The ‘Patient Zero’ of Internet shame wants to end cyber-bullying. She began by joining Twitter.
Monica Lewinsky’s self-described campaign to end cyber-bullying began with a small act of courage.
The long-ago White House intern signed up for the hugely popular, but often vitriolic, medium on Monday just a short while before she gave a speech at aForbes summit in which she described herself as “Patient Zero” of the Internet shaming age.
"My name is Monica Lewinsky, although I’ve often been advised to change it."
According to a write-up on the magazine’s website, Lewinsky described the public humiliation she suffered during the endless coverage and investigations of her affair with President Bill Clinton that led to his impeachment more than 15 years ago. She talked about her “love” for Clinton at the time and reportedly teared up in recalling the shame of being, for a time, one of the most infamous young women in the world.
Lewinsky, now 41, said she was “the first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet.”
“There was no Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram back then. But there were gossip, news, and entertainment websites replete with comment sections and emails which could be forwarded. Of course, it was all done on the excruciatingly slow dial up. Yet around the world this story went. A viral phenomenon that, you could argue, was the first moment of truly ‘social media’.”
Lewinsky crept back into the public eye earlier this year with a piece in Vanity Fair in which she wrote about the Clinton affair and the difficulty she has had in finding a job. In the speech on Monday, she began by saying, “My name is Monica Lewinsky, although I’ve often been advised to change it.”
Now she wants to start “a cultural revolution” against the kind of treatment she endured that is even more prevalent in the era of social media.
“Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too. I want to put my suffering to good use and give purpose to my past.”
In joining Twitter, Lewinsky appears ready to play on the same field as the bullies she is trying to combat. Her introduction, however, was a bit halting.— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky)October 20, 2014
excited (and nervous) to speak to #Under30Summit— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky)October 20, 2014
If nothing else, Lewinsky has demonstrated that all these years later, she can still command an audience. Within three hours of her first tweet, she had more than 14,000 followers, and the count was growing by the minute.
Source: Russell Berman for The Atlantic
A black man rides a bus restricted to whites only, in Durban. In an act of resistance to South Africa’s apartheid policies, 1986.
look at their faces. upset that this black man dared to exist in their space
It’s sad how terrified he looks.
the fear in his eyes man :/
not even “their space”. Europeans invaded South Africa, separated Black people from their own country and dared to be aghast at their want to considered humans. This was just 28 years ago, guys!!
Don’t let the black and white picture fool you. These are recent, even current events.
most if not everyone in this picture is still alive
Ferguson vs Pumpkin fest
The media’s treatment of these two events were shameful!
GOP governor, who’s had problems with minority voters, turned to Photoshop when he needed one for his campaign website.
you think we playing when we say they see us as props of self-elevation.
America is NOW a 3rd world nation that is rapidly becoming a Medieval style kingdom….
Press the Media: NATO, Ebola and the pumpkin riot double standard
the only thing more disgusting that racial bias in mainstream news reporting is the low-key white supremacist policies driving the character of those reports.
Racial bias in America: from higher suspension rates in preschool, to disproportionate rates of capital punishment, to everything in between, structures of authority routinely allow anti-Black racial bias to color the “facts”, and warp the narrative. And frequently (whether unintentional or otherwise) the police and the media often work together to further criminalize innocent Black victims
1. Criminalizing Blackness in America
2. 14-year-old Tremaine McMillian attacked and choked by police, literally while holding a puppy…because McMillian made them “feel threatened” and gave them “dehumanizing stares”
3. Author and CNN contributor keithboykin: how the AP slandered Renisha McBride even in death
4. The Associated Press: when can skin color alone determine who is and who isn’t a looter? (hint: don’t be Black)
This implicit racial bias does not magically stop at innocuous events like the VMAs, or in Hollywood. So far, it doesn’t ever turn off. There are two Americas and racial bias is as ubiquitous as the air we breathe