I love the way Retro Report is committed to a perspective that's wider than the last five minutes, and the current report is a provocative one.

It argues that social media's "outrage machine" is hardly a novel idea, and in fact is just a technologically advanced version of something that was invented in the 1980s and 1990s: "Trash TV."

Perhaps the best example of Trash TV is The Jerry Springer Show, which staged a daily morality play for audiences that loved to shame the social villain du jour.

Which... sounds a lot like one of the primary activities on Twitter and Facebook these days!

There's obviously a lot of evidence that the shame game on social media is sometimes put to better ends than the shame game of Jerry Springer. But there's also a lot of examples of online shaming going way awry and ruining lives based on flimsy evidence. Through it all, this report suggests, runs a human impulse that Jerry Springer learned how to monetize decades ago.