Don't Burst My Blame Bubble

Philosophers' Imprint (forthcoming)
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Blame abounds in our everyday lives, perhaps no more so than on social media. With the rise of social networking platforms, we have access to more information about others’ blameworthy behaviour and larger audiences to whom we can express our blame. But these audiences, while large, are typically not diverse. Social media tends to create what I call “blame bubbles”: systems in which expressions of blame are shared amongst agents with similar moral outlooks while dissenting views are excluded. Many have criticised the blame expressed on social media, arguing that it is often unfitting, excessive, and counterproductive. In this talk, I’ll argue that while blame bubbles can be guilty of these charges, they are also well placed to do important moral work. I’ll then attempt to identify the causal source of these bad-making features and explore potential structural interventions that can make blame bubbles better at performing their moral function and less likely to generate harmful consequences.

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Hannah Tierney
University of California, Davis


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