AMES, Iowa — It used to be a simpler more civil time. “Iowa used to be the pillar of community standards when we had face to face interaction with our neighbors.”
As society has become enthralled in social media, Michael Bugeja, professor at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University, says civility and hate are getting worse.
“As we gravitate more online we have to understand it gives us the convenience of sharing our views with little consequence,” he said.
Robert Bowers, the alleged shooter in the deadly Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, relayed his hate speech against Jews on a social media networking site called Gab just moments before the attack. Bugeja said, “Sometimes many people get overlooked and where they get accepted is on those fringes.”
Bugeja who has authored Interpersonal Divide in the Age of the Machine believes Bowers and others who support his views are a population on the fringe of society that have found acceptance through these beliefs on public forums like social media.
“Many on the fringe suffer from severe anger. When they hear uncivil speech and media or what sounds like incitement to do an act, those people on the fringe will believe their time has come. That they’ve been right all along.”
For the rest of the article, visit WHO-TV at this URL: https://whotv.com/2018/10/29/social-media-fueling-fire-for-hate-groups-to-act/