Adriaan Basson | Trial by social media - the tragic Lindsay Dentlinger story

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The ANC staged a protest outside eNCA's office last week against racism following the outcry over journalist Lindsay Dentlinger's interviews.
The ANC staged a protest outside eNCA's office last week against racism following the outcry over journalist Lindsay Dentlinger's interviews.

The public flogging of eNCA journalist Lindsay Dentlinger on social media has removed the possibility to turn this into a learning moment, writes Adriaan Basson.

"A life had been ruined. What was it for: just some social media drama? I think our natural disposition as humans is to plod along until we get old and stop. But with social media, we’ve created a stage for constant artificial high drama. Every day a new person emerges as a magnificent hero or a sickening villain. It’s all very sweeping, and not the way we actually are as people." – Jon Ronson, So You've Been Publicly Shamed

My thinking about the place, purpose and usefulness of social media has been deeply impacted by the work of journalist Jon Ronson, in particular his 2015 book So You've Been Publicly Shamed.

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