Does Social Media Glorify Violence?
On Wednesday, May 25th, Mayor Eric Adams criticized social media platforms for allowing the display of violence in a manner that negatively influences young people. Adams emphasized the point that social media plays a role in the displaying of violence that glorifies it. Adams showed a video of numerous young people waving guns in the air and saying how they would like to “catch a body”, which means killing someone. The video, which was posted on Instagram by an activist, had been viewed 275,000 times.
“We’re not blaming our children. Our children did not create this world. We did,” said Adams. “Social media knows this is going on and they’re allowing it to happen,” he added. “This is a perfect storm for violence.” Then Adams took out his phone. “I got my phone because I hope all of you will look at this video on Instagram,” Adams told reporters. “It really makes it concrete of what we are saying about the culture of violence that has become pervasive in our city, in the country.” Adams then showed the video previously mentioned.
“We’re trying to get the exact location of where it was filmed. It was on Instagram and the danger of Instagram is that it can influence outside of one location,” he said. “It’s unbelievable how social media is being used to indoctrinate hate in our children.”
The United States has recently been afflicted with violent incidents that have a direct connection with social media. This month, two mass shootings grabbed the attention of the nation. Payton Gendron carried out a shooting in a Tops Grocery Store in Buffalo. While he carried out the shooting, he was wearing a helmet equipped with a camera that was broadcasting the shooting to a Twitch live stream that was watched live by 22 people.
Millions of people across the world managed to see the footage. Gendron achieved his aim of sharing such a despicable act. Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old who attacked an elementary school in Uvalde posted pictures of the weapons he used on Instagram and tagged a user he allegedly did not know.
According to reports, Ramos made a series of three posts laying out his intentions to shoot his grandmother and attack the school on Facebook. This is just another example of how social media platforms have become infamous for allowing the showing of violence ranging from fights to murders.
More Insights on Social Media inciting Violence…
“Continual exposure to violence like this can have adverse effects on youth. Meta-analyses of the unhealthy effects of media violence have shown that youth who view media violence on a regular basis are more likely to exhibit antisocial behavior, ranging from imitative violent behavior with toys to criminal violence, acceptance of violent behavior, increased feelings of hostility, and desensitization toward violent behavior.
This information is not applicable to all youth who view it, but imagine a young impressionable pre-teen that may think this behavior (hostile fights) is acceptable. Youth who oftentimes are continually exposed to violence in the media result to violence to solve their problems.
This can partially be attributed to what they see and who they’re around, because youth learn their social skills from their surroundings,” wrote Brittany Bostic in an article titled Does Social Media Perpetuate Youth Violence?
Social media has changed the manner in which people spread information and keep themselves entertained. It is a useful tool capable of so much good but on the same hand, it can be used for negative and harmful purposes. Social media companies have a responsibility to prevent the bad and harmful on social media.