Answers two Questions from the list
Q.1 Has social media already shaped these news items or their tone?
Q.2 Does the social media forum below the news items generate useful political debate?
The three articles that I have chosen for our discussion on the role of social media are all articles that narrate different kinds of violent crimes. All the three crimes took place in different parts of the world.
The first one is about a man whose body was found on a beach in Spain; most likely tortured for a long time before he was brutally murdered. The second one is about a woman who was assaulted by three men because of her sexual orientation. And the last one is about a conviction of four men who had gang-raped a photojournalist in Mumbai about a year ago.
The first fact that I would like to point out to you is that as soon as you read the headline of each of these reports you would have most likely formed a snap judgment about either the victim or the assailant depending on your opinion. The point is not whether you fall in the majority of what is accepted, rather that you do have a quick opinion without knowing the content of the article that you are about to read. For example: when I read the first article the headline told me that the murdered man was indeed on the run for murder himself and that itself made me complacent towards his torture and death. In the other two, I was horrified for the women who were assaulted and without going through the facts was hoping that the assailants would be punished.
Q.3 To the audience: “What were your first reactions to the headlines?”
Q.4 Would you say that the tone of the articles demanded that one would feel some outrage? Or as in the case of the first one - a sense of complacent indignation for the victim?
Now going over the social media forum comments on each of these articles, please note that the first article has not generated as much debate as the other two. This could be for a couple of reasons – one of which is that the comments have been moderated. The other reason could be that it is not exactly clear how gruesome the crime committed by the victim itself was. Since his own murder was so clearly ghastly and dreadful, his own deed was not worth being elaborated upon.
Going to the second article about the lesbian who was attacked; the article clearly talks about the need for a law that would not provide shelter to people based on their "race, color, religion, gender, or national origin" not just in some states but throughout the country. However, in the forum, please note that there is a serious on-going debate on various issues about how to define a hate-crime to what laws should be put in place to whether gay-sex is natural or not.
“[JDC • a day ago
While I support protecting gay rights, an assault is an assault. And in most cases is based on some sort of bias or hatred. Old white ladies getting beaten and mugged by young black men because they see her as an easy target, or the fact that black people view whites as soft fuels the violence we see from blacks on whites on a regular basis, yet those aren't hate crimes. Whatever the sentencing guideline is for hate crimes should be the guideline for all assaults. Picking and choosing which groups get more protection than others is a blatant attempt to even the playing field, but is rooted in an uneducated sense of entitlement. Everyone has bigotry in them to some extent. That bigotry fuels the assaults on all sorts of people, not just gays or minorities. If the laws were fair for everyone I wouldn't have a problem with it, but they aren't.
td JDC • a day ago
The difference is one set of people are being attacked for gain. The other set is being attacked for existing. There are special provisions for crimes committed during a robbery. There should be special provisions for people who are attacked because off hate.
pro td • 12 hours ago
No terrorism laws are more than enough to cover "hate" crimes, everything else is covered by existing laws.
Revelation 2:9 JDC • 17 hours ago
Blacks never get charged with a hate crime when they do the knockout game.
BliggityBlack Revelation 2:9 • 11 hours ago
Because the "knock-out" game was a farce. If you do your own research, you will see the same 3 video clips being used over and over again (one of which didn't even happen in America) It was not a growing trend, it was a way to play on white fear to get a law on the books so that we can continue to fill these for-profit prisonbut you already knew that.
Revelation 2:9 BliggityBlack • 11 hours ago
You and I must be looking at totally different research materials. And if you are black I just want to say we whites don't owe you a damned thing.
BliggityBlack Revelation 2:9 • 10 hours ago
Q5. What are you talking about, white supremacist? Are you feeling guilty? Did you see my palms out?
Revelation 2:9 BliggityBlack • 6 hours ago
I am also sick of all this white guilt that is being shoved down our throats by the Jewish media. The bad thing about it is that the white people fall for it.
Revelation 2:9 BliggityBlack • 6 hours ago
Actually I am not feeling guilty. I know who really brought the slaves to Americaand it wasn't us whites!
iliill • a day ago
Animals that are observed in the wild attempting a same sex relationship are often noted as having experienced a violent reaction from the other member of the same sex. Furthermore, these confused animals more times than not abandon their feeble attempts to court a member of the same sex and return to normal sexual relation with members of the opposite sex.So if animals are smart enough to figure this out in their social settings,
Q.6 Why is this thin slice of homosexuals that claim to be smarter than the average conservative unable to get it right ?
Nope001 iliill • a day ago
False. Homosexual behavior has been widely observed in the animal kingdom. Is your google broken?
CPT America iliill • a day ago
Because they are sick.]”
The discussion on the third article about a woman gang-raped has hardly any discussion about what the conviction should be or the state of the victim. It is rather more about people’s opinion on the Islamic world and its culture. There also seems to be a little confusion about where the crime took place – India or Pakistan. Since three of the rapists were Muslim, that is what the discussion is mostly about.
The fact that most of the discussions go out of hand and become more of a competition is worth taking into account. While some may argue that certain comments do indeed add a different perception to the debate and may somewhere in the horizon help someone to come to light – it cannot be ignored that these forums do reflect the need to instigate and propagate long-held supposedly “right” thoughts. The anonymity that the social media provides - is just the right arsenal needed for personal attacks and stating your outlook without any fear.
Q.7 To the audience: How many of you feel the need to defend your belief or attitude as you read comments on a particular news? How does it make you feel?
I must admit that, at times, I wish I could shake the other person and brain-wash them into believing what I think is right!
These forums, though at times may instigate a healthy debate however since the reach of the social media is so widespread that anyone around the world can present their estimation, tends to sideline the healthy bit into a corner.
Q.8 To the audience: How many of you feel that these discussions – apart from bringing to your attention that there are several billion people out there with a judgment – actually help in giving way to progress or is in some way real?
Q.9 Can you think of some ways that it does so?
Q.10 If not – what do you think interacting on social media forums leads to? Is it helpful in any way at all?
R Campbell, C. M. (2011). Media & Culture. Bedford, St Martins: ISBN: 0312644655.
DONNELLEY, P. 2014. Body of Liverpool villain found on Alicante beach having been tortured. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2597584/Body-Liverpool-villain-kidnapped-fake-police-washed-Alicante-beach-having-tortured.html [Accessed: 7 Apr 2014].
Lorenzo Ferrigno, C. 2014. Attack after same-sex marriage shines light on Michigan hate crime law. [online] Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/05/us/michigan-hate-crime-attack/index.html?hpt=hp_t4 [Accessed: 7 Apr 2014].
Staff, C. 2014. Four men convicted over gang rape of photojournalist in Mumbai. [online] Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/20/world/asia/india-mumbai-gang-rape-convictions/index.html [Accessed: 7 Apr 2014].