By Hinda Mandell
This booklet explores the way in which today’s interconnected and digitized world--marked by way of social media, over-sharing, and blurred traces among private and non-private spheres--shapes the character and fallout of scandal in a frenzied media surroundings. Today’s digitized international has erased the previous contrast among the private and non-private self within the social sphere. Scandal in a electronic Age marries scholarly examine on scandal with journalistic critique to discover how our net tradition pushed through (over)sharing and viral, visible content material affects the prevalence of scandal and its speedy unfold on-line via retweets and reposts. not are examples of scandalous habit “merely” said within the information. at the present time, information shoppers can see the visible proof of salacious habit even if via a bootleg tweet or video with an easy click on. And we can’t support yet click.
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Additional info for Scandal in a Digital Age
I then discuss attempts by the reactionary Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to tar Martin Luther King Jr. as a sexual deviant and communist sympathizer. The next section discusses claims by Alabama Congressman William Dickinson that Selma-to-Montgomery march participants engaged in interracial group sex. 3 The failure of these two attempts at “reactionary scandalization” contrasts with the scandalizing power of the contemporary media environment, which amplifies the power of change opponents to monitor and criticize change agents.
This “reactionary scandalization” particularly fits the strategic position of change opponents who have been losing battles to change agents. Scandal can be used to shift debate from areas where defenders of the status quo have been unsuccessful to areas where they are possibly stronger. The politics of Civil Rights in the 1960s fits this pattern. By the time of the Selma marches in early 1965, defenders of segregation had suffered several defeats. Brown v. Board of Education ruled segregation in public education as unconstitutional, demonstrating that Southern white political influence was comparatively weak in the Judiciary.
13 In an open and (somewhat) democratic society like the USA, this would likely take the form of reactionary scandalization that was suggested by a Cotton Plant, Arkansas, resident in a letter to Senator Fulbright on April 14, 1965: I think it’s about time someone investigated Martin Luther King and his Civil Rights movements. He has people in his organization who are known communists. 14 This use of guilt by association is a core component of reactionary scandalization. The “public” is presented as a ready and willing audience for information that will marginalize a figure like King and limit the power of the broader movement.
Scandal in a Digital Age by Hinda Mandell