A Digital Citizenship Lesson at it’s Finest; Watch out for Online Shaming

Posted on October 12, 2015. Filed under: digital citizenship, Ed800, educational, online safety |

I just watched Monica Lewinsky and Ron Johnson’s TED Talks, and it made me think of how often digital shaming happens in today’s society.


Public shaming/bullying happens to all people, but it seems like people in either very affluential/power positions, or those in weak vulnerable positions seem to get the brunt of it. These TED talks made me think of Jimmy Kimmel’s segment called celebrity’s read mean tweets. These celebrities seem to be handling it ok, but who knows! Anyone can put on a nice face for the camera.

Though this clip is meant to be funny, I think of Robin Williams’ death.  Even people who look like they have it all together, are good humoured on the outside, and have the physical means to buy/purchase anything they would like can still be struggling. As soon as there is a screen in front of some people, they somehow forget any and all tact or manners they learned as a child.  Here is a clip from a video my friend and I made last year.  I guess you could call it, “Cheerleaders read mean tweets.”

One of the tweets that didn’t even make it into that clip is from a Rider fan who took a picture of the cheerleaders on the sideline, posted it to Twitter, and tagged it #homeofthewhopper  I laughed pretty hard, but WHY ARE PEOPLE SO MEAN!!?

Speaking of mean, you should see some of the YouTube comments written on a video my students made a few years back.  In my grade one/two class, I had the students take part in a debate.  Before we learned anything about animal’s needs/wants, how animals fit into our ecosystem and how animals help/support humans, I had my students debate whether they thought hunting was good or bad.  We did a live debate in class where the kids chose a side, argued their points, and listened to the other group’s point of view. Before we went on, I allowed each child to videotape themselves sharing their opinion and I compiled them into two YouTube videos… One called Hunting is Good, and one called Hunting is Bad.

Check out the video, and then read below for some of the comments! (I get at least one or two comments a month on this video)

First, there are quite a few people who have something to say about my teaching…

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Then there are people who want to personally attack the 6 and 7 year olds!

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Then there’s some that will attack us both.

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Or each other… (Careful of the language)

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Honestly, I have thought about removing the comments section of this video, but the fact of the matter is, it is such a great learning tool for everyone. (Plus it supplies me with some comic relief every now and again.)  I have actually deleted some overtly offensive comments, but this is such a great example of how something so simple can get blown out of proportion and be used for hate on the internet. Digital citizenship lesson anyone?

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5 Responses to “A Digital Citizenship Lesson at it’s Finest; Watch out for Online Shaming”

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Wow, those are some intense complaints who knew people felt so passionately about hunting? Or are they just being mean for the sake of it?

Why do people feel the need to do that? It makes no sense to me at all. S

ome of the apps I am looking at for older age groups ( Ask FM and YikYak) seem to actively encourage the youtube hater phenomena that you outline in your post. Lots of food for thought here!

Thanks Danielle.

I often wonder why people feel it’s necessary to comment on something with such negativity. Do these people feel so strongly about this video that they need to comment the way they did? Sometimes I think that people feel that just because they have an opinion they have to share it regardless of whether or not it’s hurtful or helpful. There is a right way and a wrong way to show that you disagree with someone and a lot of people don’t know how to comment constructively.

[…] mistakes and dehumanize them, but we’re just flat out mean in general! I was appalled reading Danielle’s blog in which she shows comments on a YouTube video of her class. There were nasty things being said […]

[…] some people forget to think about how their comments will affect others. I was shocked when I read Danielle’s blog and saw the comments people had made about her grade 1/2 students! As soon as someone comments […]

[…] I mentioned at the beginning of my post.  I also encourage you to read Danielle’s blog post A Digital Citizenship Lesson At It’s Finest; Watch Out For Online Shaming.  She reminded me about Jimmy Kimmel’s segment that had celebrity’s read mean tweets […]


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