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Original Air Date: 
April 18, 2015

Social media has brought us all closer together. Sometimes that's a good thing. But when it comes to online shaming, it's a bad thing. People get humiliated on Twitter, savaged in public forums and women get rape and death threats. This hour, we explore our great renaissance of public shaming. 

An offender  of prostitution exposed to public shame

Think there's a renaissance of public shaming online? You're right. There's something about the anonymity of social media has people who probably seem perfectly nice in person, posting vicious, scathing, humiliating comments online.

shame sad face sign

Can shame also be used for public good?  There’s a judge in Texas who’s famous for his creative – and controversial – shame-based sentences.  To hear how they work, let’s go back to Thanksgiving evening, 1996. Houston, Texas. 

Giant inflatable rat in front of Wells Fargo

Maybe shame – painful as it is – has some value. Maybe it’s not just an emotion, but a social tool. Jennifer Jacquet thinks that there’s an upside to shame. 

adults playing with Lego
Dangerous Ideas

Mary Kay Zuravleff's Dangerous Idea? Universal Recess.

The word "sex" on an iron pillar

Robin Rinaldi was mid-life, mid-career and mid-marriage when she placed that ad. It launched her wild oats project – a year spent exploring sex.

Show Details 📻
April 18, 2015
July 22, 2017
January 20, 2018
November 10, 2018
Jon Ronson
Journalist, Filmmaker, Radio Presenter
Mike Hubacek
Owner, Sober Living Houston/Take Action Recovery
Robin Rinaldi
Journalist, Author
Last modified: 
November 09, 2018