(h/t Latest.com) Monica Lewinsky has slowly been reemerging into public life almost 20 years after she was thrust into the national spotlight for a youthful fling with a man who happened to be the Commander-in-Chief. Recently, she wrote an essay in Vanity Fair about how the Clinton scandal has prevented her from evening finding a job. She then spoke at a Forbes summit about cyberbullying.
Lewinsky has continued her cause by delivering a TED Talk Friday, highlighting the problem with public online shaming. “Public humiliation as a blood sport has to stop,” she said, calling attention to the threats of violence, misogynistic/sexualized humilation, and generally hateful shade cast over criticism online today*.
Still, while doing an excellent job speaking about this phenomenon (and with a perspective on public shaming unlike anyone else in the world), a solution doesn’t easily present itself.
“The efforts of tech companies to police abuse and trolling on their sites have often proved inadequate, and ignoring the issue does little to make it go away or to counter the pain sustained by victims,” according to Christian Science Monitor.
Which raises the central question of the discussion about bullying on- or off-line: Is the problem one of rules, regulations, and sites banning the trolls or do we have to find some way to get everyone to be nicer to one another?
One way the latter option could be enforced would be to no longer allow people to post comments or use certain social media platforms without using their real names. Nothing can stop people from criticizing each other (and we wouldn’t want that to happen, either), but folks are far less likely to make rape threats or use deliberately hurtful language when there name is attached. Also, seeing someone else’s name would be more of a reminder, as Lewinsky said, to consider that there is another human being on the other side of a “flame war.”
What do you think? What are ways you think parents, online proprietors, and everyday folk can combat the relentless and eternal bullying that happen online.
Front image via screengrab
*Except, in all seriousness, here at Latest.com. Our commenters get a little buckwild, but are the best online and rarely write anything despicable.