Another take on the Hello there, Racists tumblr that I posted about earlier (and which is now back online). This particular response has provoked a lot of interesting discussion:
In this week’s bout of Internet shaming, a Tumblr called Hello There, Racists! is collecting the sentiments of bigoted Obama haters. Many are teenagers, and their tweets and Facebook posts appear with their pictures and the names of the cities they live in and the schools they go to. Scrolling through this collection, I’m so grossed out by the tweets that it’s hard to remember why I think this Tumblr is such a bad idea. OK, right: As my colleague Laura Anderson reminded me in an email thread, “I don’t think strangers should be posting minors’ contact information on the Internet, period.” Internet vigilante-ism at the expense of kids is just a terrible idea, given their youth and the evidence that their brains aren’t fully developed, especially in the impulse-control regions.
I also doubt the public shaming will push these kids to reconsider their views—more like give them more reason for indignation. If you come under attack for something you thought you said privately, however wrong you were about that, wouldn’t you feel anger more than remorse?