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MENAFN - Arab News - 13/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) Monica lewinsky — does it ring a bell? if you were born in the 90s then the name might not mean a lot to you but if you were born before that then i am sure it does. lewinsky was the star of the most sensational story the world had witnessed in its recent history; the story of the illicit relationship between a white house intern and the most powerful man living in that house the president of the united states himself!

after about 10 years since her last public appearance lewinsky is back with an article she wrote for the vanity fair magazine. in the article she discusses the consequences of the scandal that she had to deal with and live through all these years. of course this is not the reason such a story would make it to a page like this talking about technology and social media. it is here because she touched so eloquently a very hot topic that is related to social media in her article; a topic she called 'the culture of humiliation."

in her article she described a situation in a copper union event back in 2001 where she was 'thunderstruck" by a comment so humiliating made in such a public setup and she takes that as a starting point to tackle how such a comment would have been different if it was made in today's world where social media is the name of the game.

'had that awkward moment at cooper union aired only a few years later with the advent of social media the humiliation would have been even more devastating. that clip would have gone viral on twitter youtube facebook tmz and gawker. it would have become a meme of its own on tumblr. the viralness itself would have merited mention on the daily beast and huffington post" she wrote in the article.

despite the story that made the name lewinsky so familiar her arguments in the article are very relevant to the world of today. cyber-trolling/cyber-bullying is getting popular on the internet as the platforms of social media are getting more tangled with people's daily lives. the line outlining personal privacy seems to be fading out. what's truly troubling however is not the spread of such hatred behavior online but the justifications a lot of people find for the attackers or for themselves to be part of the attack. it is as the decision to join social media in itself is a consent one's pledge to surrender privacy.

'no one it seems can escape the unforgiving gaze of the internet where gossip half-truths and lies take root and fester" lewinsky wrote. 'we have created a 'culture of humiliation' that not only encourages and revels in schadenfreude but also rewards those who humiliate others from the ranks of the paparazzi to the gossip bloggers the late-night comedians and the web 'entrepreneurs' who profit from clandestine videos" she concluded.

the irony is that the platforms meant to connect people are sometimes used to rip them apart!


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