy of the comment. Unfortunately, cyber shaming events are something that doesn’t go away quickly. People remember these events when it involves famous people, and the legacy can linger on. Even if you are not well known, cyber shaming is not a pleasant experience.
Remember to be cautious about what you post and the way it could be interpreted. Your digital footprint it there to stay. It is easy for the thing to be taken out of context and blow up online. Is this victim or culprit at fault, are the shamers at fault or is it a combination of both parties?
Online shaming can be very painful. Remember to be cautious about what you post and the way it could be interpreted. And taken the wrong way. Your digital footprint is here to stay. Be mindful of how you shape it.
Social Catfish’s Search Specialists are also another option to assist you with identifying the source of your problem: