NEWS OUTLETS SHOULD TURN OFF COMMENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS INVOLVING DEATH

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Community Charleston, SC NEWS OUTLETS SHOULD TURN OFF COMMENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS INVOLVING DEATH

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    #6569
    Indigxld
    Participant
    Rank: Flurry
    Points: 25827.5

    FOR ANY AND ALL LOCAL NEWS PUBLICATIONS, INCLUDED BUT NOT LIMITED TO: Charleston City Paper, Post and Courier, Charleston Currents, Charleston Gazette, Fox 24, Live 5 News, Charleston Daily

    It is my strong opinion that local newspapers and news outlets that actively use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms should turn off the comments of stories related to local homicide, law enforcement involved death, suicide, and controversial death in general. As a songwriter, artist, and journalist I am extremely pro-free speech, but with that power are the responsibilities to use free speech to build and inform society.

    On the contrary, free speech is also used for the exact opposite of the above stated concepts-this is most prevalent in the advent of free speech and public opinion in the form of comments on social media. Twitter fighting and comment wars encourage division, be it racial, political, cultural, etc and neglect the sensitivity of the subject matter and the families involved. In no way am I proposing news outlets to edit or change their coverage-but as harbingers of information, it should be a civic duty to protect the sensitivity, privacy, and sanctity of tragic death of any capacity, especially on social media. Public opinion is a wild card and that shouldn’t be played out in the comment section of a situation controversial death, where the story it’s self is unclear.

    Recently, I very influential musician passed away in an alternative way and several news outlets posted the story. I didn’t even know the deceased all that well, but most of the people in the comment section didn’t know him at all. The commentary and back n forths were disgusting, misinformed, and even racist at times. That has no place in a situation where someone’s child had their life taken due to unclear circumstances. Allowing this feeds the zeitgeist of division, racism, ignorance, and uninformed people dropping unsolicited commentary based off of a portion of a caption under a tragic story. ESPECIALLY in places where news organizations are more ‘right winged’ like South Carolina. The potential for any controversial social media situation to turn into a racial, political, cultural, comment war is extremely high. No matter what the device and belief you may have for the function of propaganda, you know in your heart this is true.

    All in all, death should not be used as a device for public opinion, specifically on social media. In situations of death, especially deaths involving law enforcement, there needs to be a level of moral responsibility taken by moderators of news outlet social media pages when the situation is sensitive and the comments get out of hand. Comments shouldn’t be allowed on social media posts about local homicide, racially charged death, and subject matter that involves controversy around the death of any person. It blurs the line behind gaining knowledge of public opinion and allowing condolences and exposing the tasteless indulgence in racial, political, and moral divisiveness amongst ill informed people in the social media world.

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