So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

by

Jon Ronson

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Michael Fertik Character Analysis

Michael Fertik is the owner of a company called Reputation.com, which helps people restore their reputations, remove compromising Google search results, and rehabilitate their internet presences after public shamings or other compromising public incidents. Fertik has a code of ethics and doesn’t take on clients who are, for example, pedophiles or neo-Nazis. Jon Ronson reached out to Fertik to see if he would help rehabilitate Justine Sacco’s reputation. While the firm refused to help Justine, believing she’d require too many financial resources to take care of, they did agree to take on Lindsey Stone’s case.
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Michael Fertik Character Timeline in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The timeline below shows where the character Michael Fertik appears in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11: The Man Who Can Change the Google Search Results
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
...he did successfully get in touch with another person from the “reputation-management world” named Michael Fertik. Fertik revealed that many of the people in this sector were nasty or corrupt, and... (full context)
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Shame and Gender Theme Icon
To show Ronson how his business worked, Fertik offered to let him observe the reputation cleanup of the leader of a religious group... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Cycles of Shame, Trauma, and Violence Theme Icon
Fertik couldn’t start working on Lindsey’s case for a few months, so in the meantime, Ronson... (full context)
Chapter 14: Cats and Ice Cream and Music
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Shame, Freedom of Speech, and Public Discourse Theme Icon
Shame and Gender Theme Icon
Jon Ronson was on a conference call with Lindsay Stone and Farukh Rashid—one of Michael Fertik’s employees. Rashid was asking Lindsay about her hobbies in order to help her clean up... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Cycles of Shame, Trauma, and Violence Theme Icon
Shame, Freedom of Speech, and Public Discourse Theme Icon
During a meeting with Fertik, Fertik compared the life changes and PTSD that an online public shaming can create for... (full context)
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Shame and Gender Theme Icon
In October of 2014, Ronson visited Lindsey Stone again. Fertik’s firm had been busy populating the internet with blog posts they’d written about the music... (full context)
Chapter 15: Your Speed
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
The internet, Micahel Fertik asserted in an earlier conversation with Ronson, is controlled by companies, so Google makes money... (full context)