The Limit to the Naming and Shaming Game

It is late and I am not going to stay up all night waiting for the results of  a referendum in Scotland.  It’s not that I  am unconcerned.  I am, indeed, intensely curious.  However, there’s no way my opinions  are going to affect the outcome and I have looked at both sides of the issue and can  come to terms with it, either way.

My topic for tonight is sort of an extension of last night’s.  Last night I suggested that law enforcement would be improved if the police just outsourced the investigative work  to people on the  internet, partly because the amazing power of the world  wide web has proven so effective at actually locating  criminals, but  because  the police suck so badly at it.

Tonight I want to talk about ‘naming and shaming.’  I just saw a sight about airline passengers behaving egregiously, people would send in their photos, like a white haired, rather chubby  gentlemen sleeping with his  shirt  off and a baby pooping in the middle of the aisle, stuff like that.

I have an internet friend who actively pursues plagiarists on-line (Ira Lightman – he’s been written up in newspapers for it, so I guess it would not be a breach of  etiquette to use his name)  He gives them a warning and, if they don’t apologize and change their ways, they get named, suffering disgrace in the poetic community, fwiw.

All sorts of bad behavior gets outed  on the  internet.  The problem is that, just as in real life, the people who behave shamelessly are impervious to shame.  They see their pictures on the internet and think ‘Hey, I’m famous!”


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