Social media is a necessary evil. Or at least it has come to that. In the Steubenville rape case where the high school boys that were found guilty, social media played a HUGE part.
If you don’t know, these kids called themselves “Rape Crew,” and the group’s members were two of the ones in question, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, along with a couple of other young men. They put a picture on Instagram that was seen and re-distributed a countless number of times, not to mention a YouTube video which solidified what was done to an unconscious girl they describe as dead has been seen over half a million times.
We live in a world now where oversharing has become the norm, and not many people — maybe just young people — sees the dangers involved.
A lot of times I will see a tweet that something is “just Twitter” or that Facebook is evil. But people seem to forget that there are actual human beings on the other side of the computer/smartphone/tablet/TV whatever means you choose to tell your business. Social media is just the platform for you to say what you want. It’s your megaphone. But no one forced you to bring the megaphone to your mouth and shout.
Clearly, social media can work for you or against it. But it’s all in how you choose it to. In the case, social media was in the forefront as text messages were read. According to Time.com, one of the victim’s attackers wrote,
“I’m pissed all I got was a hand job, though. I should have raped since everyone thinks I did.” And messages to the victim, including one in which one of the attackers tried to persuade her that “nothing happened.”
Now because these children (Mays is 17, and Richmond is 16) chose to broadcast what they did on the Internet for the world to see have been sentenced to a year in a juvenile jail, and Mays was sentenced to an extra year in jail for “illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material”, according to NewsOne.
With sites like WorldStar HipHop and the like all over, it seems hard to censor ourselves, but when it comes to someone’s life, when will people learn that not only what they are doing is beyond questionable (and in this case illegal), but insensitive and detrimental to our society?
Simple rule: If you wouldn’t say it in front of your mama or grandmama, and if it’s something that can land you in jail, I think it would be wise to just leave it alone…
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