Raw & Unedited Notes: ‘So you’ve been Publicly Shamed’ by Jon Ronson

Disclaimer: These are the notes I took while reading this book and there might be missing quotation marks, unchecked facts and other errors.

“And the one day it hit me. Something of real consequence was happening. We were at the start of a great renaissance of public shaming. After a lull of 180 years (public punishments were phased out in 1837 in the United Kingdom and in 1839 in the UNited states) it was back in a big way.

Online shaming. “The silenced were getting a voice.. it was like a democratization of justice.”

“The snowflake newer needs to be responsible for the avalanche”

The first part of the book describes a writer being caught with plagiarism.

Self-plagiarism: reusing part of a text you already published in a new article.


“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!

Then entered the plane for a 11 hour flight… then her phone exploded.

Your explanation or apology will never get the attention the original mistake or misjudgment did. Forever alone.

“A life had been ruined. What was it for: just some social media drama?”

Critics of judge ted Poe “They said the is no coincidence that public shaming had enjoyed such renaissance in Maos China and Hitlers Germany and in the Ku Klux Klans America: it destroys souls, brutalize everyone, the onlookers included, dehumanizing them as much as the person being shamed”

There is a judge named ted Poe that likes to sentence people to public shaming. He had a drunk driver have a sign that read: ”I killed two people while drunk driving.” Surprisingly a lot of people that was shamed don’t get in trouble again, but people sentenced to jail do. A lot of people was even thankful to the judge. The guy wearing the sign feared people’s comments but it turned out they were friendly and comforting. “Good bless you”. Social media shamings are worse… they are anonymous.

Lol! internet saying: ”Facebook is where you lie to your friends and twitter is where you tell the truth to strangers”

Le Bon (1879), a sexist and racist asshole, wrote in his book “The Crowd” about the madness of crowd mentality, “a crowd is only impressed by excessive sentiments. Exaggerate, affirm, resort to repetition, and never attempt to prove anything by reasoning”. Fits certain modern political tactics pretty well.

“Somebody (HIV+) must rape this bitch and we’ll see if her skin colour protects her from AIDS”

Nobody went after this person who was being inappropriate in the way he/she was destroying Justine. People where to busy shaming her!

Ad hominem attack: when someone can’t defend a criticism against them, they change the subject by attacking the criticizer.

I was totally mind blown by the stories in this book. How horrible things like this keep happening. Or was I just less desensitized than before due to my refrain from consuming social media and news?

Malcom gladwell confess that he fell a little to much in love with the simplicity and elegance of the broken window theory in his book “the tipping point”. Crime had already declined for five years in New York before “stop and frisk” was implemented.

Max Oswald: how did he walk away from his shaming unaffected? He thinks it’s because he simply refused to be ashamed. Does the shaming only work if the shamee plays their part and feel ashamed?

Attended a session with Brad Blaton where people told each other the truth. (Exciting)

Undercover woman.

Book tip: “The murderer next door”

“Brad Blanton was right. Shame internalized can lead to agony. …Whereas shame let out can lead to freedom, or at least a funny story, which is a sort of freedom too. (P.163)

The author is a bit full of himself and condescending by it enjoyable to read his stories.

Max Mosley: ‘as soon as the victim steps out of the pact by refusing to be ashamed, the whole thing crumbles’

But according to Ron: nobody cared about a man being in a consensual sex scandal. Woman on the other hand…

Mike: a conflict between the narrative you want about yourself and the version of the narrative that other people want to force apon you. Create a third story and own it! Disrespect the other narrative. Page 192

Reputation management: a new industry and field of work sprung up when cyber bullying and revenge porn became a thing in mid 2000s

A common theme for the worst and most murderous criminals is that they’ve been horrible abused. The shame has made deadened their souls.

“What the first page looks like determines what people think of you” (about google and reputation)

“We see ourselves as non-conformists, but I think all of this is creating a more conformist, conservative age”

“We are defining the boundaries of normality by tearing apart people outside it”

Need tips on more books on internet culture

Comments differ depending on gender: “I going to get you fired” vs. “I’m going to rape you!”. Shaming comments follows cultural norms that men are expected to be employed, while the highest degradation of a women is rape. (A bit uneven punishment maybe? 🤔)

What was your takeaways from this book?

0 thoughts on “Raw & Unedited Notes: ‘So you’ve been Publicly Shamed’ by Jon Ronson

  1. very interesting topic and the anecdote about the drunk driver wearing the court-ordered sign surely carries a message to be considered. I also like the comparisons of Facebook and Twitter.

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