Seven Odd Shaming Trends That Take The Concept Too Far

Humiliation has been speculated to be one of, if not the, most intense human emotion. And yet, shame is a regular human occurrence on both the perpetrating and receiving end.

We’ve written previously about public shaming, a trend that has, through the slippery pipelines of the web, grown into a tool with which individuals are exposed to wide online criticism for their behavior as a form of entertainment or social punishment.

Shaming can be destructive, as the sometimes tragic results of the largely dissected slut-shaming and body-shaming trends have too often revealed.

But in spite of its frequent severity, the Internet has latched on to the concept to a point at which the word can be attached and applied to just about anything, often for the sake of humor.

Here’s a comprehensive list of emerging and yes, semi-ridiculous, Internet “shaming” trends and technologies, that take the concept a bit too far.

1. Sunset shaming

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Selfies, sunsets, shoes, and food: all are examples of often tedious Instagram cliches. But why unfollow perpetrators of these “heinous” platitudes if you also have the option of enlisting the help of a robot called SILENT B.O.B. to shame them?

The account, called @PicNixer by A&G Labs, would anonymously inform users’ friends to stop posting certain types of crimes-against-social media, and add their posts to a shame gallery. 38% of crimes were selfies. (The account has since been shut down by Instagram.)

2. Baby shaming

Pets can be very naughty, and their lack of fingers, human insight, and web access makes them perfect shaming targets. The same goes for small babies and kids, in fact.

Multiple websites exist for the sole purpose of putting your dog, cat, parrot, or child next to a sign detailing what they did and posting it for all to see. Funny, cruel, or both? Ask your cat.

3. Walmart shaming

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People of Walmart, which is basically the shameful version of Humans of New York, is a website that curates photos of Walmart-frequenting folk in questionable attire.

In a similar vein, People of SEPTA documents the strange activities of persons traveling Philadelphia’s public transportation in various states of weirdness.

4. Bro shaming

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While bro is a broad and variable term, this specific type of shaming usually aims at making public the not-so-public texts or emails guys send girls, often through dating apps or websites.

One notable blog called Straight White Boys Texting allows users to send in screenshots of (almost always) creepy things texted by heterosexual caucasian men who have little tact or subtlety in their advances.

5. Debit Card shaming

Tweeting or posting pictures of your debit card is not a good idea, but shockingly there are those that lack the common sense to realize that launching it into the Twitterverse is bad news.

Twitter account @NeedADebitCard identifies, retweets, and shames those naive enough to post this kind of sensitive information on Twitter.

6. Donut shaming

YDNET (You Did Not Eat That) is an Instagram account that features a collection of willowy models, actresses, and fitness types posing with food that they probably didn’t actually eat, shaming them for their shameless lies. (Though who’s to say they don’t have great metabolism?)

More disturbing is the vending machine that tweets every time you buy from it, publicly shaming your decision to get, for example, Funions instead of a healthier snack.

7. Self shaming

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Yes, you read that right: self, not selfie.

Because shame is, decidedly, a strong emotion, it apparently makes a great motivator as threat to one’s own self esteem. Personal blackmailing app Gym Shamer, for example, humiliates users via tweet if they don’t go to the gym.

Similarly, the iPhone Shame Alarm Clock will tweet and Facebook everyone you know if you don’t wake up on time. How’s that for motivation?

Know of any other strange shaming trends? Tweet us @Curiousmatic, and we may add your suggestion to this living listicle. 

Jennifer Markert