Terrorism is a tactic that relies on a small number of antagonists, performing a localised atrocity, but streaming their message to a mass audience. More and more, the media incorporates web-videos taken by citizen witnesses into their news reporting of these terrorist events, and millions of viewers watch the spectacles of horror. Are we unintentionally playing into the hands of terrorists by providing them with platforms for their vile PR? How can the media, and citizen journalists, change their reporting tactics to disrupt the modis operandi of terrorist operatives?
Smart idea. The rhetoric that we don't allow terror to change our lives seems problematic, and yet it's what I continue to hear after every attack and event. And yet tragedy porn seems to be a part of human nature. There was a "Black Mirror" episode related about the British PM, suggesting (I found) that humanity is too interested in sensationalism and tragedy and the perverse and simple. That terrorist groups use social media is unsurprising; school bullies and human rights groups and fast food franchises do. That news programs in a competitive market fill their time with terror and fear is also unsurprising. The question seems much more about, say, click bait and human nature. Or, the much more purposeful question might be how we can use social media not to bolster and distribute vitriol, garbage, and hatred, but to foster empathy, compassion, and understanding. – Paul A. Crutcher4 years ago
Thanks for your thoughtful comment Paul - and for reminding me of that great Black Mirror episode.There's no simple solution, and probably no way of coordinating one since people generally view their own use of social media as empwering. We presently seem locked in repetitive loop of response, as you say. – SFG4 years ago