Public Shaming

Conversation on the picture of the little girl, whose mother publicly shamed her for bullying:

Me – “People, people, people… It’s not the punishment that people are saying is the bullying. It’s that she made a public mockery of her child. Just because one disagrees with the public mockery part of this doesn’t mean they coddle their kids and/or never punish them.

The “do it back to her because she did it to someone else” mentality is why we have bullying in the first place. (And it’s not always because they’re bullied at home. Sometimes they’re bullied by peers and begin bullying those weaker than they) Instead of bullying back, we should be teaching our kids to stop and think about how it feels to be bullied and remind them to think about that when they are about to bully someone.

Within the confines of her home – or – just a picture of the note and ipod – fine. Placing it on here for the world to see (where it will FOREVER come up again and again in her life) will get the point across, but it’s going to result in resentment and lashing out in other ways by the little girl…”

Gee“What would putting the picture up in the house do other than make her feel personally unloved?

This is a child we’re talking about, not an adult that understands these concepts. The child lacks empathy, so how do you expect to explain why she shouldn’t bully in a way she understands?

Imagine you don’t know pain, and I warn you not to touch stinging nettles because they hurt. A child may or may not listen to such a warning, but you can be sure they won’t touch the nettle twice. Experience is the best teacher, as you understand the issues at hand rather than having a mere explanation. She’s been cyber bullying people, she gets a small dose of her own medicine, and she’s been put in the very shoes of those she’s been bullying, and I bet she won’t be doing it again. She may even give a genuine apology and make friends with the person she bullied.”

Me – “You’re absolutely right. This is a child we’re talking about, but she’s not 3. If she’s old enough to have an iPod, she’s old enough to know and understand empathy. And really, a 3 year old can understand empathy… If she’s unable to understand empathy, especially at her age – then she’s a sociopath and posting this pic will only make it worse.

You imply that posting it within the home would make her feel personally unloved. How unloved do you think she’s feeling right now since the millions of people who’ve seen it can see it…?

This hasn’t and won’t stop her from bullying – in fact, she’ll most likely lash out more.”

Gee“There’s understanding empathy, and mastering it in every field. Can you empathise with every person in every situation? Can you truly empathise with people that have nearly died of starvation after getting lost in the desert? Can you truly empathise with people that have gone sky diving (if you haven’t had a similar experience)? If she hasn’t been bullied, then at that age I wouldn’t be surprised if she lacks that empathy.

It’s the fact that it’s in the home that makes it worse. Online, it’s just out there, it’s just publicly known that she did something wrong. To put it up in the house is a constant reminder, and for however long it’s up it would be constant punishment and personalised shame that would make her uncomfortable in her own house. If you’re personally made to feel like an outcast in your own home, that’s just alienating and far too harsh. Online is just public. It’s the difference between the parent telling people she meets about it and having a personal go at the child every time she’s seen in the house. It’s the difference between having for people to see, and having it up for HER to see for the sole result of taking away her comfort zone. Putting it up in the home is just cruelty and I would have thought very damaging to a parent child relationship.

This has stopped people bullying, read the comments from people that have been in similar situations to her.”

Me – “…”for however log it’s up it would be constant punishment and personalized shame that would make her uncomfortable in her own house”

So, that’s cruel, but personalized shame and constant punishment on a global scale isn’t? At least when she moved out of the house, when she was grown, it would end… (which they’d not leave it up that long anyway) Now she’s going to be reminded for the REST of her life.

It is much different than just the parent, you’re correct, but ask the kid which she’d rather have… Mom having a go at her about it from time to time (which would be equally wrong. The punishment was the selling of the phone) or having the world and all her friends in school see it and know about it.

It may or may not stop her from bullying, but when she’s teased and bullied about this picture, you think she isn’t going to bully back? Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Kinda like the parent that made their child smoke a whole pack of cigarettes when they were caught smoking… Another parent tried that same tactic with sodas and the kid died. If she hadn’t died, it probably would have worked – but at what cost?

Public shaming is wrong. What if you didn’t pay your phone bill causing it to be canceled and the phone co made you hold up a sign saying you didn’t pay your phone bill so they canceled your account and then they posted it on the net? You’d be okay with that?

She is now going to be mocked and teased for the rest of her school years and childhood by EVERYONE. You think that’s fair? Come on…

There is a difference between punishment and discipline.

Punishment is penalizing someone for past misdeeds.
Discipline is training to form maturity in order that someone makes better choices in the future. To discipline, you give appropriate consequences for their actions to encourage a child to make better choices in the future.

In this case, the consequences were losing the iPod and donating money. The punishment was posting it on web for the world to see.

Maybe she won’t bully ever again. She won’t have to. Her mother has just shown her that using power and domination over others gets them to behave the way you want them to behave. This doesn’t teach her empathy or to feel bad for those who she may have hurt. It teaches her that if she’s caught, she will be punished. She most likely will bully again, but she’ll make sure to do it in such a way that her parents don’t find out. Congrats, you just taught your kid to keep things from you.”

Gee“It’s the difference between it being out there for others to see and it being within her comfort zone forced in there specifically for her to never be able to escape from her past actions, regardless of whether she learned her lesson or not. This image online isn’t going to be haunting her, she doesn’t have to see it every time she walks into the house as a reminder that she’s not allowed to move on yet. The intention for keeping it in the house would be obvious: Unlike seeing it online knowing it’s for others to see, having it up in the house isn’t for others to see, it’s specifically for HER to see to let her know she’s not allowed to move on from it… so she won’t see any point in trying.

Saying this is like forcing a kid to smoke a box of cigarettes isn’t right, that would be more like bullying the kid constantly about it and making sure she never gets to move on with it until she… somehow dies of it?

Being teased for the rest of her school years, I think not. I think you must be much older than I am if your memories of school are that distant/ outdated. Something like this will be very quickly forgotten, and would only be brought up again if she resumed cyber bullying, hence why it’s such a good punishment.

Saying public shaming causes a punishment to suddenly lack any lesson and make them do it in secret instead doesn’t make any sense at all. Just taking away the phone is what would would count as a “damn, if I get caught, I’ll get my stuff taken”, whether it works or not, the wrong lesson is learned. Teach empathy through experience at a healthy level and she won’t WANT to bully.”

Me – “Just out of curiosity, how many children do you have and what was your major in college? I only ask because your opinion of this, nor mine, doesn’t much matter in the grand scheme of things – But, the results of such things as I have presented here have actually come to pass and have been studied by child psychologists who also say the same…

I am, however, dumbfounded at how you think keeping something within the home is more shameful than telling the world…”

Gee“I don’t have kids, and obviously I have zero experience in child/ parent relationships because, as an alien being born out of a pod on Mars, I have no idea about how a child feels and have never encountered parenting before. Oh wait, that would be ridiculous. As for a major in college, as you said, we’re stating our opinions, so I’m not seeing the problem here. You’re saying that, because we’re merely discussing our opinions, I need to have a major in college because it’s a huge thing because it’s not a huge thing? I think you might want to proof read because you might have made a typo or something.

Keeping it in the home is worse because of the intention and effect. Putting it on the internet is the equivalent of telling some people, as parents often do anyway. Have you ever told anyone about anything your kids have done? You monster, they’ll have to live with that FOREVER! They’ll never live it down because some other people know about something they did! Oh wait, no they won’t, because no-one cares enough to make a big deal about it for the rest of their life.

Keeping it in the home isn’t just to let her know that she’s letting other people know to shame her a bit on the moment, it’s a continued telling off for something she’s already done. Maybe she did learn her lesson and tried hard to get it right, yet has to come home every day to “look what you did”. Imagine that, you make a one time err in judgement and everyone at home posts up a picture in the house, and you try to get past it to be a good person but no, it’s still up to show you haven’t been forgiven and can’t get past it. If you want to move on, don’t keep bringing up the past. On the off chance that this gets picked up by someone that knows her and she gets mocked for it, it’ll be a very short term thing to give her a little dose of her own medicine before the next big thing.

It’s quite simple just a case of “hey look, this bully has been making fun of people, let’s all make fun of her!” She gets a direct taste of her own medicine and doesn’t do it again. It’s worked constantly in the past, shame is the biggest punishment to a bully as they thrive off acting higher than everyone else. Once someone can’t be taken seriously, their effect as a bully is nullified, and she’s not going to bully again even if she wanted to for fear of bringing up the picture again.

If she keeps her head down and behaves like everyone else, this picture will be forgotten in no time.”

Me – “…”it’s a huge thing because it’s not a huge thing?” I don’t even know what you’re talking about…

I’m thinking you didn’t actually read my reply. I said “I only ask because … the results of such things as I have presented here have actually come to pass and have been studied by child psychologists who also say the same… ”

As explained above, I asked about your major because I thought maybe it was in psychology. Not to mention the fact that you seem to think you know as much, if not more, about shaming being right or wrong.

So, I’ll say it once more…

Child psychologists and psychiatrists who have studied such things say that public shaming your children is emotional child abuse. The emotionally abused children grow up feeling unloved, unwanted, and fearful. They develop self-doubt, depression and anxiety and they carry these same personality traits into adulthood.

Parents should provide their children with safety, protection, acceptance, understanding and empathy. Children of parents who provide those things grow up knowing their worth, they demand respect from others and from themselves.

Child psychologists also say that emotional abuse causes children to lose their parents respect and causes fear in children that doesn’t go away when they become adults.

Say what you want, but the kids who were there once, and now grown, prove otherwise.

As for the other, I didn’t say have it framed and hang it on the wall. I meant, stick it on the fridge for a few days. You’re going to the way extreme (as you did with your opening paragraph).

And I don’t think you understand how the internet works… You said “Putting it on the internet is the equivalent of telling some people, as parents often do anyway.”

“Some” people. What, pray tell, is “some” to you? My telling my parents about something my kid did and/or a few friends is far different. This mom told it to MILLIONS of people. Millions of people that she doesn’t even KNOW.

On FB alone, it was liked almost 350,000 times, shared almost 40,000 times and has over 21,000 comments on it. In addition to that, not counting social media websites, it’s been posted on almost 180 different websites and several different FB pages (not counting personal profiles)

It’s cruel and does not teach her empathy.

BTW – The anger and the thinly veiled insults serve no purpose. Insulting is a tactic used in an effort to distract from the debate because the one who uses insults is incapable of refuting the facts or logic of their opponent.”

Gee“You’d have to define specifics of public shaming if you’re bringing studies into it, this is a far cry from “look what a little shit this kid is”.If it’s wrong for millions of people to know that she doesn’t know, then it must also be wrong to some degree to tell people she doesn’t know personally, perhaps worse on an individual basis since you’re making it personal. If these people had some method of contacting her, such as a surname or area or something, I would entirely agree that it’s appalling, but with just a face and a first name it’s as good as anonymous.

The difference here between just putting it up on the fridge for shame is that this isn’t a full on public shaming, and I think that might be where we’ve had a miscommunication. I feel it would be rather harsh to have a full on “look what a shit this kid is”, but read the sign, it doesn’t say that, it’s saying she’s a nice girl that made a mistake, and is now redeeming herself for that mistake. She put out a load of Cyberbullying, and now she’s raising awareness of it to contribute towards a stop for it. In what world is that just a “lol look how awful this kid is”? It’s raising awareness of bullying, and depending on the original upload being linked to the sale of the phone, may have raised a LOT of money in support of anti cyber bullying. It’s a simple “you did wrong, so you need to make up for it”, and there’s no better substitute. The element of public shaming is small, and therefore as I stated only a small taste of her own medicine, rather than constantly reminding her that she did wrong, she’s given a redemption action.

The differences are easy to see in people raised in two different ways. People raised with a pure punishment method such as yours is usually met with the response of “great, if I get caught then I’ll get punished and lectured, better keep this a secret”, leading to behind the back tactics, whereas those raised to act for forgiveness do just that and grow up honest. I was raised in that manner, if I did something wrong, rather than just being lectured and punished, it would be taken as a teaching opportunity. If I messed up, I would be simply asked how I plan to make up for it, and if I didn’t know I’d be taught, and I caught on very quickly. This is a practically anonymous display to raise awareness of bullying to redeem herself for her actions and have the whole thing as water under the bridge, really, what extra information does a face and a first name give?”


Gee again
“I never insulted anyone, other than a sarcastic mockery of your logic, which is obviously a form of refuting your logic. An insult to avoid actually talking logically about it would be “you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about you idiot” or “Go suck a lemon”. Go back and find anything that wasn’t related to what you were saying. Also, if I was angry, I’d stop replying, because regrettable things are said in rage. For some reason, people seem to relate “they’re not agreeing with me” with “they’re furiously arguing with me”. I’m just seeing stupid points and responding to them, just like you see my points as stupid and respond. Difference is, I’m not calling you angry just because you have a difference of opinion, nor would I act like you need to earn the right to have that opinion. Feel free to disagree by all means, but if you’re going to have your say, so will I.If you’re going to vaguely mention that studies say child shaming is bad, you should probably find some more details. Did you know, according to scientists, 100% of oxygen breathers die? Usually if you look under the surface, it’s not as simple as all that.
The ‘public shaming’ here is very minimal, hence why it’s acceptable. Posting a picture for the world to see just to demonstrate what a little shit of a kid you brought into the world would be harsh, but read the sign again. This isn’t about “wow, look at this douchebag over here”, it’s honestly stating what she did wrong and how she’s going to redeem herself. Of course, I doubt you did any actual research on what’s going on here, but the picture was only posted to a small Facebook page for a few days and then taken down, and it was only through someone reposting it that it went viral. It was posted to teach her a lesson, to raise awareness of cyber bullying, and to raise money from the sale of the phone.
Besides, what does it matter if her first name and face are shown? You really think people are going to recognise her in the street, or years down the line when she’s applying for a job (as if this would somehow impact on that anyway), or somehow track her down with that limited information? You can get someone’s face just from seeing them in the street for crying out loud, should we make sure all children wear veils so they remain anonymous in public? If not, why should it matter if one little picture is on the internet?No, of course we shouldn’t veil our kids, what does it matter if the public can see them? WE NEED TO VEIL OUR KIDS ON THE INTERNET, THE PUBLIC MIGHT SEE THEM! Christ, it’s not Death Note, Kira isn’t going to strike her down for cyber bullying.”

Gee AGAIN“Not using random insults to avoid the point, sarcasm relating to the point is a way of making a point.

Studies focusing on public shaming is a bit vague considering this only holds a tiny element of it, it’s an act of redemption showing she’s making up for her actions. If anything, it’s showing things in a positive light, but that small element of shaming is beneficial. It’s when you really lay into people with it that it gets out of hand.

So a million or more people see the picture, that’s bad why exactly? You seem to be fine with it being mentioned ‘anonymously’ but somehow a face and a first name is enough to identify her to strangers? If that’s the case, do you veil your children to they can’t be viewed in public? “Oh no, why would I do that? Who cares if millions of the public see my child? WE NEED TO MAKE SURE A KID’S PHOTO DOESN’T GO ON THE INTERNET, THE PUBLIC WILL SEE!” Why are you suddenly all for absolute secrecy when the public is looking on a screen instead of in person? If anything, the latter might be more worrying, surely? Christ, it’s not Death Note, Kira won’t be after her for cyber bullying.

As for her peers seeing it, they’re going to find out about the punishment anyway, this doesn’t give them any new information.”

Me – “First of all, you clearly do not know the rules of debate or if you do, you fail to follow them.

Studies aren’t vague and you, obviously, have never been a victim of emotional abuse. The point isn’t ‘public shaming’ – the point is the emotional abuse.

Do I veil my children so they can’t be viewed in public? No, but I also don’t put them down and shame them in public either. Once again you have taken what I said and gone to the EXTREME.

Since you’re unable to have a conversation without violating several logical fallacies, my part of this conversation is over. As I said, once you’ve resulted to insults it’s an admittance of defeat (regardless of what reason you give for doing it) and I wouldn’t want to confuse you with any more facts…

For your future discussion and/or debates – these are the logical fallacies you regularly break:

Strawman – Misrepresenting someone’s argument to make it easier to attack.
Loaded Question – Asking a question that has a presumption built into it so that it can’t be answered without appearing guilty.
Bandwagon – using popularity or the fact that many people do or believe something as an attempted form of validation.
And some of what you said falls under Ad Hominem – attack your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.”

Gee“It’s not the studies that are vague, it’s your description of them. Studies be very in depth, but using them as vaguely as “studies show that public shaming is bad” is ridiculous with a case such as this. Thinking in such a black and white manner leaves out all sorts of details. I’ll state again, for all I know, the studies you’re referring to are those in which they just hold up a sign saying what they’ve done and had it released, or even gone out in public and had to admit what they did, or god knows what. The further it is from this situation, the further the relevance goes. You should be able to see that this isn’t a normal ‘public shaming’; although admitting guilt, she’s acting to make it better. It doesn’t say she’s a horrible brat, even if she is, it’s saying she made a mistake and she’s trying to make up for it. The degree of public shame is small compared to what studies on such a matter would likely have focused on. When you’ve apparently looked at numerous studies and come to the in depth and massively detailed conclusion of “public shaming is bad”, you know you haven’t looked into them properly. Off the top of your head, can you give me the details of just one of those studies, or did you just do a Google search of “study public shaming bad” to try and vaguely prove your point? Or did you just not feel like bothering adding any credibility to your argument?

I haven’t gone to the extreme at all: It’s not the fact that people know you seem to have a problem with (correct me if I’m wrong, but would you be annoyed if someone just posted without a picture or first name what her daughter had done?), it suddenly becomes a problem when a face and first name is introduced. If it’s the public seeing a picture of the kid that’s bad, then it makes no sense to say “of course I don’t mind strangers seeing my child, just so long as strangers on the internet don’t see my child”. You’re demonstrating double standards for the internet without justification.

So to make sure we’re clear, are you saying the only problem is that this story was posted with a first name and photo of the child? Your previous point was that her picture has been viewed by over a million people, but have you been counting how many people have seen your children?

As I said before, I’m not throwing out insults to avoid making a point, everything I’ve said has been relevant.

Strawman: I’ve used only what you say as a source, and been open to you correcting any misunderstandings. I could easily say you’re strawmanning against me saying I’m just resorting to insults just so you can avoid responding to points you don’t like, but rather than throwing accusations around, I can understand that there’s likely a misunderstanding. If I was just going to throw insults around, I’d just comment “you’re an idiot.” and not bother with all these paragraphs.

Loaded question: You seem to be the one that doesn’t understand basic rules of conversation. If my question is invalid, you just have to explain why, rather than saying I’ve backed you into a corner with unfair false logic.

Would like a specific example of me bandwagonning, as I can’t see one.

Give me one good example of me personally attacking you to avoid the point. I’ve asked you what you would do to demonstrate any hypocrisy in your thinking, but that’s not Ad Hominem, that’s the basic do-not-do of trying to make an argument; doing it yourself.

So I think you’ll need to restate your point against the picture, since we’ve clearly misunderstood each other to some degree. Do you have an issue with the story ever being disclosed, even anonymously? Do you feel the image and/ or first name being on the internet cause a risk to the child? Is it the combination you have an issue with? What exactly is the problem here?”

As I’d already said – I saw no reason to confuse him with any more facts. Besides, once he’s resorted to pointing the finger of guilt off of himself onto someone else, there’s no reason to continue chatting…

First thoughts or feelings about this post?
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