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Internet Harassment: The Flip Side Of Internet Fame

1063 words - 5 pages

In the article The Flip Side of Internet Fame by Jessica Bennett, Internet harassment is thoroughly made aware to inform active social network users of its solemnity. Real life scenarios of people who suffered from public humiliation or social desecration are presented. Bennett makes her argument conclusive by addressing her audiences' pathos and ethos appeal, sourcing credible individuals throughout the article and stressing the agony and ignominy that the listed individuals perceived. Furthermore, the author demonstrates how critical it is to be conscious about the possibility of not recovering from a fatal encounter on a social network and also raises the question: “What's to stop a ...view middle of the document...

Adding on, a student from Lewis and Clark University was even labeled as a rapist after another individual publicly accused him of sexually assaulting another student. This allegation of the victim led to the destruction of his stable reputation. Today, in a Google search, anyone can input his name “and the first entry has the word “rapist””(115). The reader is somewhat forced to posses some scent of solicitude when realizing the embarrassment these individuals ached upon. Bennett's firm desire to inform her audience of such petrifying yet valid truths of public shaming, urges the reader to question whether or not Internet fame is a burden.

Along with her informing situations, Bennett overawes her audience by encrypting her article with credible individuals making it obliging to appeal to the reader's ethos appeal. Introduced in the article, Jim Cohen is an ethicist from Fordham University School of Law in New York. One logical point he makes is that the “anonymity of the Net encourages people to say things they normally wouldn't” (114). In other words, when people are sitting behind their computers at home by themselves, they are callous and feel as though they are protected from any wrong-doing they may pursue while online. Cohen acknowledges a site called “JuicyCampus”(114), which consist of numerous and vicious rumors that are posted anonymously and that anyone who has access to the Internet can see. He even elaborates on the danger this poses for victims with grudges held against them. Another intelligent and successful individual that Bennett points out is the former CEO of AOL, Barry Schuler. Schuler stated that people believe that “everyone can have their minutes of fame”(115) and also recognized that “they're also putting themselves out there-forever”(115). The reader is guided toward the idea that the publicity of oneself is sometimes a choice and is also lead to think about the consequences of Internet fame if they should decide to expose themselves socially. The presence of sophisticated and plausible individuals, along with the opinions they expose, allows Bennett to give her audience a comforting support cushion that can be seen as something...

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