Biased Media Feeding Biased People

In the history of the United States, there has never been a female president. During last election, we were able to see a glimpse into what that would be like with Clinton. Even during this election, we are seeing how gender plays into the process. For example, when talking about Elizabeth Warren, media sources are often stuck on how “likable” she will be in office. She also has to defend her policies, unlike other politicians who are getting by without sharing their plans. 

The example of elections and gender demonstrates a symptom of the media influencing what is deemed correct and not. The media will comment on people’s outfits, what they are doing, their life decisions, etc. Depending on where you look, whatever people are commenting on is spun into a certain way. The media will say what is good and what is bad, what is ugly and what is pretty, what is acceptable and what is not. Whoever follows this media, with enough exposure, might fall victim to being influenced by these sources. This then gets spread online through social media sites. 

Social media was made to bring people together, but all it has done is breed hate and loneliness. Many people will attack others that they believe are different from them and social media allows this to happen with almost no repercussions. This has become the easiest way for people to anonymously share their hatred and contempt for those who do not necessarily fit the “norm”. The norm changes constantly because influencers, entertainers, and famous people say it should and people follow. These “in groups” in social media can aid in creating or aiding people’s biases towards people who are different from them. The biases of one aiding the biases of another can create more damage; it is like trying to put a fire out with another fire instead of using something different enough to challenge the fire and eventually putting it out. 

Essentially social media dictates the “rules” of how people are supposed to act online. These rules are not encouraging kind behavior or discouraging discriminatory acts. Instead, these are unspoken rules of how you are supposed to act based on who you are. For example, women are supposed to post sexy photos in order to be considered pretty, but not too much or they become a slut. There are other examples of this, but women have more unspoken rules to choose from.

Noble, Safiya Umoja, and Brendesha M. Tynes, editors. The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online. New edition, Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers, 2016.

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