“As I read hundreds of hideous comments, I suddenly realized I was being subjected to a tiny fraction of what Monica has experienced every day since she was 24 years old, essentially every day of her adult life. I can only begin to imagine how profoundly these hateful comments must have shaped her self-worth. We all find our self-esteem shaken when we feel insulted or disrespected. But to have the entire world insult you to your face — for 17 years straight? That’s abuse on another level.
When my boss asked me how the comments were going, I broke down in tears. That profound moment Monica had had with our live audience was shattered, and I was struggling to maintain her safe space.”
Powerful comments on a powerful talk.
As TED’s social media editor, I have seen a lot of nasty comments. I’ve seen grown men and women deride a 14-year-old girl for her choice of dress. I’ve seen them say they’re revolted by a beautiful transgender woman. On every talk about race, I’ve seen a slew of racist comments. But none have ever been as bad as the comments we got when we published Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk, The Price of Shame. At least at first.
When Monica spoke at TED2015, held in March in Vancouver, the audience in the room received her with warmth and generosity of spirit. Many who’d had reservations were swayed by her talk. We saw this kind, vulnerable, strong woman who wanted to be heard — a woman who knew what was at stake for the victims of public shaming and who deeply hoped to get her message right. For someone scarred…
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