So what is it about social media that transforms ordinary internet users into pitchfork-wielding villagers? Futurologist David Brin notes that feelings of righteous indignation can give people a drug-like high. “You go into the bathroom during one of these [indignant] snits,” he says, “and you look in the mirror and you have to admit, this feels great! ‘I am so much smarter and better than my enemies!’” Everyone can now get an instant, ego-boosting high by opening their computer or smartphone and joining in the online shaming of a perceived offender. But they haven’t made the world any better. All they’ve done is made a stranger’s life a little worse.
Theunis Bates writing in The Week Magazine