NPR's On The Media

On The Media: Making Ethical Decisions with Social Media

By Francesca Savella

Even with the various topics discussed in “On The Media” this Saturday ranging from Republican candidates or the violence in video games- the title of this weeks pod-cast, regarding the violence in Syria and the use of Social Media in involving the world was a piece that caught my attention and made me think to my of ethical behavior. 

The example being discussed on “On the Media” was regarding a very gory video of a young Syrian boy (a video which I watched, and urge you to as well) whose jaw was blown to shreds; an innocent bystander caught in the woes of war. The boys shock, despair, and pain was caught on video and shared on Twitter for the world to “retweet”, “like” or “quote”. Ethically we must ask ourselves… was this the right decision to make? Was this young boy, and the situation he did not ask to be apart of exploit the pain he induced? I though what I would have done if I was a journalist. 

I believe that social media, is the “new” media. It is how we read the news, communicate with others, express ourselves. An engine like Twitter is a chance to sensitize people to the reality of the harsh brutality of the Syrian war. This young boy is more than a bystander, he is a symbol. A symbol for the cruelty of the Syrian government; a call to arms begging the world to help. As was discussed during “On the Media” when one journalist who was “PRO” sending the video did stream it via his twitter, volunteers from Lebanon had made arrangements to smuggle and transport this boy out of the country, over night, planning a rescue mission to save his life. If it wasn’t for the Lebanese volunteers who followed this journalists Twitter and watched that video who knows if they’d ever known it even happened. 

I think that social media sites are still at their dawn and are realizing the power that they hold. As was discussed in last Saturday’s NPR “On The Media” episode regarding “FACEBOOKISTAN” social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr and so on, we as a world have the access to post every thought, feeling, question, revision, rebuttal, or revolt. We have the power to share so that it reaches far past the people and life we know. Personally, I believe that social media is an ingenious way of educating others the truths of what the world really is like, and that it is our duty to aid others. 

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