Unsigned: Crime, social media and the desire to witness violence


The progression and evolution of social media has ensured that witnessing crimes, even while they’re in the process of taking place, can be readily accessible to any person, at anytime.

There is no limitations on who can utilize these platforms for their own needs, even if it involves showcasing a murder or the admittance of terrible crimes that were committed before any consequences were considered.

Assault and physical violence are viewed humorously on websites like WorldStarHipHop and LiveLeak – sites that exploit violent behaviour for views, likes, shares and laughs – regardless of the ethical implications attached to them.

Due to the content that is constantly available online, it becomes difficult to believe what is real and what is not, especially in regards to actual harm being inflicted on another person.

The line between internet jokes and reportable occurrences of law-breaking has become blurred. Rather than intervening in these questionable situations, people have taken to filming them and passively watching as alternatives.

A proclivity towards violence is inevitable for some, whether it’s being a bystander and witnessing it online, or finding a release for that aggression through the consumption of violent content.

Although social media has created an opportunity to indirectly engage countless numbers of strangers in illegal activities, it has also provided the ability to highlight violence that was once unseen. It focalizes issues that people may have had no previous knowledge about — like police brutality.

Social media platforms may have the ability to alter our judgments about some elements within our inherently violent society. But they also provide us with the means to release some of that aggression and a place to discuss it in ways that are more positive and constructive.

These unsigned editorials are based off informal discussions and then agreed upon by the majority of The Cord’s editorial board, including the Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor. The arguments made may reference any facts that have been made available through interviews, documents or other sources. The views presented do not necessarily reflect those of The Cord’s volunteers, staff or WLUSP.

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