Welcome to Views on Violence, where we explore views on the influence of digital technology on violence. In this blog post I will be having an in depth discussion into the impact of Social Media on violence.

Quick insight into social media

Nowadays, it is very easy for content to get shared to a large range of people. All of these platforms are free of charge for users making it more likely for people to join. There are many popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.

Facebook – 2.23 billion MAUs. 

This statistic shows how many people use Facebook in a month.

This presents the large-scale audiences of Facebook. This also highlights how powerful Facebook can be due to the high number of users. Social media has a significant impact towards the way violence and the ideas surrounding it is shared between society.

Negatives of social media

Due to there being so much content online, it is hard to filter what you see. You can’t control what you see on social media. This is because users are able to post and share whatever they have access to online. Therefore, users have access to see what fellow users like or see due to them posting it onto their own profiles.

The digital impact can negatively affect the spread of violence. Violent videos can be very sensitive and can pop up onto users feed without their consent.  This is a bad trait of social media as it is extremely easy for messages and ideas to be spread to a broad number of people with the click of one button. This means it is easy for hateful and violent messages to be shared.

If you are seeing a lot of those videos, they may consciously or subconsciously influence your mind. Especially impressionable minds, such as younger audiences. People may think that violent videos, such as fighting, are acceptable. This is due the fact that these videos are being shared on social media.  If you are younger and constantly seeing violent videos and clips, you may start to believe that violence is widely accepted. Therefore, they could start to mimic these actions and follow the mindset of people in the videos. The majority of people may just focus on the attention of posts rather than the morality within them. A post could be very offensive, but if it has been shared multiple times it can get attention just because it is popular.

Positives of social media

However, one positive of the digital impact of social media is that it can easily spread awareness of wrong doings in the World. For example, below there is a recent video of a young boy bulling a child in a school playground by kicking him to the ground and drenching him with water. (Viewers discretion is advised)

Public outrage made this video go viral. It allowed users to comment and share with their friends and family to give their view on the video too. It also gave a chance for the police to see the video leading to them taking action. This lead to the young offender  suffer consequences for his actions.

This contradicts the idea of social media being completely negative as it aided in serving justice for the young boy who was attacked. Social media is used as a marking tool. It is one of the most efficient methods of technology to reach a wide range of people. People are able to comment on a posts shared by organisations, influencers or general users, to give different opinions on a subject.

Conclusion

Although social media may not always present the truth. It’s said people always display what they want you to see, rather than reality. This is because you have the missing convention of constant facial contact when someone is uploading something, so you could misunderstand someone’s tone. Furthermore, violent videos or posts may not reflect the truth and can be glorified to be presented a certain way. For example, someone could show a video of someone injuring someone when in fact they could have been defending themselves. If a video does not show the whole event people could gather misleading ideas.

To conclude social media is a significant way to share messages and ideas. Violence can be seen as a topic which can be difficult to deal with. There are almost no restrictions to what gets posted online. Organisations such as twitter do try and take down offensive posts. however, by the time they do so it has already been exposed to a number of users. However social media can also be a way to promote negative ideas about violence.