Meet Bob Mewse. He caught a picture of himself on Google Street View and was shocked at how overweight he was. As a result, he began a strict diet and lost 100 pounds. Here is his quote from the Telegraph:
I was horrified when I saw that photo. I was massive. My belly was sticking out and I looked huge. I’d been thinking about losing weight for some time but after seeing that picture, I knew that I actually had to do something about it. I was in such bad condition that I was unable to walk and talk at the same time. My blood pressure was sky-high and I was getting back problems due to the excess weight I was carrying around.
While I laud Mewse for taking control of his health, and losing weight, I am reminded of the Internet’s power to shame, humiliate, and embarrass. In the words of Dan Solove in The Future of Reputation:
From the dawn of time, people have gossiped, circulated rumors, and shamed others. These social practices are now moving over to the Internet, where they are taking on new dimensions. They transform from forgettable whispers within small local groups to a widespread and permanent chronicle of people’s lives.