Living

Public shaming in the Internet age

Updated 4:11 AM ET, Wed July 29, 2015
Share
cecil lion hunter palmer splitcecil lion hunter palmer split
1 of 9
American dentist Walter Palmer was vilified online after it emerged he was the hunter behind the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. Twitter users called for him to be shot and skinned after the famous lion was found dead after an alleged 40-hour hunt.
Cheerleader Kendall Jones attracted a huge amount of attention online after images of her posing with kills were posted to Facebook. Despite the public backlash, her Facebook page has 815,000 followers -- but she's still a magnet for abusive comments. From Facebook/Kendall Jones
In the Internet age, shaming has become a subject for social media, sometimes haunting subjects well after they've apologized. After author Jonah Lehrer was found to have made up quotations and accused of plagiarizing passages, he apologized in a speech -- only to be ripped in a live Twitter feed while delivering the address. It was "unbelievably brutal," "So You've Been Publicly Shamed" author Jon Ronson said. Nick Cunard/Rex/File
PR executive Justine Sacco was fired after a 2013 tweet, intended as a joke, went viral. "Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet," she said in a statement. From Twitter
After Trevor Noah was named the new host of "The Daily Show," he quickly became caught in controversy over some of his tweets. He was accused of anti-Semitism and sexism. "To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn't land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian," Noah said. Comedy Central stood by him. Courtesy Comedy Central
After this picture of Lindsey Stone at Arlington National Cemetery went viral, she was fired from a job working with autistic children and fell into a depression. "Literally, overnight everything I knew and loved was gone," she told Jon Ronson. In a statement, she apologized: "We never meant to cause any harm or disrespect to anyone, particularly our men and women in uniform," she said. Ronson later helped her adjust her Google search results. From Facebook
Not long after Adria Richards posted this photo of two unnamed men at a tech conference, calling them out for a joke she overheard, the one on the left was fired. "I did not mean to offend anyone," he apologized. Then Richards was sent death threats, and her employer's servers were attacked. She was soon fired, too. In a statement, she said that "I want to be an integral part of a diverse, core group of individuals that comes together in a spirit of healing and openness to devise answers to the many questions that have arisen in the last week." From Twitter
Victor Paul Alvarez wrote an article for Boston.com about the bartender arrested for allegedly wanting to murder Speaker John Boehner and made a joke about Boehner in the piece. In the ensuing controversy, he was fired. "The story I wrote was awful. Tasteless. Mean. Bosses felt it was inexcusable. They fired me," he wrote in a tweet. He also apologized to each person who contacted him on Twitter. He's still looking for full-time work. Courtesy Victor Paul Alvarez
Adam Mark Smith wanted to protest a Chick-fil-A executive's statements about same-sex marriage. His video, which showed him raising his voice against a Chick-fil-A employee, went viral. He apologized the next day: "I am so very sorry for the way I spoke to you," he told the employee. However, after his initial video caused a firestorm, he was fired. From YouTube