North Texas Daily

The part social media plays in silencing victims

The part social media plays in silencing victims

The part social media plays in silencing victims
April 20
11:30 2021

Earlier this month, rappers Saweetie and her boyfriend Quavo, were seen in an elevator video of Quavo dragging Saweetie through the elevator and out of it. Based on the video, this was definitely a display of domestic violence and people are on social media making jokes about it. Since when did seeing a woman dragged into an elevator by her supposed boyfriend become funny?

For example, Instagram ‘comedian’ Lala Milan posted a video based around the altercation that was essentially making fun of it. While some would claim “being too sensitive,” I would argue that a lot of people aren’t sensitive enough. 

Finding serious situations amusing not only helps victims of abuse feel like they won’t be heard but it addresses the general problem with social media as a whole. People are allowed to post what they want without regard to the victim and consequences for their poor actions. If someone isn’t laughing about it, then they are ignoring it completely in hopes that it will go away and not affect them. 

This kind of “humor” isn’t uncommon. Instagram comedians think they are hilarious when they post tasteless videos making light of domestic violence and celebrity harrasment scandals. Apparently on Instagram there is a thin line between humor and being offensive but when is wrong just plain wrong? 

Over 59% of teenagers have been harassed online at some point and many of these teenagers blame social media for failing to address this issue, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center.

Social media platforms have struggled with their roles in ending cyberbullying. I would think it would be something as simple as blocking the account, deleting the comment and setting up preventative measures so that the bully cannot make another account. Apparently it is a much more complex process and one that involves revenue and quick, sometimes inefficient fixes. 

Facebook and Instagram earn their money by mostly ad revenue and account users. The more users they have, the more money they get. Where they could prevent bullies from making fake accounts by adding more measures in the sign-up process, they don’t because it would take away from their pockets. 

The fight for stopping cyberbullying has reached an all-time high over the past years because it has grown so much since the development of social media platforms. No one is safe from being silenced, celebrity or otherwise. The environment that has been created speaks for itself. 

Social media was something that we had to share our voices and vocalize our opinions, especially on topics that matter. While the goal of social media is supposed to be generally positive, it has turned into something convoluted and superficial. Bring back the times of MySpace and maybe we can have another chance to turn social media into something more productive. 

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Jordan Allen

Jordan Allen

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