Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Sharon Press, J.D.


Organizational Leadership, Dispute Resolution


Online public denunciations, colloquially referred to as call-outs, have become a prevalent way to expose perceived moral and social wrongdoing in our society. Posting a denunciation online welcomes debate on the in situ incident, the participants, preferred outcomes, and the morality of exposure - creating additional issues and embroiling the poster. Research on this phenomenon has focused on public figures, celebrities, or otherwise viral incidents, and despite the prevalence of social media call-outs, little is known about the experiences of those who initiate them. This preliminary study uses a phenomenological lens to understand the desires, experience, and outcomes for those who post initial denunciations of community members online. Believing that call-outs happen because of some kind of in situ conflict, where disparate values, norms, ideas, experiences or perceptions about a situation shape the trajectory of the outcome, a conflict theory lens is used to examine this phenomenon. The experience of eight Minneapolis and St. Paul residents who posted initial denunciations that called-out community members is explored. Findings indicate the proximity to the in situ incident impacts the experience of the person who posted the call-out. Other salient findings include the participants’ needs not being met, surprise with the way the call-out played out, and that social media was not a platform that supported reconciliation or healing. The implication of this study is greater depth of understanding of online public denunciation as a tool for conflict intervention from the perspective of those who initiate call-outs.