Jon Ronson on how public shaming took over the internet

Has social media made it all too easy to destroy the public reputations of others? Author Jon Ronson weighs in.
(Emli Bendixen)

Jon Ronson once saw public ridicule as "the democratization of justice" — but after writing a book on the topic, he's changed his tune. In So You've Been Publicly Shamed, the writer takes a closer look at people who have had their reputations destroyed on social media, and how difficult it can be for them to recover.

Today Ronson joins Shad to argue that shaming has become ubiquitous and too often disproportionate, and that fear of being attacked has made us a more conservative, self-censoring society. 

WEB EXTRAS | Watch the video that first sparked Ronson's interest in this topic: his confrontation with the creators of a spambot meant to mock him. 

Plus, here's the TED talk by former White House intern Monica Lewinsky that Ronson references in the interview. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?