INSIDE SHAME NATION
In today’s digitally-driven world, countless people are being electronically embarrassed each day, whether it’s from trolling, cyber-slamming, digital drama, revenge porn, sexting, doxing, hacking or other malicious virtual take-downs. This culture of destroying people with the simple stroke of a keyboard is much more than a fad—it’s the new normal. We have all sat back and watched the escalation of these vicious virtual pile-ons: celebrities and schoolgirls being slammed for their looks, an avalanche of ill will over one ill-conceived Tweet, people losing jobs, scholarships, and their reputations for voicing an unpopular thought. How have we reached this state of Shame Nation, where our collective outrage is constantly being triggered against an endless supply of fresh victims? And is there anything we can do to stop it, before it devastates us or someone we love?
SHAME NATION will survey the wreckage of the most shocking digital debacles, revealing how truly pervasive this phenomenon has become, and advising what we as concerned citizens need to do about it. This book will tap into a nerve in popular culture about our fascination and fear of digital shaming, sprinkling actual social media posts from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more to illustrate how unbelievably mean things have actually become. From moms who mock photos of ugly babies to fat-shaming photos that become internet memes, nothing seems out of bounds.
SHAME NATION will be the first book on the market to offer expert advice to help readers avoid becoming victims themselves. The book will also provide practical solutions on how to handle a cyber-disaster, should one occur, as well as guide individuals how to recover from the emotional aftermath of a digital shaming. There is life after being sentenced to death by today’s legal—yet, lethal—weapon: the keyboard! Finally, SHAME NATION will detail what we can do in our families and communities to promote a healthier, safer digital environment for all. (Learn more).
MEET THE AUTHORS
Sue Scheff is a nationally-recognized author, speaker, parent advocate and internet safety expert. She’s been featured on many national media outlets and publications. In her second book, GOOGLE BOMB, she details her own experiences of being digitally shamed, before she fought back and won a lawsuit for internet defamation and reinvented herself as an expert in the field of internet safety. SHAME NATION is her third book.
Melissa Schorr is a widely published journalist, author of the YA novels Identity Crisis (Merit Press, 2016) and Goy Crazy (Hyperion, 2006), and a contributor to the anthology Dear Bully (Harper Teen 2011). Currently a contributing editor at the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Schorr has served as a stringer for People Magazine, a columnist for The Las Vegas Sun, a staff features reporter for the Oakland Tribune, and a health writer for ABCNews.com.
Foreword by Monica Lewinsky
Monica Lewinsky is a social activist, a global public speaker, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a consultant. She advocates for a safer social media environment and addresses such topics as digital resilience + reputation, privacy, cultivating compassion, overcoming shame and equality.
PRAISE FOR SHAME NATION
“Smart. Timely. Essential. Shame Nation is the era’s “must read” to renew internet civility where humiliating, criticizing and judging are normalized. And there is no one better than Sue Scheff to share how to prevent as well as rebound from digital shaming. Her own battle against cyber-shaming riveted the world and changed the way we use the Internet. Scheff’s sage advice and realistic tips for cyber-etiquette are indispensable and must be heeded for any hope of a civil existence and restoring empathy in cyberspace.”
Michele Borba, Ed.D. educational psychologist, author of Unselfie: The Surprising Role of Empathy in Preparing Children for Happiness and Success
“Public shaming is sweeping our world. Sue Scheff knows digital shaming better than anyone. A leading expert in the digital world, Scheff offers the latest insight as to why people publicly shame each other and will equip readers with the tools to protect themselves from what has now become the new Scarlet Letter. SHAME NATION is a must read for anyone who is online!”
Ross Ellis, Founder and CEO, STOMP Out Bullying
” Bravo Sue Scheff for rising above the negativity directed at you on the internet to create a book that everyone needs to read so they can avoid being the next victim. Engaging, sharp, and important – SHAME NATION will inspire you to open your eyes and be better in society’s growing cyber culture.”
Theresa Payton, CEO of Fortalice Solutions and Deputy Director of Intelligence on CBS’ Hunted
“We all have the power to create the inclusive Internet reality that we so desperately need. Scheff recognizes that participating in that creation can be overwhelming and intimidating, especially given the personal risks we face as women who want to join a public discourse, and provides in Shame Nation a clear-eyed, approachable guide to facing a hostile online environment while maintaining our dignity and sanity.”
Emily Lindin, Founder and Director of The UnSlut Project
“This book offers readers an important and eye-opening exploration into how public shaming transforms lives in the digital age. By humanizing today’s digital interactions, Scheff and Schorr show readers how to recognize, protect, and, when needed, restore their digital identity.”
Stacey Steinberg, Legal Skills Professor, University of Florida Levin College of Law
“Relatable, intelligent, and engaging from the first sentence, Shame Nation sheds much-needed light on our current culture of online shaming and cyberbullying. Thoroughly researched and packed with eye opening anecdotes, Shame Nation will help you learn why people choose to shame one another online, and what to do if it happens to you or a loved one. Sue Scheff is an invaluable resource in the digital world and this book should be required reading in high school, college, and the workplace.”
“Shame Nation is a book that illustrates the harm our culture of shame can wreak when we fail to instill a sense of empathy and kindness. Sue Scheff’s advice, couched in examples from current events, has already changed the way I approach social media. Her words have caused me to stop, think, and approach my online relationships from a place of respect, even when I’m angry or apt to reach for the keyboard in retribution for a perceived slight. Shame Nation is a practical and helpful book that forges a way forward through the gauntlet of social media and online shaming while encouraging an ethical approach to an increasingly judgmental world.”
“With online cruelty and shaming at an all time high, the Internet can be hurtful and harmful, leaving irreversible damage on its victims and their families. But rather than shrugging our shoulders and closing our eyes, we can empower ourselves through the practical advice and protective measures outlined in Shame Nation. Not only does Sue Scheff show us ways to respond when digital damage occurs, she can help us prevent it. I will be recommending this book to everyone I know. Shame Nation holds that elusive key to stopping the trend of online hate so kindness and compassion can prevail.”
“There is no better time than the present to deal with the issues that Sue Scheff presents in Shame Nation. Finally there will be sage advice and necessary tools to understand and help each other live in the society-shaming environment we all share.”
“Hardly a day goes by without another vivid example of online hate or cyberbullying in the news. Sue Scheff is determined to put an end to this culture of online shaming with her new book. Brimming with captivating stories of online abuse that keep you hooked, the real rewards of this book are its powerful tips aimed at keeping you from becoming a victim and, more importantly, sage advice on what to do should you find yourself the target of any online abuse. This book is the must-read survival guide for anyone who uses the Internet today.”
“The key to cultivating safer (digital) communities lies in fixing the Cause through prevention, not the Effect through reaction.To create a kinder and more tolerant society each of us must do our part. This incredible work by Sue Scheff illustrates why – and more importantly – how! Shame Nation isn’t just a must read for all parents and teachers, but for every human that desires a more thoughtful and empathetic community in our global village.”
-Richard Guerry, Executive Director of The Institute for Responsible Online and Cellphone Communication, author of Public and Permanent & the Cyman’s Cyber Safety Tales Series
“In a world where pronouncements of 140 characters are the rule of the day, where impersonal combatants wage daily war on civility, and where our attention span lasts no longer than a Snap, Shame Nation is a must-read for everyone. From Baby Boomers to Millennials, social media is a societal game-changing phenomena impacting our family, friends, communities, education, politics and employment. In a refreshingly objective and non-judgmental style, Sue Scheff analyzes this new digital reality and how it has quickly come to redefine how we view privacy, acceptable behavior, reputation, and opportunity in the 21st century. Sue astutely maps where we are and then takes us on the path towards recovery and digital rejuvenation.”
-Alan Katzman, Founder of Social Assurity LLC
Dr. Sameer Hinduja
“Filled with compelling and relatable stories, interviews and quotes from celebrities and experts, and practical strategies, expert Sue Scheff’s new book powerfully portrays the all-too-real phenomenon of online shame. Either it has happened to us, or to someone we care about – and so much of what is conveyed connects immediately and viscerally with the reader. But there are solutions, and there is hope – as she explains. Take the time to read it.”
Dr. Sameer Hinduja, Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center