TED Talk. Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame


In her early twenties, she made the mistake of falling in love with her boss almost three decades her senior. When the public got wind of the affair, Monica Lewinsky was hurtled through the epicentre of a merciless international media maelstrom exerted by print, radio and TV and furthermore became one of the first victims of online public shaming. „In 1998, I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously… Public humiliation was excruciating, life became unbearable.“

In her talk, Monica speaks about our „culture of humiliation“. That cyber-bullying leads to cruelty to others, and that online it is amplified and remains accessible forever. „They anonymously stab you with their words. The more shame, the more clicks. The more clicks, the more advertising dollars.“ Other victims have been humiliated to death.

Today, Monica holds a Master degree in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2014, she returned to the public view. Her appeal for a safer social media environment includes hopes that our society will overcome its online compassion deficit and that it raises the courage to stand up against online harassment.

Header image ©Christina feyerke