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Online Shaming

11-01-2019

Marius the Giraffe

I stumbled upon this NY Times article the other day. Though 4 years old it captures one of the most horrifying things about the internet: how people from all around the world can gather and become a mob. The subject of the article is Public/Online Shaming. The topic is well known in most countries. In Denmark we had an incident with the giraffe Marius. This story became world wide and almost out of control.

The article is centered around Justine. On a flight to South Africa she made the tweet "Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!". Agreed this was a stupid remark in any context. She had 170 followers on her twitter account. She boarded the 11 hours flight, when she sad foot in Cape Town she was world wide famous, had lost her job and her life was ruined for years to come.

This post serves as a sticky and a remainder: though it can feel nice to just turn off your brain, grab the torch and pitch fork and join the mob, it almost always have consequences for some one.

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