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In this non-fiction book, Jon Ronson delves into the world of public shaming. Although he does investigate the roots of public shaming all the way back to the days of stocks and whippings, most of the stories and interviews shared in this book are about a newer, modern day version of shaming – internet shaming. He shares the stories of people whose lives have been turned upside down based on one poorly placed comment or photo on the internet. He also speaks to those who do the shaming, and tries to make sense of the entire situation.
If you’re a fan of narrative style non-fiction books such as Freakonomics, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. Because it deals with a real-world problem, the ending is not as neat-and-tidy as I would have liked. The information within the book, however, is fascinating, and it makes me question any action I have ever taken on the internet. Both from the perspective of “how could someone use this to destroy me?” and “could this comment/action be affecting someone else in a negative way?”
If you want to get a large glimpse into this book, or if you just want to watch a short overview instead of reading the entire thing, you can view Jon Ronson’s TEDTalk here.