Book Review: Zulhaqem Zulkifli on ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’

“The snowflake doesn’t feel guilt for the avalanche.”

Jon Ronson writes in the style of an investigative journalist narrative, interviewing people who have been shamed on social media for transgressions. His writing highlights to us the complex mechanics of shame, the ethics of shame and questions the legitimacy of certain shaming practices. I think most worrying is the idea that the practice of online shaming has the capability to unknowingly transform us into into virtual lynch mobs. Or rather, lynch legions. There is also a section which speaks about how shame destroys the concept of a self which is highly interesting. Ronson’s writing style is pleasantly thrilling and getting through this was a breeze. It is amazing how he seamlessly weaves the narrative of a sleuth whilst tying in ethical issues, often in the form of questions here and there. 

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