Some sobering thoughts about social media

 

 

 

 

One women takes a stand against cyber bullying

In 1998, the world met Monica Lewinsky. In her own words:

“Can I see a show of hands of anyone here who didn’t make a mistake or do something they regretted at 22? Yep. That’s what I thought. So like me, at 22, a few of you may have also taken wrong turns and fallen in love with the wrong person, maybe even your boss. Unlike me, though, your boss probably wasn’t the president of the United States of America. Of course, life is full of surprises. Not a day goes by that I’m not reminded of my mistake, and I regret that mistake deeply.” Source: TED.com

I’ve seen bullying in the workplace and I’ve seen how it imapcts the lives the people it targets. In today’s modern world, there is no place for this type of behaviour. The bully is typically the one, when confronted, with either cower in the corner or explode. Again, I’ve seen both, both are appalling.

TED.com | Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame

“Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop,” says Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, she says, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant — and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way.
"She tried public appearances. She tried being reclusive. She tried leaving the country, and she tried finding a job. But the epic humiliation of 1998, when her affair with Bill Clinton became an all-consuming story, has followed Monica Lewinsky every day. After 10 years of self-imposed reticence, and now hoping to help victims of Internet shaming, she critiques the culture that put a 24-year-old through the wringer and calls out the feminists who joined the chorus."*
“She tried public appearances. She tried being reclusive. She tried leaving the country, and she tried finding a job. But the epic humiliation of 1998, when her affair with Bill Clinton became an all-consuming story, has followed Monica Lewinsky every day. After 10 years of self-imposed reticence, and now hoping to help victims of Internet shaming, she critiques the culture that put a 24-year-old through the wringer and calls out the feminists who joined the chorus.”*

As Corporate Social Media Community Managers, we have a responsibility

Some of us will manage social media properties, perhaps just a few or perhaps hundreds. You will hopefully already have in place strong policies to ensure people engage in a civilised way. You have technology available to you to help manage these properties and through the use of good keyword management, you’ll be able to find individuals or discussions that may push the boundries of your policies.

Combatting a culture of humiliation

“But in this culture of humiliation, there is another kind of price tag attached to public shaming. The price does not measure the cost to the victim, which Tyler and too many others, notably women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community have paid, but the price measures the profit of those who prey on them.

This invasion of others is a raw material, efficiently and ruthlessly mined, packaged and sold at a profit. A marketplace has emerged where public humiliation is a commodity and shame is an industry. How is the money made? Clicks. The more shame, the more clicks. The more clicks, the more advertising dollars.

We’re in a dangerous cycle. The more we click on this kind of gossip, the more numb we get to the human lives behind it, and the more numb we get, the more we click. All the while, someone is making money off of the back of someone else’s suffering. With every click, we make a choice.

The more we saturate our culture with public shaming, the more accepted it is, the more we will see behavior like cyberbullying, trolling, some forms of hacking, and online harassment. Why? Because they all have humiliation at their cores. This behavior is a symptom of the culture we’ve created. Just think about it.”*

*SOURCE Quotes & Image: Vanity Fair Magazine, 31 May 2014.