So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

by

Jon Ronson

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Spambot/infomorph Term Analysis

A spambot (or infomorph) is a program that creates algorithmically generated content and posts it online, often on Twitter. Sometimes spambots use neural networks or the language of existing Tweets from a specific user to craft their posts. Author Jon Ronson became frustrated and humiliated when a group of London researchers created a spambot modeled after his Tweets—the bot collected random phraseology from Ronson’s own Twitter and reproduced them in sometimes embarrassing and offensive combinations.

Spambot/infomorph Quotes in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed quotes below are all either spoken by Spambot/infomorph or refer to Spambot/infomorph. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
). 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:
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Spambot/infomorph Term Timeline in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The timeline below shows where the term Spambot/infomorph appears in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Braveheart
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
...man named Luke Robert Mason had commented on a short video Ronson had made about spambots. Mason claimed to have built Ronson his “very own infomorph,” and he linked to the... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
...it on YouTube. Mason was excited to meet up and explain the “philosophy” behind the spambot. On the day of the meeting, in central London, Mason arrived with two other men—colleagues... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Ronson asked the men to take the spambot down, but they heckled him about his desperate attempts to maintain an online “brand” by... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
...Comments supporting Ronson immediately began pouring in. Commenters were excoriating the “manipulative assholes” behind the spambot and urging Ronson to “destroy them.” Ronson began feeling happy and relieved—victorious, even. But as... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Within a few days, the academics took down the spambot—they had been “shamed into acquiescence.” They wrote an online article detailing the purposes of their... (full context)