How media affects human behavior through the ethical lense
Millions of people in just the US alone use media to either pass time, find information, or to simply catch up with society, but many articles and studies show that doing so impact one’s behavior. This has become an issue for many concerned citizens. Researchers have argued whether or not these actions have a negative effect on the general population.
Do you trust the media to give you accurate and reliable information? It is believed news sources “spin” real world events to create a bigger audience for themselves at the cost of changing our perception on real world problems. For example the source American Express has this to say: “One of the most fascinating conclusions in the report is that "active social networkers show a higher tolerance for activities that could be considered unethical" (Lauby). This shows that the media's process of creating articles has a negative effect in the eyes of viewers, tainting their judgment on what really happened. The ability to see right from wrong is something we are challenged to do everyday, when lines become blurred because of media, certain problems arise. Another source, Engaging News Project, a popular website, has this to say on the topic: “Question-based headlines lead to more negative attitudes about the headline and more negative expectations for the associated news story compared to traditional headlines.”(Muddiman, Scacco) Media uses a technique called clickbait, putting a flashy title to draw users, which is a technique that can affect behavior. Media sources that use click bait titles can breed negative attitudes similar to the one shown in the excerpt above.
The constant media “spin” has a major impact of what we believe to be socially acceptable to speak and/or post on social media. Evidence to support this is shown by iMediaEthics, a known source that reports on media ethics, states: “In November, a Canadian Sikh man, Veerender Jubbal, was falsely linked to the terror attacks in Paris when a selfie he took was Photoshopped to add a suicide vest and Koran. Spanish newspaper La Razon apologized after publishing the fake photo on its front page. As noted earlier in this list, The Sun stirred controversy with its November report saying a recent poll found 1 in 5 Muslims sympathizes with ISIS. Problem is, the poll didn’t say that.” (Smith) News coverage has been known to stir controversy. In this instance certain media providers bent the truth, creating a controversy and painting a group of people in a unethical light by saying they support a terrorist organization known as ISIS. As seen in the article Engaging News Project, this is considered a form of clickbait. Unethically lying about one's beliefs for increased readers has certainly had a negative effect. Many citizens, and recently our president, discriminated against Muslims due to false information. iMediaEthics also states this: “The year started with numerous news...