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So You've Been Publicly Shamed

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  54,403 ratings  ·  5,557 reviews
For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being ...more
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by Riverhead Books (first published March 9th 2015)
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Sarah I'm not very happy with the way the "what came next" was dealt with. It was less of a study in what people can do about the repercussions of public sh…moreI'm not very happy with the way the "what came next" was dealt with. It was less of a study in what people can do about the repercussions of public shaming than a fascinating view of them. I don't feel as though it was any kind of explanation about how to get past it, but instead was a kind of revisiting of the public shaming.(less)
Benny Thomas Brian Williams is not an ordinary citizen. He is an anchor and as such, people look to him for unbiased, factual perspectives. In his case, the public…moreBrian Williams is not an ordinary citizen. He is an anchor and as such, people look to him for unbiased, factual perspectives. In his case, the public shaming is actually performing socially useful tasks - one, it reinforces the value of good journalism and two, it serves as a warning to other journalists. In (less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Emily May
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, nonfiction
I thought this was fascinating.

It's not a perfect book. In fact, Ronson goes wandering down a number of paths that don't seem that relevant to the main topic - such as that whole section with the shame-eradication group - and yet it is still quite fun to go on the journey with him. I guess, in the end, there is just something so morbidly fascinating about public-shaming and embarrassment.

The resurgence of public-shaming on social media really interests me. As Ronson points out, public punishment
Bill Kerwin
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it

Do you remember that story about the woman flying to Africa--the one who tweeted a joke about how she was white and so wouldn't get AIDS there--the one who, after waking from her nap on the plane, found her joke had outraged the entire internet, that her job was lost and that her life was destroyed?

Ronson uses this case, and others like it, to investigate the process of public shaming in our high tech age. He shows us what a devastating and merciless process it can be, and how it is not done by
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many thanks to Emma for spotlighting this book.

A joke that went too far

A few years ago, en route from New York to South Africa, a woman sent a series of tweets (excerpts are from the book, emphasis by me):

"Weird German dude, you're in first class, it's 2014 get some deodorant- inner monologue as I inhale BO. Thank God for pharmaceuticals"

Then, at Heathrow:

"Chili- cucumber sandwiches- bad teeth. Back in London"

Then before boarding the final leg:

"Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kiddi
Paul Bryant
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-life
Update (I can't resist):

Let shame follow this dentist even unto the last drilling and the last filling. & when he crosses the great divide, let all the animals he shot be waiting for him



Here is a 100% fast fun astonishing intriguing hectic sprint through the strange subject of shame. Our tour guide, Jon Ronson, is an amiable journo who’s cherry-picked a few recent spasms of shaming for our delectation and schadenfreude. Like a freak show, we can gawp and shudder in delic
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to MischaS_ by: Lexie Lawless
Last October I read The Psychopath Test, I had no idea what to expect, and I was blown away. And Goodreads being the amazing place it is, I had people recommending me to read this one.

It sounded very interesting, so, I went and bought it straight away!

And let me tell, I maybe liked it even more than I did the Psychopath Test? It might be due to the fact that I already read Jon Ronson's book, and it made more sense this time around. It was easier to see how it all connected. Plus, I already knew
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love it when I hear about a book, automatically have to go out and get it, and then can't put it down. It's a rare experience, but it's a really potent and exciting one. You're thrown into something brand new and days later emerge, drawing breath, crawling out of your book cave, victorious.

This book examined, ultimately to me, compassion online. I very much think of the internet as a wild west. It's so new, it's constantly evolving, and there aren't any real agreed upon rules and regulations.
Petra X is feeling very sad
I've finished the book, my least favourite of Ronson's. It was almost in two halves. The first was interesting the latter part, perhaps not a half but a third, was boring. It didn't finish as much as peter out. This is a bit of a long review because I've picked out the three people in the book most affected by being shamed.

There were a lot of cranky individuals featured. The most interesting being the serial liar (fabricator, maker-up of quotations, whatever you want) and self-plagiarist Jonah
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
A book that's incredibly relevant and that I would recommend! All the information and examples provided were very interesting.

I can say that, as a youtuber, it's definitely a fear of mine. Saying something, which will be misinterpreted and being "publicly shamed" for it. It sounds extreme but some minor occurrence happens on a daily basis!
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Cancel culture is an odd thing. We put ourselves up on higher moral ground, acting like we have the authority to bring each other down, to destroy the lives of our fellow imperfect human beings. I personally don’t see the logic in it, and apparently Jon Ronson doesn’t either.

We all have ticking away within us something we fear will badly harm our reputation if it got out… Maybe our secret is actually nothing horrendous. Maybe nobody would even consider it a big deal if it was exposed. But we
I straight up NEVER read nonfiction. I don't like it. It's boring. Where's the story? Is someone going to get punched? Anyone? Where is the writing style that doesn't make me want to shove a fork through my eye? I mean, these are all things I need..

However. Everyyyyyy once in a while, an exception comes along.


This book is so fun!!!!!

It is not only fun; it is interesting. It is not only interesting; it is funny. It is not only funny; it is smart. In short, it is ev
Whitney Atkinson
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
this book turned out to be a hodge podge of case studies on people who were "cancelled" without offering any guidance on how we go forward or improve, or even if we need to improve or if this is just a natural eventuality of being on social media. also, i think this book missed the component of talking about accountability on the behalf of people who are called out. he seemed to side with the people called out an say that their punishment went too far, which is true in a lot of cases, but there ...more
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a lot of thoughts about this book because it was SO incredibly thought-provoking. I felt like every chapter brought on a major revelation or had a great nugget of wisdom to mull over. If anything it made me realize how incredibly powerful shame can be, as if we aren't all aware of that fact already. I doubt you could find a single person who hadn't been, at one time or another, shamed in some way in front of many people. But imagining how that must feel and then actually hearing from peop ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay my book club people, close your screen here and read no further. Walk away now, before you tar and feather me, and super glue the latest Franzen to my nose...

Started well, and as the back cover promised, had "funny and thoughtful" moments. But - there were parts that made me angry at the constructed and biased outcomes, there were holes so wide a road train could have done a 3 point turn, and anytime Ronson got close to touching on something important but complex, Jon Ronson ran away fast i
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Chicago commercial photographers

Most of you are probably already familiar with the concept of public shaming. Heck, we see it on Goodreads all the time. The author who chooses to get spammy or games the ratings system with sockpuppets or trolls reviews when someone dares to bash their “special snowflake” is quickly drawn and quartered by users. If you’re an American you were probably even forced to read about public shamings back in high school . . .

Chicago commercial photographers
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating read about shame in the modern world. The Internet has made it easier to make a mistake and then be publicly humiliated for it, and Jon Ronson researched and wrote about a few famous cases.

One incident highlighted in the book is Justine Sacco. In December 2013, Sacco made a bad joke on Twitter, was hounded on the Internet, fired from her PR job, and has not fully recovered from the public shaming. This was the joke she wrote: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just k
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
Jon Ronson meanders around topics tangentially related to social media shaming. Like his other books, it is not so much a book about public shaming as it is the story of how he became aware of the topic, and what the expert he interviewed was wearing, and how the victim he interviewed moved her food with her fork at the restaurant, and how many times he checked his phone while observing a group therapy session. He offers no conclusions, just narcissistic vignettes.

I was moderately disappointed i
I was looking forward to this book but also a bit worried. I hate online trolling and people who are unnecessarily rude to people (so, you know I am LOVING this election year #sarcasm). The description sounded like it would be an interesting look into how the public busts out its torches and pitchforks when easy prey presents itself.

I got exactly what I expected. I only gave it three stars because the writing was a little dry and at times repetitive (and I am not trying to shame the author! :))
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, e-book
The common assumption is that public punishments died out in the new great metropolises because they’d been judged useless. Everyone was too busy being industrious to bother to trail some transgressor through the city crowds like some volunteer scarlet letter. But according to the documents I found, that wasn’t it at all. They didn’t fizzle out because they were ineffective. They were stopped because they were far too brutal.
The people we were destroying were no longer ... public figures who
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have one thought that has not left my head since I started this book: What the hell is wrong with people? Seriously. What's happening? Why are people rushing to Facebook and Twitter to post pictures and comments that are so clearly in very bad taste? Who thinks of these things in the first place? Do these people have no filter? Is decorum a thing of the past? This, I think, of those who received the shaming. Regarding those shamers responding to them with an endless stream of vitriol and threa ...more
Kayla Dawn
This was okay, but a bit repetitive and it sometimes felt like the Author really tried to stretch the story to its maximum.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
“We’re creating a culture where people feel constantly surveilled, where people are afraid to be themselves.”
― Jon Ronson, So You've Been Publicly Shamed

Jon Ronson is an amazing writer. He makes non-fiction a compelling page turner. In this book he studies and analyzes cruelty of social network's members and the damage public shaming does to individuals.
This was exactly what i expected it to be, an entertaining, fun and easy read !! Highly recommend.
Jan Rice

The motif of So You've Been Publicly Shamed, the way I see it. I used to have this cup. Looks like this particular pic came from Etsy.

Jon Ronson's focus is on individuals who've been shamed on social media, especially Twitter. Jon isn't an intellectual or scholar--and so it is that I feel comfortable calling him by his first name--but he is doing us all a great service by thinking out loud about the phenomenon. It's not that he doesn't want to offer conclusions; he does, but his ideas remain in
Elyse  Walters
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
"The Circle", by Dave Eggers ......eerily creepy -plausible-dystopia-social media-
"SHARING IS CARING" frickin -fun-reading....

"So You've Been Publicly Shamed", by Jon Ronson......brutal-humiliation-public shaming of people---"SHAME- on - those SHAMING" a warning...
.....scary jokes back-fired and became haunting
......tasteless trashy tearing people apart shamed people's behavior .....

The first part of this book I thought was pretty good- funny even. Jon Ronson begins with his firs
Matthew Quann
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know, sometimes the internet is a miserable collective consciousness that seems to bring out the worst in humanity. For me, I think of the Facebook comments section and what little I know of Twitter--I'm still a dinosaur who doesn't tweet--as some sort of digital hellscape where everyone closes off their inhibitions and lets loose the worst vitriol imaginable. What's more, the way social media has gradually become a kind of news platform has made me feel dejected when scrolling through my fe ...more
While I am writing this, a case of public shaming is going on in Germany - it is not in any way as vitriolic as the ones Jon Ronson talks about but is proof that his book is timely and important. Public shaming is interesting and horrifying - Ronson talks about cases where a single tweet unleashed an outpouring of hate that stand in no relation to the offense. And I agree with him in his conclusion that this is disturbing trend. He made me think about these cases where the victim of shaming real ...more
Julio Genao
Aug 18, 2015 marked it as to-read
want to read this because this author gave an amazing TED talk about how the internet allows us the dark satisfaction of shaming another person without consequence to us.

in effect, destroying the lives of other people to feed the ragey beasts living in the darkness of our collective id.

all day long.

it's a fascinating talk:
Sam Quixote

Jon Ronson is in a Shame Eradication Workshop in Chicago being screamed at by people who are letting out their inner monologues, uncensored. A couple of them have just admitted they enjoy having sex with their cats.

It’s part of Ronson’s exploration of modern public shaming, a lot of which focuses on social media sites like Twitter. A PR Exec called Justine Sacco tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Coming from an infrequent Non Fictioner, I found this compulsively readable! Ronson's style is approachable, objective and even tender. He researches and speaks with a selection of people who have been shamed for everything from an under-the-breath comment, to a deadly, drunken car ride. He gives them a voice, humanizes them and shows the ways in which lives can be torn apart (and in some cases, put back together) by public shaming; either via a court sentence, or even Twitter. Though I did find ...more
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jon Ronson has put together an interesting, if somewhat disjointed, selection of case studies illuminating the role of public shaming in modern society. He asks some timely questions but I'm not sure I agree with some of his conclusions. The subject of shame was treated in a rather haphazard fashion in the book, bouncing from one case study to the next. We find out that men are less likely to get hounded by the community for sexual scandals than women or receive no backlash at all, that women an ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Shame, Shame, Shame
Jon Ronson looks with alarm the ferocious nature of recent Internet public shamings of a few unfortunate politically incorrect people and the real-life aftermath (e.g., losing her/his job & livelihood), nicely juxtaposed against an instance in which the hyper-sensitive instigator had the scorn come back at her as quickly as a scorpion.

ronson shame {limerick name}
In his book called, "So You've Been Publicly Shamed"
the author Jon Ronson has sought to proclaim,
. . That shame
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Jon Ronson is a writer and documentary filmmaker. His work includes the international bestsellers Them: Adventures With Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats, which was adapted into a major motion picture starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.

A contributor to The Guardian, Ronson is the author of the columns "Human Zoo" and "Out of the Ordinary". He writes and

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