Is social media changing the narrative? Through social media, we are able to witness everything from some of the greatest achievements in a person life, to what they are eating, to a horrible act of violence being committed. Like everything in life, there are good things that come and there are bad things that come. I will admit social media is used to display some of the most heinous crimes such as rape, torture, and murder. For these reasons, there is a fraction of the public calling for the end of live streaming through social media outlets. I fully understand why the victims and the family of the victims do not want these acts broadcast around the world. But social media gives us the news unfiltered and by providing information unfiltered this is changing the narrative.
For years the only way for us to receive news was through our local newspaper or news television network. These mediums controlled the narrative, they decided what news was worthy, how we would receive the news and when we would receive the news. Basically, we may not receive valuable information if someone else decided it was not valuable.
I understand all the arguments for limiting or controlling the information being disseminated. Safia Samee Ali of NBC News wrote an article about this topic, in the article the writer discusses who may be responsible for stopping live-streaming or is someone responsible. John C. Dvorak wrote an article for PC Magazine where he suggests that live-streaming should end immediately. I have an opposite position than John Dvorak I believe social media and live streaming has worked to black people’s advantage.
My opinion is that live-streaming and social media has benefited the black community in one specific way, it has allowed the world to see many of the things that are happening to our community. The world has been able to see the murders of Eric Garner, Philando Castiel, Walter Scott, and Terence Crutcher just to name a few. I know we have not received justice in the court of law for these murders but the country can no longer hide these tragedies from the rest of the world. Just imagine if these incidents were not caught on video, most people would not about these things, black people included. Viewing these tragedies have caused an awaking in the black community. People are starting to realize that Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Black Panther Party and others work has not been completed. The news media would not have reported these occurrences, they had no choice because the video was circulating around social media. I reside in New York without social media I probably would have never known about Philando Castiel’s murder. In witnessing these incidents I am now able to give my sons visuals of things that I have always warned them about, they understand now how to proceed with caution when interacting with the police. Social media has helped some people get their charges dismissed because their arrest was caught on video and released on social media. The police lies were exposed forcing the courts to remove charges. If the video is live-streamed the police cannot erase the video before the world has a chance to see it.
My fear is the government will find a way to get rid of the live-streaming and/or make these videos inadmissible. I have two reasons for this fear, one the videos are allowing people to win their case and even when the police are acquitted of these murders the families are still able to win lawsuits against the police department or municipal governing body. The second reason is the United States likes have the reputation of being the moral leader of the world. These videos are showing the rest of the world that the United States is allowing their citizens to be killed without