Is publicly shaming a cheat online ever acceptable?

Is publicly shaming a cheat online ever acceptable?
Men and women are likely to start affairs in September!
Independent TV

Adultery has been putting in overtime, it seems, after one study revealed September to be primetime to start an illicit relationship.

Recently, social media feeds have been bombarded with several high-profile cheating scandals. Take Adam Levine, for example, whose alleged mistress Sumner Stroh turned to TikTok with claims she and the Maroon 5 singer had a year-long fling. He then reportedly had the audacity to ask if he could name his new baby after her.

The pandemic has seemingly birthed a cheating boom, with one dating platform, specialising in affairs with married men, experiencing a record number of users in its 19-year history.

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Celebrities over the years have turned their rage into revenge online by 'Gram-slamming' their unfaithful partners.

The Chainsmokers DJ Alex Pall was exposed in 2018 by his (now) ex-girlfriend Tori Woodward, who shared footage of him kissing another woman. Australian rapper Iggy Azalea also used social media as an outlet to tell the world why she broke up with ex-fiancé Nick Young.

"I broke up with Nick because I found he had brought other women into our home while I was away and caught them on the security footage," she tweeted at the time. "I feel like I don't even know who the hell it is I've been loving all this time."

The petty revenge can also backfire massively – as seen in boxer Amir Khan's case, who failed to fact-check back in 2017.

Khan jumped the gun and accused his wife of getting with fellow boxer Anthony Joshua. After a string of tweets, it turned out the screenshots he was sent were completely fake, leaving Khan "embarrassed" by the whole ordeal.

Anthony Joshua responds to rumours he slept with Amir Khan's wife Twitter

Beyond celebrities, TikTok has recently become the destination to expose snakey exes – some have even formulated elaborate (not mention creative)schemes that have become overnight viral hits.


Caught my girl cheating🤬 #fy #fyp #cheater #wtffff


Watch till end. It’s so heartbreaking. #heartbreaking #tiktokmovie #cheatingwife #sad #fyp


This Wife Finally Catches Her Husband Cheating With Her Sister After 5 Years😱 #mistress #wifeprank #husbandcheated

But, is outing an adulterer online ever worth it?

Sam Holmes, relationship coach and the editor of Feel and Thrive, a community focused on all things relationships and personal development, believes it's nothing but a temporary cathartic release.

"In the aftermath of being cheated on, it's not unusual to experience strong negative emotions like anger, frustration and resentment," Holmes said, adding that exposing them is almost an attempt to make the cheat experience "the same pain and shame" as the person posting.

Shaming an ex-partner may feel good in the moment, but "eventually one needs to accept the situation, process their emotions and work through their disappointment, anger and grief."


However, some have argued that exposing illicit relationships is beneficial to warn others of red flags, with dozens of social media accounts dedicated to the cause.

While this seem like a "noble thing to do" for some, a scorned ex could very well use this as an example to "justify" their behaviour.

Not only that, "revealing any personal information about yourself or someone else online often invites feedback that you may or may not be prepared to deal with," Holmes explained.

"You might be remembered as that scorned ex and never be able to live that down. The cheater may also suffer the same fate.

Holmes added: "Not to mention, some couples reconcile after infidelity, rekindling things after a monumental public shaming is just plain awkward for everyone involved."


Kevin Darné, author of Every Ending is a New Beginning: The journey from Breaking Up to Moving On says there are much better, healthier ways of moving on from a cheater, away from publicly exposing them online.

Darné told Indy100 that contrary to popular belief, "the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference."

"If a person is still raging, they're still emotionally invested, and in order to move on, people must have to want to let go.

He added: "Your future lies ahead of you not behind you. You can't get to second base if you insist on keeping one foot on first base.

"For a lot of people, the first step begins with learning to forgive themselves for not seeing/ignoring red flags or for even choosing their ex in the first place.

Darné concluded: "The poet George Herbert once said: 'Living well is the best revenge.'"

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