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Against Online Public Shaming: Ethical Problems with Mass Social Media

Aitchison, G; Meckled-Garcia, S; (2021) Against Online Public Shaming: Ethical Problems with Mass Social Media. Social Theory and Practice , 47 (1) pp. 1-31. 10.5840/soctheorpract20201117109. Green open access

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Abstract

Online Public Shaming (OPS) is a form of norm enforcement that involves collectively imposing reputational costs on a person for having a certain kind of moral character. OPS actions aim to disqualify her from public discussion and certain normal human relations. We argue that this constitutes an informal collective punishment that it is presumptively wrong to impose (or seek to impose) on others. OPS functions as a form of ostracism that fails to show equal basic respect to its targets. Additionally, in seeking to mobilise unconstrained collective power with potentially serious punitive consequences, OPS is incompatible with due process values.

Type: Article
Title: Against Online Public Shaming: Ethical Problems with Mass Social Media
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5840/soctheorpract20201117109
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.5840/soctheorpract20201117109
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108618
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