I have had a good bit of discussion lately with people regarding the level of hate that the current world is operating on, and have come up with an idea that may be behind it. Are we as a species meant to have such access to instant unfiltered social media and news? Can our brains handle the never ending onslaught of negativity and spin. This is a serious question. Has technology gone so far that it’s too much for us now?
The catholic School students episode a few weeks back showed this as a real issue. Someone posted a picture to twitter with a caption shown in this screen cap from cnn.
Yes you read that correctly ,someone uploads a 1 minute video with a misleading headline and 5.8 million people viewed it. Below is how the news media who are supposed to actually investigate these claims reacted
“According to the mainstream media, the boys surrounded and terrorized Native American activist Nathan Phillips. A video clip showed what the media described as a teenage boy wearing a MAGA hat blocking Phillips and staring him down.
“It was getting ugly, and I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln Memorial,” Phillips told Washington Post. “I started going that way, and that guy in the hat stood in my way and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn’t allow me to retreat.”
Phillips told the Detroit Free Press that he had seen the white Catholic students “attacking these four black individuals.”
“There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey,” he told the newspaper. “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”
It was all untrue, of course – but that did not stop the mainstream media from going nuclear.
“Boys in ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats Mob Native Elder at Indigenous Peoples March,” read The New York Times story.
“The Catholic Church’s Shameful History of Native American Abuses,” the Washington Post declared.
Even conservative outlets like the National Review turned on the Catholic boys. – without bothering to check their facts.
“The Covington Students Might as Well Have Just Spit on the Cross,” read a screed written by National Review Deputy Editor Nicholas Frankovich.
“They mock a serious, frail-looking older man and gloat in their momentary role as Roman soldiers to his Christ,” he wrote.
Seriously? The National Review compared this activist to Jesus Christ? Sweet mercy.
As a result of the media coverage, the students and their families have been terrorized and publicly shamed. Some students were identified and targeted by leftist activists.
And now, thanks to irrefutable video evidence, we know that the entire story was a hoax – a flat-out lie”
How can anyone take the media seriously anymore? And as a news site myself that includes me. It is the rush to be first that makes us put up one sided stories with little research to the actual validity of any claims. This is for one reason, the instant access of the world instantly in our pockets via cell phones . We want outrage, anger, grief, whatever emotion drives people to our spin on events. In the past before the instant world at our fingerprints, newspapers took time to truly investigate stories and keep personal opinions out of the discussion. Modern technology has erased this so that you run with what you have and damn the consequences on the party your referencing.
When blogs started which I came from, we were looked down on by regular news agencies because of the very things they have now started. Putting up one sided stories with little research. The thing is the blogs are what killed so many newspapers. We offered instant unfiltered news 24/7, and more and more people decided quantity was better than quality. Main stream media outlets saw this trend and decided to become blogs themselves.
The unfiltered information that fills our days on our social media sites, online news sites, blogs etc I honestly believe is too much for us to deal with and has created this toxic environment we find ourselves in. A story that turned out to be false, had people wanting to put these kids home addresses online for the world so they could harass or physically assault them. We must do our part to pull the reigns in a bit, if we do not and a serious tragedy occurs because of a lie or misrepresentation blood will be on our hands .