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Call-out culture is not woke - it's like a public execution

Katie Byrne


Modern Life

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Caroline Flack

Caroline Flack

AFP via Getty Images

Caroline Flack was the victim of cancel culture

Caroline Flack was the victim of cancel culture

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Caroline Flack

History is littered with examples of public shaming. Criminals were restrained in pillories and pelted with rotten fruit. Adulteresses were paraded through villages. Thieves' hands were amputated as crowds whooped and jeered.

In the western world at least, we like to think we've put our dark history of public shaming behind us. We are appalled when we read about the barbaric punishments that were meted out to criminals - but perhaps not so horrified by the public nature of them.

Our savage compulsion for public shaming hasn't really gone away - it has just mutated into something else. It now takes place largely on Twitter, where social justice warriors are the modern-day judge, jury and executioner.