Name and Shame is to "publicly say that a person, group or business has done something wrong". It is used to discourage some kinds of activity (including anti-social or criminal) by publishing the names of those involved.
The Rat Book was launched late in 2009 as the UK's biggest name and shame website (). By January 2010, The Rat Book contained the details of over 14,000 criminal charges and convictions in the UK, including paedophilia, rape, murder, violent crime, abuse, and terrorism. Users of the website had the ability to browse through The Rat Book's online crime database by clicking their location on an interactive map, allowing them to view crime and criminals specific to where they are from in the UK.
In July 2010, the Rat Book ceased to exist after its owner, Johnny Morrissey, was publicly revealed by angry victims of miscarriages of justice whose details appeared on the site. The Rat Book was also criticised for naming people before being convicted, and for retaining details of people who had been found not guilty of the offences they were accused of.
Drug-related crimes were conspicuous in their absence on the site. It was later claimed by members of the site's forum that the reason for this was because Morrissey was a drug-dealer himself, and that he would accept payments from anyone named on the site in order to have their name removed.
NGOs and governments
"Name and Shame" is also used with NGOs and governmental bodies.
The European Union is discussing a report, drafted by Greek Green MEP Michail Tremopoulos, and "backed by a huge majority of MEPs in a Strasbourg plenary...recommending that the European Commission improve the transparency of EU funding, including publishing online the names of people who abuse or defraud regional and cohesion funds."
According to Gerald Steinberg, professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and president of NGO Monitor, and Jason Edelstein, communications director of NGO Monitor, there are NGOs "which proclaim to support universal human rights but both neglect the human rights of some and are activtely working towards the deligitimization of others."
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