Watch Out for Snow-Shaming Trend

January 29, 2016

Many cities across the U.S. are facing massive snow piles – the remnants of Snowstorm Jonas last week. Some who appear to be shirking their snow-clearing duties are being called out publicly, including at least one real estate brokerage.

Local businesses are being targeted on social media, and may receive nasty notes or be featured on shaming signs around town. In the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., Joanna Oltman Smith says she posts signs on the doors of businesses that have not shoveled their sidewalks.

“Ideally, everyone in the community will show basic respect and concern for neighbors by making sure corners and sidewalks are safe to use,” Oltman Smith told DNAInfo New York.

Recently, Oltman Smith called out a real estate brokerage for not shoveling, posting a sign on the brokerage’s door noting its “hideous, dangerous, illegal uncleared corner.” The brokerage fired back that shoveling a crosswalk that was a couple of doors down from the office was not its responsibility. Still, the brokerage said it had hired a crew to clear the sidewalks that then also removed the snow from the crosswalk.

Snow-shaming seems to be mostly centered at businesses, but complaints are mounting over neighborhood blocks that have gone unplowed. For example, the Baltimore Sun noted in a recent headline: “Plowing politics can be as treacherous as the snow in Maryland.”

Source: “Park Slope Shames Slow Snow Shovelers on Social Media,” DNAinfo New York (Jan. 25, 2016); “The Hot New Neighborhood Trend: Snow-Shaming,”® (Jan. 28, 2016)