15 minutes of shame (2021)

Directed by Max Joseph

A few years ago I posted a video on YouTube just giving my thoughts on a Bob Dylan album and a person commented some nasty things about me. I have to admit it hurt and I had to contain my tears because I was at a family event. Is sad when people without any mercy comment on what others do and do not care about their feelings. You can disagree without hurting the person, or if you did not like what they did just don’t see it.

This documentary takes a look at how the internet can take a person’s mistake and simply ruin the person’s life. In some cases, the person did nothing wrong but the damage was done. The documentary gives us a few true stories of people who’s life was changed by someone posting about them and the hate comments and online shaming that followed. I think the message of the documentary is not about keeping quiet, I felt it was about being more human online and understand that none of us are perfect and that what we write can hurt that person.

I was completely moved by the stories of these people. It had cases where a person did a mistake and then fell victim to people’s comments and others attacked for opinions or race. I like that the documentary included professionals in mental health that explained why people can be so mean online. It can be so easy to see a photo or a post and write insults because we are not face to face with the person. I remember when I was in school a lot of people made fun of me, but that is a controlled environment, now online in the world and with less mercy.

This documentary I think is important because we all need to be more humane in our online interactions.

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