Gone are the days of tarring and feathering (well, maybe not in Ohio), but a new crop of public-shaming websites is doing the job in the Internet age. These sites very visually take to task racists, misogynists and your run-of-the-mill idiots as they share their "thoughts" through social media.
First, came news of an Icelandic feminist who'd set up a Facebook album in February titled "Men Who Hate Women," which catalogued vile sexist musings online. (She was banned from Facebook for the fourth time for her troubles.)
Also emerging are shaming Tumblrs: One outs racists , listing their names, hometowns, Facebook and Twitter accounts alongside their hateful online missives, while another, "Public Shaming: Tweets of Privilege" juxtaposes people's bigoted and elitist tweets with their everyday ramblings, to great effect.
Here, a brief sampling of the site's cringe-inducing mashups:
- “People who are for Obama most likely fall under following categories:welfare/food stamps dependent, lazy, or uninformed. #simpleasthat,” opines a young woman on Oct. 24. Earlier that spring, she’d gloated, “mom might regret giving me her debit card for shopping #oops”
- “I don’t think teen moms should get welfare or food stamps or any govt assistance. Why should my taxes have to pay for their slutty mistakes,” another opinionated Twitter user shared this fall. In the summer, it was a different story: “I need to stop gettin drunk and sending out nudes,” she tweeted, accompanying her promise with several weeping emoticons.
Oh, the folly of the Twitterati. Over at Bullett, Luke O'Neil relished the sites, remarking on what they've unearthed: "a beautifully complex layer cake of obtuseness, offensiveness and awe-inspiring lack of self-awareness at work in the minds of the nation's near-illiterate, hate-fueled, racist, spoiled, obliviously lazy cretins."
Public-shaming sites are the digital equivalent of complete strangers putting your foot in your mouth for you. Though most of those hung out to dry are clearly buffoons, the shaming sites serve as a reminder to the rest of us about how close hypocrisy lies when you're spewing strong opinions in 140 characters or less on a minute-by-minute basis, while the Internet catalogues all.