So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

by

Jon Ronson

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Jon Ronson Character Analysis

In So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, British-American journalist Jon Ronson sets out to unravel the history of public shamings, focusing on interview subjects in the U.S. and Britain alike. An avid internet user who, in the early 2010s, found himself perturbed by his own desire to participate in Twitter shamings, Ronson looks to instances of public shaming in the literary world, the tech world, and in ordinary slices of suburbia to explore why a well-intentioned attempt to call out a wrongdoing can spin so quickly out of control. Ronson often inserts himself into the book as a character, using his own thoughts and opinions as a jumping-off point for a deeper reckoning with contemporary shamings. He carefully examines his own preconceived notions about shame, groupthink, and the uses of the internet as he conducts interviews with people from all walks of life—4chan users, porn actors, British socialites, American politicians, and renowned psychological experts—to get to the bottom of what really drives attempts to publicly shame people. Ronson’s narration is quippy and lighthearted, yet his work becomes gravely serious as he draws connections between shame, violence, misogyny, and cycles of abuse. Ronson’s dislike of his own propensity to draw moral lines leads him to a deeper investigation of the “gray areas” that all humans inhabit. In Ronson’s estimation, a culture centered around thirst for public shamings will always suffer: until humanity can accept the messiness that defines us and reject the concept of shame entirely, we will never be able to live authentically.

Jon Ronson Quotes in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed quotes below are all either spoken by Jon Ronson or refer to Jon Ronson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead Books edition of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed published in 2016.
Chapter 1 Quotes

I won. Within days, the academics took down @Jon_Ronson. They had been shamed into acquiescence. Their public shaming had been like the button that restores factory settings. Something was out of kilter. The community rallied. The balance was redressed.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Luke Robert Mason
Related Symbols: Twitter
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

We were at the start of a great renaissance of public shaming. After a lull of almost 180 years […], it was back in a big way. When we deployed shame, we were utilizing an immensely powerful tool. It was coercive, borderless, and increasing in speed and influence. Hierarchies were being leveled out. The silenced were getting a voice. It was like the democratization of justice.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

We all have ticking away within us something we fear will badly harm our reputation if it got out—some “I’m glad I’m not that” at the end of an “I’m glad I’m not me.” […] Maybe our secret is actually nothing horrendous. Maybe nobody would even consider it a big deal if it was exposed. But we can’t take that risk. So we keep it buried.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Jonah Lehrer, Michael Moynihan
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

The common assumption is that public punishments died out in the new great metropolises because they’d been judged useless. Everyone was too busy being industrious to bother to trail some transgressor through the city crowds like some volunteer scarlet letter. But at the archives I found no evidence that public shaming fell out of fashion as a result of newfound anonymity. I did, however, find plenty of people from centuries past bemoaning its outsized cruelty, warning that well-meaning people, in a crowd, often take it too far. […] They were stopped because they were far too brutal.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

It didn’t seem to be crossing any of our minds to wonder whether the person we had just shamed was okay or in ruins. I suppose that when shamings are delivered like remotely administered drone strikes nobody needs to think about how ferocious our collective power might be.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Related Symbols: Twitter
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

A life had been ruined. What was it for: just some social media drama? I think our natural disposition as humans is to plod along until we get old and stop. But with social media, we’ve created a stage for constant artificial high drama. Every day a new person emerges as a magnificent hero or a sickening villain. It’s all very sweeping, and not the way we actually are as people. What rush was overpowering us at times like this? What were we getting out of it?

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Justine Sacco
Related Symbols: Twitter
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

All these people had […] come together spontaneously, without leadership. I wasn’t one of them. But I’d piled on plenty of people like Justine. I’d been beguiled by the new technology—a toddler crawling toward a gun. Just like with Dave Eshelman, it was the desire to do something good that had propelled me. Which was definitely a better thing to be propelled by than group madness. But my desire had taken a lot of scalps—I’d torn apart a lot of people I couldn’t now remember—which made me suspect that it was coming from some very weird dark well, some place I really didn't want to think about.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Dave Eshelman, Justine Sacco
Related Symbols: Twitter
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

It seemed to me that all the people involved in the Hank and Adria story thought they were doing something good. But they only revealed that our imagination is so limited, our arsenal of potential responses so narrow that the only thing anyone can think to do with an inappropriate shamer like Adria is to punish her with a shaming. All of the shamers had themselves come from a place of shame, and it really felt parochial and self-defeating to instinctively slap shame onto shame like a clumsy builder covering cracks.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Hank, Adria Richards
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

I received an interesting e-mail from Max Mosley. Like me, he’d been thinking a lot about what it was about him that had helped him to stave off even the most modest public shaming. And now, he wrote, he thought he had the answer. It was simply that he had refused to feel ashamed.

“As soon as the victim steps out of the pact by refusing to feel ashamed,” he said, “the whole thing crumbles.”

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Max Mosley (speaker)
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

Almost none of the murderous fantasies were dreamed up in response to actual danger—stalker ex-boyfriends, etc. They were all about the horror of humiliation. Brad Blanton was right. Shame internalized can lead to agony. It can lead to Jonah Lehrer. Whereas shame let out can lead to freedom, or at least to a funny story, which is a sort of freedom too.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Brad Blanton, Jonah Lehrer
Page Number: 170
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Inside Court One of the Biddeford District Courthouse half a dozen of the men from the Zumba list sat on the benches, staring grimly ahead while news crews pointed their cameras at them. We in the press area were allowed to stare at them and they weren’t able to look away. It reminded me of how Nathaniel Hawthorne had described the pillory in The Scarlet Letter: “[An] instrument of discipline, so fashioned as to confine the human head in its tight grasp, and thus hold it up to public gaze. The very ideal of ignominy was embodied and made manifest in this contrivance of wood and iron. There can be no outrage, methinks . . . more flagrant than to forbid the culprit to hide his face for shame.”

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Page Number: 179-180
Explanation and Analysis:

As it happens, Max’s and Andrew’s sins would in Puritan times have been judged graver than Jonah’s. Jonah, “guilty of lying or publishing false news,” would have been “fined, placed in the stocks for a period not exceeding four hours, or publicly whipped with not more than forty stripes,” according to Delaware law. Whereas Max and Andrew, having “defiled the marriage bed,” would have been publicly whipped (no maximum number was specified), imprisoned with hard labor for at least a year, and on a second offense, imprisoned for life.

But the shifting sands of shameworthiness had shifted away from sex scandals—if you’re a man—to work improprieties and perceived white privilege, and I suddenly understood the real reason why Max had survived his shaming. Nobody cared.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Max Mosley, Andrew Ferreira, Jonah Lehrer, Alexis Wright
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

I think she still felt ashamed, but maybe not quite so much. Instead, she said, she felt humiliated.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Justine Sacco
Page Number: 203
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

“Literally, overnight everything I knew and loved was gone,” Lindsey said.

And that's when she fell into a depression, became an insomniac, and barely left home for a year.

Related Characters: Lindsey Stone (speaker), Jon Ronson (speaker), Justine Sacco
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:

The criminal justice system is supposed to repair harm, but most prisoners—young, black—have been incarcerated for acts far less emotionally damaging than the injuries we noncriminals perpetrate upon one another all the time—bad husbands, bad wives, ruthless bosses, bullies, bankers.

I thought about Justine Sacco. How many of the people piling on her had been emotionally damaged by what they had read? As far as I could tell, only one person was damaged in that pile-on.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Justine Sacco, Lindsey Stone
Page Number: 228-229
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

“Universal among the violent criminals was the fact that they were keeping a secret,” Gilligan wrote. “A central secret. And that secret was that they felt ashamed—deeply ashamed, chronically ashamed, acutely ashamed.” It was shame, every time. “I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by the experience of feeling shamed or humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed.”

Related Characters: James Gilligan (speaker), Jon Ronson (speaker)
Page Number: 247
Explanation and Analysis:

“Normal prison is punishment in the worst sense,” Jim told me. “It’s like a soul-bleeding. Day in, day out, people find themselves doing virtually nothing in a very negative environment.”

I thought of Lindsey Stone, just sitting at her kitchen table for almost a year, staring at the online shamings of people just like her.

“People move away from themselves,” Jim said. “Inmates tell me time and again that they feel themselves shutting down, building a wall.”

Related Characters: Jim McGreevey (speaker), Jon Ronson (speaker), Lindsey Stone
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:

Six months later. Three people sat together in the council chamber at Newark City Hall: Jim, Raquel, and I.

Jim had intervened. The prosecutors were persuaded that Raquel was a victim of an “abuse cycle.” And so instead of twenty years she served four more months and then they let her go.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Jim McGreevey, Raquel
Page Number: 259
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

But the Stasi didn’t only inflict physical horror. Their main endeavor was to create the most elaborate surveillance network in world history. It didn’t seem unreasonable to scrutinize this aspect of them in the hope it might teach us something about our own social media surveillance network.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Page Number: 269
Explanation and Analysis:

Social media gives a voice to voiceless people—its egalitarianism is its greatest quality. But I was struck by a report […] that had been written by a Stasi psychologist tasked with trying to understand why they were attracting so many willing informants. His conclusion: “It was an impulse to make sure your neighbor was doing the right thing.”

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Related Symbols: Twitter
Page Number: 271
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

We have always had some influence over the justice system, but for the first time in 180 years—since the stocks and the pillory were outlawed—we have the power to determine the severity of some punishments. And so we have to think about what level of mercilessness we feel comfortable with. I, personally, no longer take part in the ecstatic public condemnation of people unless they've committed a transgression that has an actual victim, and even then not as much as I probably should. I miss the fun a little. But it feels like when I became a vegetarian. I missed the steak, […] but I could no longer ignore the slaughterhouse.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Page Number: 275
Explanation and Analysis:

Feedback loops. You exhibit some type of behavior (you drive at twenty-seven miles per hour in a twenty-five-mile-per-hour zone). You get instant real-time feedback for it (the sign tells you you're driving at twenty-seven miles per hour). You change your behavior as a result of the feedback (you lower your speed to twenty-five miles per hour). You get instant feedback for that decision, too (the sign tells you you're driving at twenty-five miles per hour now. Some signs flash up a smiley-face emoticon to congratulate you).

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Page Number: 279
Explanation and Analysis:

[Feedback loops are] turning social media into “a giant echo chamber where what we believe is constantly reinforced by people who believe the same thing.”

We express our opinion that Justine Sacco is a monster. We are instantly congratulated for this […]. We make the on-the-spot decision to carry on believing it.

“The tech-utopians […] present this as a new kind of democracy,” [my friend wrote]. “It isn’t. It’s the opposite. It locks people off in the world they started with and prevents them from finding out anything different.”

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Justine Sacco
Related Symbols: Twitter
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:
Afterword Quotes

If anyone should change their behavior, I thought, it ought to be those doing the shaming. Justine’s crime had been a badly worded joke mocking privilege. To see the catastrophe as her fault felt, to me, a little like “Don’t wear short skirts.” It felt like victim-blaming.

“The essay might be a turning-point,” wrote Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. “Twitter-shaming allows people who complacently think of themselves as basically nice to indulge in the dark thrill of bullying—in a righteous cause. Perhaps Ronson’s article will cause a questioning of Twitter’s instant-Salem culture of shame.”

People were realizing […] that what happened to Justine wasn’t social justice. It was a “cathartic alternative.”

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Justine Sacco
Related Symbols: Twitter
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:

Using social media to distribute […] videos [of police brutality] was a world away from calling a woman who’d just been in a train crash a privileged bitch because she wanted her violin to be okay. One act was powerful and important—using social media to create a new civil rights battlefield. The other was a pointless and nasty cathartic alternative. Given that we are the ones with the power, it is incumbent upon us to recognize the difference.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Page Number: 309
Explanation and Analysis:

What’s true about our fellow humans is that we are clever and stupid. We are gray areas.

And so, unpleasant as it will surely be for you, when you see an unfair or an ambiguous shaming unfold, speak up on behalf of the shamed person. A babble of opposing voices—that’s democracy.

The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people. Let’s not turn it into a world where the smartest way to survive is to go back to being voiceless.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker)
Page Number: 310
Explanation and Analysis:
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Jon Ronson Character Timeline in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The timeline below shows where the character Jon Ronson appears in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Braveheart
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In early January of 2012, British journalist Jon Ronson noticed that someone was impersonating him on Twitter. The user’s handle was @Jon_Ronson, and they... (full context)
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Ronson began doing some research on the internet. He found that a young man named Luke... (full context)
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Ronson reached out to Mason once again, this time asking if they could meet in real... (full context)
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Ronson asked the men to take the spambot down, but they heckled him about his desperate... (full context)
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The meeting ended without any clear resolution, but Ronson uploaded the video to YouTube anyway. Comments supporting Ronson immediately began pouring in. Commenters were... (full context)
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Ronson began to think about other recent social media shamings he’d seen online and even partaken... (full context)
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Ronson realized that he was living at the beginning of “a great renaissance of public shaming.”... (full context)
Chapter 2: I’m Glad I’m Not That
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Ronson notes that in his own conversations with Moynihan, Moynihan often described himself as a “schlub”... (full context)
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When Ronson, at a party, recounted the Moynihan and Lehrer story to a film director with whom... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Wilderness
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Ronson recalls going hiking in Runyon Canyon with Jonah Lehrer, who insisted that he did not... (full context)
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Lehrer essentially disappeared after his shaming, abandoning his Twitter presence and ignoring interview requests. Ronson was surprised when Lehrer agreed to speak with him—and he was amused when the two... (full context)
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On the plane home from Los Angeles, Ronson read the introduction to Lehrer’s surprisingly stark and contrite speech. But he was surprised to... (full context)
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Lehrer denied Ronson’s request to accompany him to Miami to give the address at the luncheon, so Ronson... (full context)
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Moynihan, too, told Ronson he felt that Lehrer’s apology was halfhearted, as if Lehrer were on “autopilot.” But Ronson... (full context)
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Ronson traveled to Boston to visit the Massachusetts Archives and the Massachusetts Historical Society, hoping to... (full context)
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Ronson found that public shaming used to be an intricate process, with particular punishments meted out... (full context)
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...that Jonah Lehrer had been subjected to something that would’ve been considered “appalling” centuries ago, Ronson started to wonder whether Twitter had become a kind of “kangaroo court.” But one of... (full context)
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Ronson reached out to Lehrer again, and Lehrer consented to a lengthier interview. He admitted that... (full context)
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Lehrer told Ronson he recalled shutting down emotionally as critical tweets began pouring in on the screens around... (full context)
Chapter 4: God That Was Awesome
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In the months that followed, Ronson began noticing that more and more people were being shamed on the internet for tweeting... (full context)
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Weeks later, Ronson met with Sacco at a restaurant near her office—she’d been fired, and she was on... (full context)
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...American “bubble” of ignorance. The internet gleefully took her down. During their interview, Sacco told Ronson that if she were to die suddenly, the world would remember her for her viral... (full context)
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Ronson got in touch with Sam Biddle, a Gawker journalist who retweeted Sacco’s tweet to his... (full context)
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Biddle told Ronson that the internet’s attention span was short—users would move onto new fodder soon, and Sacco... (full context)
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When Sacco asked who else Ronson was interviewing for his book, he told her about Jonah Lehrer and about how Lehrer’s... (full context)
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The day after meeting with Justine Sacco, Ronson traveled to D.C. to meet with Ted Poe, a Houston judge turned representative for Texas’s... (full context)
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During his meeting with Poe, Poe gleefully told Ronson about some of his favorite shamings. Ronson asked Poe if he was turning the criminal... (full context)
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Ronson was even more confused when Poe told him that social media shamings were worse than... (full context)
Chapter 5: Man Descends Several Rungs in the Ladder of Civilization
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Ronson began to wonder if group madness was the explanation for the steadily escalating desire to... (full context)
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Ronson tracked down one of the men who’d been involved in the experiment as a guard.... (full context)
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Ronson concluded that the people who’d piled on Justine Sacco weren’t “infected with evil,” but rather... (full context)
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Zimbardo’s assistant refused to schedule an appointment for Ronson to speak with him, but Ronson did receive an email from Zimbardo himself, in which... (full context)
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To Ronson, Twitter isn’t really a crowd—it’s a group of individual voices. Some called for violence against... (full context)
Chapter 6: Doing Something Good
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Ronson recalls virtually interviewing a man who called himself “Hank,” though that wasn’t his real name.... (full context)
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Ronson reached out to Richards for an interview, and she reluctantly agreed to meet with him.... (full context)
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...company’s website and servers, calling for her firing. Hours later, she was fired—and she told Ronson that she felt “ashamed” and alone in the wake of their decision. (full context)
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Before meeting with Richards, Ronson posted a message on the website where the vitriol toward her had spun out of... (full context)
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On the internet, Haefer told Ronson, the powerless become powerful. But recent crackdowns on spaces like 4chan had begun to feel... (full context)
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Ronson asked Haefer why online shamings were so often misogynistic and violent. Mercedes claimed that places... (full context)
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While Hank told Ronson that he felt nobody deserved to go through what Adria Richards went through, Richards told... (full context)
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Ronson himself had shamed a lot of people on the internet, but now he couldn’t remember... (full context)
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Everyone in the Hank and Adria Richards story, Ronson realized, thought they were doing something good. But in today’s world, shaming is punished with... (full context)
Chapter 7: Journey to a Shame-Free Paradise
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...romp with a group of sex workers and even published photos of the encounter. When Ronson met with Mosley, he wanted to interview him about how “immaculately” he’d endured his public... (full context)
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Ronson was determined to get Mosley to identify how his behavior throughout his public shaming had... (full context)
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One of Ronson’s Twitter followers, Conner Habib—an adult performer—asked if Ronson was planning to research people who derive... (full context)
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At the shoot, Ronson mingled with adult performers and listened to Donna describe the rules for the shoot, during... (full context)
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Weeks after the shoot, Ronson received an email from Max Mosley. Mosley said that what helped him to weather a... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Shame-Eradication Workshop
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Jon Ronson joined 12 Americans—strangers—in a circle in a conference room at a Chicago Marriott. In the... (full context)
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...of them to hold themselves accountable to making big changes and eradicating shame. Blanton told Ronson during a break in the session that he wanted his workshop members to confront the... (full context)
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Throughout the first day of the workshop, Ronson was harboring a shameful secret of his own. After agreeing to disguise himself as a... (full context)
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Ronson reflected on the work of a Texas-based professor of evolutionary psychology, David Buss, who was... (full context)
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But the next day, when Blanton asked Ronson to get in the Hot Seat, Ronson suddenly declared that he didn’t feel he needed... (full context)
Chapter 9: A Town Abuzz over Prostitution and a Client List
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Ronson drove to Kennebunk, Maine, an idyllic coastal town overrun with anxiety in the wake of... (full context)
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In the press area of the local courthouse, Ronson observed a handful of men sitting silently as cameras filmed them. He was reminded of... (full context)
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One of the men Ronson approached for an interview offered to give him lurid details about Alexis for money. But... (full context)
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Ronson interviewed Ferreira, who’d found Alexis on Backpage.com and visited her three times. He stopped seeing... (full context)
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But Ronson never heard from Ferreira. Months later, Ronson called him again and Ferreira revealed that there’d... (full context)
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...ordinary people were increasingly anxious about contemporary society being an “amoral” and “shameless” one. But Ronson believes now that shame hasn’t died; instead, the people who decide what is shame-worthy and... (full context)
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Looking back wistfully on his experiences at the shame-free porn shoot, Ronson recalled something Donna had said that night: she’d felt sad and humiliated after a post... (full context)
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Ronson began wondering if there were people who were incapable of feeling pain. He’d come across... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Near Drowning of Mike Daisey
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Ronson met Mike Daisey at a restaurant in Brooklyn. Daisey was telling Ronson that no one... (full context)
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At their meeting, Daisey began opening up to Ronson about a devastation from his youth. When he was 21 and living in northern Maine,... (full context)
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Daisey admitted to Ronson during his meeting that, following his public shaming, he’d turned again to thoughts of suicide—but... (full context)
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...up on the internet for all to see. While in New York to interview Daisey, Ronson met with Sacco once again. Sacco had traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a time... (full context)
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...petitioned to do so. Many thousands of people applied, and Google honored every request. When Ronson asked Sacco how she felt about the ruling, she admitted to having conflicted feelings—she felt... (full context)
Chapter 11: The Man Who Can Change the Google Search Results
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...in her interview, but she didn’t feel the moment was right. During her conversation with Ronson, Stone had been working at the new center for four months without incident. But she... (full context)
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Lindsey’s life was about to change again. Ronson had met two men: Graeme Wood and Phineas Upham, former Harvard classmates. Over a decade... (full context)
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Ronson couldn’t get Tom to talk to him—but he did successfully get in touch with another... (full context)
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To show Ronson how his business worked, Fertik offered to let him observe the reputation cleanup of the... (full context)
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Fertik couldn’t start working on Lindsey’s case for a few months, so in the meantime, Ronson accepted an invitation from Richard Branson’s sister Vanessa to a salon at her Marrakech home.... (full context)
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...in court, and it was on its way to becoming one on the internet, too. Ronson worried what such a premium on shame would “do to the participants” of public shamings. (full context)
Chapter 12: The Terror
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At a hotel in Manchester, Ronson sat with a group of men and women who were training to become expert witnesses,... (full context)
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Ronson began corresponding with a Scottish woman named Linda Armstrong whose 16-year-old daughter Lindsay had been... (full context)
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...years in a young offenders’ institution. Just three weeks after the cross-examination, Lindsay committed suicide. Ronson wonders what a world in which we refused to shame our fellow humans might look... (full context)
Chapter 13: Raquel in a Post-Shaming World
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In New York’s Meatpacking District, Ronson met up with Jim McGreevey, the former governor of New Jersey who was notorious for... (full context)
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McGreevey told Ronson that he was excited to hear that Ronson had interviewed famed psychiatrist and expert on... (full context)
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...feelings of shame, then, inspired new and different violent tendencies. It’s no wonder, Gilligan told Ronson, that “mortification”—a word whose Latin root means “death”—is a word commonly used to express shame.  (full context)
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Thinking about Gilligan’s words, Ronson found himself looking at Jonah Lehrer’s story through new eyes. He recalled Lehrer’s discomfort with... (full context)
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Ronson visited the Hudson Country Correctional Center in Kearny, New Jersey, whose therapeutic community was quietly... (full context)
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...check books out of a library and read to their children over video calls. As Ronson joined McGreevey and a number of the women in a circle for a group meeting,... (full context)
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When the meeting was over, Raquel herself ran up to Ronson and began telling him her story. He wrote it down as quickly as he could.... (full context)
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Six months later, Ronson accompanied Raquel and McGreevey to a meeting at Newark City Hall, where Raquel’s legal team... (full context)
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Raquel’s story convinced Ronson even more deeply that “vengeance and anger” in response to human wrongdoing was the incorrect... (full context)
Chapter 14: Cats and Ice Cream and Music
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Jon Ronson was on a conference call with Lindsay Stone and Farukh Rashid—one of Michael Fertik’s employees.... (full context)
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In October of 2014, Ronson visited Lindsey Stone again. Fertik’s firm had been busy populating the internet with blog posts... (full context)
Chapter 15: Your Speed
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...the general public has a say in what punishments are meted out during public shamings. Ronson himself has vowed to stay out of the “ecstatic” public shamings that still take place... (full context)
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The internet, Micahel Fertik asserted in an earlier conversation with Ronson, is controlled by companies, so Google makes money off of popular searches. During Justine Sacco’s... (full context)
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After years of research, Ronson now believes that online shaming is so merciless because of a psychological phenomenon known as... (full context)
Afterword
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In an afterword written for the paperback edition of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Jon Ronson revisits the initial hardback release of the book in March of 2015. In December of... (full context)
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After the excerpt came out, Sacco got in touch with Ronson to let him know she’d received many letters and emails expressing support and commending her... (full context)
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Ronson’s excerpt helped begin a new conversation about Twitter-shaming; many journalists referred to the article as... (full context)
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As the Times excerpt spread and found more readership, Ronson received supportive messages and reviews, but he also had many people “divebomb” him on the... (full context)
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...from one of the cars became the target of an internet mob. She was shamed, Ronson asserts, because she was perceived to have misused her privilege as a survivor. But at... (full context)
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Over the course of the next several months, Ronson noticed that Twitter shamings became more prevalent rather than less common. From scientists who were... (full context)
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Ronson looked back on his discussion in 2014 with Mercedes Haefer from 4chan, and he found... (full context)
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In March 2015, Ronson’s book tour began—some of the Q&A events were intense, and he dealt with a number... (full context)
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Just before a radio appearance in Madison, Wisconsin, Ronson checked Twitter briefly, and he saw that a freelance journalist had posted the line he’d... (full context)
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Weeks after Ronson’s mini-shaming, an Israeli government clerk was accused of anti-Black racism, and his story went viral... (full context)
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Ronson became unable to hold back from leaping into the fray during public shamings on the... (full context)
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One of Ronson’s acquaintances told him he should have included, in the original draft of the book, a... (full context)
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Someone who lives a good and ethical life, Ronson asserts, can still be taken down for wording a tweet the wrong way. Human beings... (full context)