The public has always appreciated communication technology for its ability to bring people together but every week we read more and more stories of someone who commits suicide, gets fired, gets "canceled", abandoned, or worse, because of a conflict or misunderstanding involving social media. By examining the technological shortcomings of online media platforms as well as the inhumane speed of information travel, Emami emphasizes that the technology itself is implicated in the current environment of ubiquitous conflict and the pursuit of punishing others online. Using theories that originated in studies of extremism and terrorism, Jessica Emami analyzes the processes that drive people to punish others using social media. Emami demonstrates that "cyberpunishment" is driven by outrage against our personal sense of morality, and a deep desire for our act of punishment to be acknowledged by others. This attitude is maximized on today's social media platforms which are, by their very structure, unable to curb or resist cyberpunishment. This book would be of interest to scholars and students in sociology, criminology, and media studies.
Jessica Emami is adjunct professor of sociology at American University. She specializes in technology and globalization.
Chapter 1: This is an Outrage!
Chapter 2: Instilling Terror – On- and Offline
Chapter 3: When Images Lie
Chapter 4: No Sense of Face
Chapter 5: News Worlds
Using communication technology as a unit of analysis, sociologist Jessica Emami drills down to our human quest for acknowledgement, affirmation, and heroism that underlies both individual and online group misbehavior. This book evaluates widely viewed social media accounts, revealing that public shaming, shunning, and knowledge distortion are very much alive in the public sphere. Timely and provocative, Social Media Victimization: Theories and Impacts of Cyberpunishment exposes the predatory and punitive nature of our digital world, warning that anyone can be a target on social media platforms.
Social Media Victimization explores the treacherous world of social media where winners achieve fame and losers are ostracized. The book examines the role of rewards and punishment in an environment where sensationalism sells and polarization ignites conflict. An innovative book, Social Media Victimization is a must read for anyone interested in radicalization and political polarization.
In clear and precise prose, Jessica Emami lays out compelling arguments regarding one of the most disturbing and ubiquitous forms of social hate in our time: cyberpunishment or “cancelling.” Explaining various reasons for why people in seemingly anonymous web space bully, harass, cancel, and mob one another, the author brings us closer to understanding and, hopefully, minimizing the impact of this social scourge. A must read.