Public Shaming and the Human Cost of Social Media Justice

This event will take place at 3:30pm PDT/6:30pm EDT. Not in PDT or EDT? Check your time zone

Please register at the ticket link for access information.

Join Columbia DC for a Virtual Townhall with author, screenwriter, filmmaker, and journalist Jon Ronson, and host Adam B. Kushner CC'03, Outlook editor, Washington Post.

You've no clue life as you knew it has ended...

Then the reality hits you with incessant phone rings and social media pings, from concerned friends and family, and from the unconcerned names and numbers you would never want to know. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed! Before you know it, you have lost your job, your career, your reputation, and your life resources. Worse of all, you will never be forgotten.

This is the Social Media rendition of Tarring and Feathering. It is orders of magnitude more potent, and has been used for years to promote Social Justice. But many of the targets are not corporations, nor powerful public figures who’ve committed transgressions with actual victims. They are individuals like us, whose seemingly trivial acts of benign indiscretion are picked up by random touchdown of a vigilante justice tornado. Our propensity to feel morally superior to others, the instant gratification of social affirmation, and the ease with which we can be manipulated to be outraged all add to the potency of this tool. A fundamental question for all of us is whether the first amendment is its own most vicious enemy.

Please join us for this critical and thought-provoking conversation as one of the top journalists in the field, Jon Ronson, the author of the highly acclaimed book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, discusses the history behind public shaming, it’s evolution on social media, from the terrible 2013 case of Justine Sacco - Ground Zero of modern shaming - through to the Harpers Letter, where powerful public figures, outspoken journalists and political activists argued that they too are being unfairly silenced. But are these signatories victims of an 'unjust mob', or simply the rough and tumble of public discourse?

Ronson will be interviewed by Adam B. Kushner. There will be allocated time for Q&A.

Cosponsored by:
  • Yale Club of Washington DC
  • Brown Club of Washington DC

100% of proceeds will be donated to Columbia Neighbors Food Relief Fund.

September 24, 2020 at 3:30pm - 5pm

Online - Zoom Call


Miyako Yerick


$5.00 USD

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