The Internet As Scarlet Letter

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Though the Internet these days isn’t the Wild West it once was, there’s still plenty of vigilante justice going on, from the outing and firing of the man responsible for subreddits like /r/jailbait and /r/creepshots to Jezebel’s public shaming of racist teenagers.

But where is the line between dispensing justice and just plain harassing someone? Who deserves privacy, and who deserves to be locked up in the damning-Google-results stocks and pelted with doxxing tomatoes?

Internet scholars Whitney Phillips and Kate Miltner discuss the issue for The Awl.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →