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Differentiating Public Shaming and Attacks On Social Media: Targeting Ingroups and Outgroups
Building on a previous article that differentiated between the use of public shaming and attacks in Tweets, this paper examines more in-depth the use of public shaming and attacks on social media. In this study, we examine how the use of public shaming is used to defend and set boundaries around an ingroup by challenging supposed members of that ingroup who are perceived to be violating that ingroup’s norms. We compare public shaming with the use of attacks used to build ingroup cohesiveness and protect the ingroup’s identity by calling out members of the outgroup to differentiate that outgroup from the identified ingroup. In particular, we examine the left and right wings of Christian groups that are prevalent on social media platforms to examine their posts for how they use—or avoid the use of—shaming and attacks. The differentiation of these tactics is important because, as our previous article identified, the acceptability of using falsehoods and lies about ingroup and outgroup members is dependent on the goals for using these tactics and the targets of the tactics.