Cyber-Shaming Racists

Nov 19 2012 @ 4:46pm

The tumblr Hello There, Racists! calls out kids for racist online comments. Emily Bazelon believes this effort is misguided:

My reporting on cyberbullying has persuaded me that the reason kids (and adults) post stupid things semipublicly is that almost every time, no one notices or cares. The chances of being embarrassed are still too remote to register in that nanosecond before people push the send/post/tweet button—even though the consequences are dramatic when you end up as one of the unlucky few with your 15 minutes of Internet infamy. I guess that becomes a little less true every time someone puts up this kind of Tumblr. But the learning process should happen at the expense of the big trolls, like Michael Brutsch. As Emily Yoffe points out, "these sites are pinning kids like butterflies as permanent racists. These idiotic, repulsive remarks will follow them for years and have potential effects on their ability to go to college, to get jobs. We need to tread very lightly with the privacy of minors."