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In order to provoke someone, there has to be a method of utilizing people senses. Pounding a closed fist into an open hand while starring into the person eyes is a nonverbal communication of “you’re getting your ass beat!” Or she or he may just say “you’re getting your ass beat!” in a loud frightening voice. Either way is a form of communication. But what if you want the same affect to a large-scale audience, does the person need to buy a blowhorn and stand on top of a building so everyone can see and hear? Welcome to the 21st Century where you can post something on a website, social media platform to get your message across.
Where a tweet, post, comment and reshares posts can reach thousands or even millions of people instantly. Thus, people and or organized groups use these platforms to instill fear intimidate and provoke violence. It may be personal agenda or simply just a higher calling.
One may think we are spreading informative information for a cause or event but end up causing chaos, confusing and violence.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement started after the death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman and other high media profiles of minorities being killed by police. It is told by its founders that the movement condones violence against the police but has not publicly mention not too as well. Vladimir Bejan said, “However, several police leaders have publicly expressed their opinion that BLM clearly does endorse such violence.
This narrative includes claims that the police are under attack and that there is a “war on cops.” (prime for death, 1/10/2018, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p1) Even though they can’t publicly say to go to war against cops due to being classified as domestic terrorist but for them go to different social media and demand change by any means necessary, it leaves open interpretation of what needs to be done. Now that we are using social medial to record or go live on confrontation between law enforcement and civilians sometimes the recording does not record everything and once again it is subject of interpretation from the viewers.
Law enforce has been seen reluctant to do their job accordingly due to the backlash they may receive because of this and some may put themselves in danger. Bejan mention, “One anecdotal example of this phenomenon was the stated refusal of a Chicago police officer to draw her weapon while being beaten because she feared the media coverage if she shot and killed her assailant, who was an African-American male” (as cited in Prime for Death) It seem ironic that the same tool (Social Media) to try to help prevent violence from the police is creating fear from the assailants thus creating more violence.
Jules Boykoff said, “According to Murray Edelman, “The concepts and categorizations that language constructs are therefore not instruments of expression but potent creators of what we accept as reality.” This is certainly the case with mass-media coverage of social movements.” (as cited in Framing Dissent) When BLM put something of social media it is not taken as expression of the situation but absolute reality without proper coverage of the entire story. Some of us take social posting taken by people or organization groups as if they are professional reporters and everything they post is gospel. Not all use the media to spread division or violence,
The Global Justice Movement is a big organization that brings many issues to the public and politicians. They organize and coordinate protest at Washington, DC. Boykoff says about The Global Justice Movement is, “a diverse collection of groups that focus on a wide range of social issues, from poverty, the environment, sexual politics, and corporate greed to human rights, the AIDS epidemic, labor rights, and the perils of capitalism. A striking range of groups work under the Global Justice Movement umbrella, from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Oxfam and Global Exchange to environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network, from issue activists like AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) to black-bloc anarchists.” (Framing Dissent, June 01, 2006) When they have a protest, the media does not cover the issues on hand but focus on the protestor, that did not show signs of violence, shows the potential of violence it may create. On one hand you have an BLM movement that stop short of promoting violence through social media and another group, Global Justice Movement that is being portray as violent through the media. As these two group movements tackle different issues, one common dilemma they face is violence being spread through all media platforms, as if we are being to believe violence is the norm.
When violence is covered by the media on the other side of the world, people use hashtags to spread awareness of violence. #IAmMalala is education activist, Malala Yousafzai was almost assassinated due to her active role to have women and children get formal education. In 2012 she was shot by the Taliban this prompted an uproar through out the world. Helen Berents said, “Within a fortnight of the attack, United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Global Education and former UK prime minister Gordon Brown launched a petition in her name using the motto “I Am Malala,” demanding that no children be left out of school by 2015.” (Hashtagging girlhood, Dec 01, 2016) The hashtag was use to spread awareness of violent crime on a young girl who only wanted education for women and children in her country of Pakistan.
Another event that happen in April of 2014, when 276 school girls were kidnap by the terrorist organization Boko Haram in Nigeria. Berents said, “The response from the Nigerian government was slow. Parents and others used social media, in particular Twitter, to demand action. Within a week of the kidnapping, the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls was being widely used within Nigeria in relation to the event, and by the end of April it began to trend globally, with almost two million tweets including the hashtag posted over a month.” (Hashtagging girlhood, Dec 01, 2016) when its own government does nothing to help its own people, the people use the social media to spread the atrocity that has been done to the school girls.
Both of these events show the violence that occur on the other side of world, the difference between them is one government took action rapidly and the other didn’t get involved till it got world attention. #IAmMalala and #BringBackOurGirls hashtags was use to spread awareness of violent crimes that has been done. It not an expression but to bring to light the violence.
It is natural to report a crime when you get robbed and later talk about your encounter with friends and family. Not so much when you get sexual assaulted, especially when the person is a celebrity or high-profile figure. There are lots of reasons why its hard to say something but social media has taken a role to help vent out and expose the violent crimes done to them without reporting it. Maybe it’s a way to reach out to other people and give them courage to speak out as well. A woman in Toronto concert venue put out pieces of paper titled shit list and or write on the bathroom walls and It was the names of people that have done sexual crimes to woman, this was a way to warn other females of these sexual predators. Even though the intentions are good but there may be flaw in this, what if a woman says she been sexual assaulted but was not true and only said it to get back at the person. Carly lewis said, “In fact, the online version of the bathroom wall is even more powerful: It can warn more women faster, but it can also change a person’s reputation permanently and without an accuser coming forward. (The writing on the virtual bathroom wall, Nov 02, 2015) Even though violent crimes like rape is something we need to warn people about but it seems we are taking laws in our own hands. Innocent till proven guilty goes out the window. Of course, if the law finds the defendants guilty of the crimes, the spread of the names in social media would be consider powerful tool to stop violent sexual crimes but what if they found the person innocent? Should the accuser making false accusations get the same punishment as defendant if they were found guilty? That’s if the accuser ever come out though.
Social Media is a great tool when used correctly but now instead of being social, it became a way to separate our self from others from what is different to each other, I am Republican, Democrat, Liberal, gay, straight and if I eat my peanut butter sandwich with or without the bread crust. It seems we spread more animosity through social media that create violence between groups and people. We take the information we read as the absolute truth about anything, depends who we follow and its part of our social group. Jules Boykoff said, “According to Murray Edelman, “The concepts and categorizations that language constructs are therefore not instruments of expression but potent creators of what we accept as reality.” (as cited in Framing Dissent) Maybe there should be a class in middle school, how to be social in social media.
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