Taming the Internet Pitchfork Mob: Online Public Shaming, the Viral Media Age, and the Communications Decency Act

Kristine Gallardo · 19 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. 3

Abstract

Accompanying the explosive growth of the Internet, one lamentable trend is the rise of online public shaming. While online public shaming may positively incentivize individuals to modify their behavior in accordance with socially acceptable norms, there has also been the emergence of an online “pitchfork mob” that can have a real impact on individuals’ livelihoods and overall wellbeing. Due to the lack of legal remedies available to victims of certain types of online shaming, this Note suggests that web hosts are empowered by the expansive protections of the Communications Decency Act to develop and implement policies to curb the prevalence of online public shaming.