Burbank, CA – Thanks to a cadre of people on Twitter Monday, racist Ellen Degeneres was thwarted from spreading her divisive, white privilege message to the world when she tweeted herself riding on the back of world’s fastest man Usain Bolt. People who had gone nearly minutes without being outraged by something quickly piled a dung heap of shame on the unsuspecting Degeneres forcing her to cry and immediately become a better person.
Professional shamer Lindsay Telson told reporters in an interview Wednesday that she was glad she could be one the first to strike shame into the heart of the unsuspecting comedienne. “Some people might have looked at the picture and taken time to consider what it was really trying to say, but I’ve become really good at spotting racism having used Twitter for many years now.” When asked whether she was still going to continue to fight, a weary but resolute Telson responded “Racism requires all the vigilance that social media can muster. That’s why I follow so many entertainers and people of import not only on Twitter, but Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. People look up to them, and if I can be the first to call them out on their racism I know that such attitudes will soon disappear. Fighting complex and long time problems like racism 140 characters at a time is such a satisfying feeling. Also,” added Telson, “you get more people favoriting your tweets and more followers. So you can fight racism together.”
Long time shamer Randy Loeffler, who also helped shame Ellen, said shaming is a lot more in depth. “You see,” said a thoughtful Loeffler, “good shaming isn’t just about being first it’s about the level of outrage you display or how piercing your comment is to the person you are trying to shame. That’s really how you get people to favorite your tweet and follow you. I’m not saying being quick doesn’t matter, but I feel shaming is more nuanced.” Reporters took the opportunity to further question the experienced shamer to understand the shaming community better, “I’m not really fond of the term shamer. I mean it’s true, but I think of myself as more of the social police. We’re a community you know. In fact in my area we started a Facebook group called Outrage Outreach. Not a great name, but the person who thought of it was shamed appropriately. It’s nice to get a chance to get together in real life with fellow shamers. We don’t get to talk much to each other, but every once in a while we’re sitting at the table looking at our phones, somebody will call out something shameworthy that a celebrity has posted and we’ll all get on it. It’s a lot of fun, being outraged together and in person.”
But shamer Destiny Carter painted a more complex and discordant view of the shaming community. “First,” said a serious Carter, “shaming can be exhausting. You might start with shaming a celebrity, but then some people will support that celebrity’s racist tweet, and then you have to start shaming the supporters too then they shame you back. And it’s like there’s this bond you know because you clearly both like shaming, but you’re at odds.” Carter then became pensive before adding, “Personally I have found it hard to find good friends among my fellow shamers. One time I went out with one of them on a date. We didn’t talk much, but we I liked the fact that we were getting really outraged, so we had sex. But when actually talking after sex, while our phones recharged, it turned out that we felt very vulnerable and uncomfortable getting to know each other as people. The outrage that brought us together was gone. So I tweeted him the next day that I had fun, but that I didn’t think we should go out anymore. He got upset and tried to fat shame me because of his concerns to stop obesity and this forced me to shame him back to stop misogyny. I am sure he’s a better person now as a result of it. I don’t know…I had to block him when he started to slut shame me.”
To get a better perspective on shaming on social media, this reporter talked to Dr. Leonard Orville at Cornell University who said that social media has really led to a lot of healing in the U.S. today. “I don’t want to be too bold in my prediction, but I think that if we are able to maintain this level of shaming, by the year 2025 problems like racism will be a thing of the past. So many celebrities, athletes, politicians, and just regular everyday people are being shamed into a more egalitarian mindset and society is being mended at an alarming rate as a result. Hold on…is that a dreamcatcher on your tie? That’s cultural appropriation. Let me get my phone to take a picture.”