Facebook – The 21st Century Pillory For Public Shaming?

One California beach town is fed up with the number of repeat offenders being caught driving while under the influence of alcohol. A town council member has proposed a directive that would – if passed – allow the city to place mugshots of these criminals on the city’s public Facebook page. Drunk driving is a problematic issue in Huntington Beach. According to the Associated Press, 1,687 people were arrested in 2009 for drunk driving within the city’s limits.

City residents have been complaining about the recent decision to stop posting police arrest information in the local newspaper. Councilman Devin Dwyer says that in his view, “posting this information is a reasonable step to take to enhance the safety of Huntington Beach residents and visitors.” He feels that the “public shaming” on Facebook will serve as a deterrent, forcing people to hopefully think twice before getting behind the wheel after imbibing.

The police department isn’t keen to back the proposal. They feel it could breed distrust and resentment among residents. A spokesperson for the department said the idea has “no value,” arguing “law enforcement is not about public shaming.” Many people disagree, though, as evidence by the sheer amount of local support this issue is raising.

What are your thoughts? Would you be in favor of placing the mug shots of people like this right on Facebook for all to see? Do you feel it would help cut down on the number of DUIs handed out?