Written and read by Jon Ronson
Run Time: 7 hours 26 minutes
At it's best, the internet is a wonderful engine of creativity, thought, imagination and ideas. But at it's worst, the internet can be, as Obi-Wan Kenobi described the Mos Eisley Cantina in "Star Wars", a "wretched hive of scum and villainy."
Journalist Jon Ronson explores the latter side of the World Wide Web and social media in his newest book So You've Been Publicly Shamed. Using several high-profile cases, Ronson traces the epidemic of public shaming and efforts by some groups to undo the damage. One of the cases involved a woman making an ill-advised tweet before she boarded a plane at London's Heathrow airport. The tweet went viral and there were even hashtags joking about whether she had landed yet. She was fired from her job the moment she landed. Ronson managed to interview the woman and see what happened in her life after the fallout.
The book was very thought-provoking and can challenge readers who use social media: Have I been part of the problem or part of the solution? Ronson also points out that social media users may even constrain themselves in what they say or do online in order to avoid any possible shaming.
Besides a chapter on S&M I could have done without, the audiobook breezed by and Ronson narrates with compassion toward the victims of public shaming.
Grade: 4/5 stars. Should be required reading for social media users.