Online Shaming & Its Terrible Consequences — A Parental Guide

When the internet started booming, everyone rushed to grab the opportunity to learn everything about it. Not to mention, it has become a potent interactive tool. But as it brought humanity together, issues like online shaming also emerged from the dark. It has proven to be fatal, and its effects can be long-lasting. It yields terrible consequences that no one can ever imagine.

The internet is enabling people to come closer. But, likewise, scammers and cyberbullies are also getting their way to reach innocent people. Anonymity is shielding hackers and perpetrators. And the number one target is young kids.

This article solely focuses on the negative effects, reasons, and consequences of online shaming. Read along to know more.

Public Shaming and Online Shaming — Are They Same?

Similarly, an individual or an organization can be a target of online shaming. Social media, blogs, websites, and other online social platforms are used to disgrace them publicly. Online shaming may be due to the retribution of something, revenge, or the personal satisfaction of sick-minded people.

What is Social Media Shaming?

Online shaming is cyberbullying that is done on a wide-reaching social platform. It is usually done by a group of internet users instead of individuals.

First, one should know that cyberbullying is a crime. Cyberbullies attack and scoff at the victim publicly on the internet for something they have done or said. Attackers may unite from around the world.

In past public shaming examples, we have seen a group of people ganged up against a victim. As a result, the victim went into depression. Furthermore, some took their lives too. For example, a 12 year old girl in Florida committed suicide due to constant cyberbullying. Since people’s comments are printed online, they stay there forever. A study in 2018 revealed that 59 percent of US teenagers had faced cyberbullying.

What are the Consequences of Online Shaming?

There are several mental health issues linked with cyberbullying. The online bashing can lead to;

  • Self-hatred
  • Ruining entire reputation
  • Costing someones’ livelihood
  • Even you delete the post, online shaming lasts forever. It is copied and rolled again.
  • The victim can become suicidal
  • People connected with the victims also face the heat
  • Severe forms of depression
  • Isolation from society

How to Overcome Online Shaming?

  • Return stronger than before
  • Learn lesson from it
  • Join a support group
  • Use some physical hobby instead of staying online
  • Don’t reply; rather, ignore.
  • Stay put and don’t hide
  • Rise like a phoenix from the ashes; every fall has some opportunity to cash in on
  • Plan for the future and move on

READ ALSO: What is Social Engineering? How Can Parents Safeguard Kids from Social Engineering?

How Do You Respond to Social Shaming?

  • To start with, respond in kindness instead of lashing back.
  • Don’t fall apart.
  • Don’t cast off yourself.
  • Insulter is waiting for your reaction, don’t fuel them with bitter words.
  • Give concise and clear responses.

How Can We Stop Online Shaming?

There are ways to evade the possibility of online shaming.

  • Know your online audience
  • Do self catharsis of your actions
  • Walk away from infuriating conversations
  • There is no privacy in public groups

Is Online Shaming Illegal?

Prior to internet formulation, ill-speaking publicly was a form of slander. Later the printing press played the role. It led to court filing suits because a printed defamatory had a more extended expiry date. Then came the era of online information and the invention of the internet. The bottomless storage capabilities of the internet libel can be everlasting.

Suppose you have passed a negative comment in private without the involvement of a 3rd person. You may get away with the law. However, if there is any proof of your false claims and illicit comments, then be ready to find yourself in hot waters.

People can take legal actions if they have;

  • A witness
  • A documented Email or publication
  • Proof of lost financial position
  • Evidence of lost reputation in the community
  • Proof of loss in intangible things like a destroyed professional career

What is Cancel Culture?

The shaming definition includes the cancel culture. Besides, internet users unite to dishonor someone due to their objectionable action publicly. The films introduced the term-cancel culture. It later evolved on the internet.

There are many ways to cancel culture. For instance;

  • Pressurizing organizations to withdraw public holdings of an individual.
  • In case business is the target, then boycotting their products.

The Problems Linked with Cancel Culture:

  • It can encourage violence
  • Cancel culture does not bring social changes to society
  • It promotes intolerance in the democratic community

Final Thoughts:

People, especially children, don’t open up to their parents or loved ones easily. Console them that they are not deserted in a mess. People don’t share their stories online because the attacker is often an influential or powerful person.

People should stand up against those who have publicly humiliated them. But beware, it may backfire as well. Although they were absolutely right, there are stories of victims who were re-victimized in disgusting ways. Be careful, as the stronger your presence online, the more exposed you are to positive and negative feedback

Originally published at on February 4, 2022.



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