THE WORLD OF MEDIA The Many Faces of Social Media THE GOOD CAUSE
THE BAD Cause
Review of the award-winning documentar y, Ta l h o t b l o n d .
December 2012, Issue 1
Sources: Angeles, Associated Press in Los. “Man behind Innocence of Muslims Held after Violating Probation.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 27 Sept. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/ world/2012/sep/28/innocence-of-muslims-man-arrested>. Fitzpatrick, Alex. “The Strange Details of the YouTube Clip Sparking Mideast Protests.” Mashable The Social Media Guide. N.p., 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://mashable.com/2012/09/12/youtubelibya-protests/>. Sedky, Azza. “”Innocence of Muslims”; Who’s to Be Blamed?” We Speak News. N.p., 24 Sept. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://www.wespeaknews.com/opinion/innocence-of-muslims-whos-to-be-blamed-96791. html>. Citation added: Talhotblond. Dir. Barbara Schroeder Schroeder. Perf. Garret Dillahunt and Laura San Giacomo. 2009. DVD.
Contents 4 What is Social Media ? The I n nocence of Musl i m s , a short 7 film that caused controversy. KONY 201 2 , a movement that pl a ns to 9 capture war criminal Joseph Kony. TALHOTBLOND , a documentary de11 tailing the deadly consequences that come with Internet relationships. 12 Whatâ€™s next with Social Media ?
Does it really need to be introduced? Is it possible to know nothing about this? Nowadays with the availability of computers and the Internet dominating our lives, even if we have never heard of social media–which is literally impossible–we have been influenced by it to a certain extent. In this modern era, many technological inventions have accelerated the growth of social media and how we interact with each other. Anywhere you go people are on their cell phones whose original purpose to call people has been transferred to the use of social media. Devices such as the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and the many more cellular devices known as “smart phones,” have facilitated the use of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. These popular sites have millions of users who use these services to communicate with other people and to spread messages. There are now applications such as Instagram, designed uniquely for cell phones that are revolutionizing social media. Without a doubt humanity will continue to get influenced by the unpredictable social media that has no boundaries. 3
Outraged Egyptian protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, September 11 as a result of the short film The Innocence of Muslims which depicts the prophet Muhammad as a pedophile and religious fraud. (Credit: AP) 6
THE INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS: How films can negatively impact society
Just like social media can be used to set examples and spread positive messages, it can also be used for the complete opposite. Not so long ago in the month of September a short film titled, The Innocence of Muslims, created a big conflict in the Middle East. This was all a result of Islamâ€™s prophet Mohammad being portrayed as a religious fraud. Unfortunately many innocent individuals that had nothing to do with this short film died as a result of the violent protests that broke out. Including the victims was U.S. ambassador in Lybia, Cristopher Stevens, and 3 more Americans. This is the perfect example of how not to use media. Focusing on the negative side of things would always lead people to misery, and in this case the director of this film is now suffering the consequences. Today the director of this short film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is hiding, fearing that they would take him back to Egypt where he has a death sentence. Social media needs to be used for more intelligent reasons, and not for ignorant ones that instead of doing something good for this planet it is causing more problems. 7
Thousands of protesters blamed the American government for this.
The first and one of the most important ammendments of the U.S, Freedom of Speech, was brought up during the protests.
KONY 2012: Using Social Media for Good Causes
All it took was a 30-minute film for millions of people all over the world to get influenced by one individual. Knowing how powerful social sites are, Jason Russell had no better idea than to advertise and promote his organization with the help of these websites. He released the film on March 5, 2012 and it automatically went viral. The point of this is that social media can be used as a tool to spread good messages that can help improve the world. In this case Ugandan militia leader, Joseph Kony, motivated Russell to start this whole campaign. This villain Kony, who is currently in Africa kidnapping children and killing innocent human beings, is an example of a threat to this planet that needs to be exterminated immediately. Just like Russell, anyone today has access to cameras and social media websites that can be used to promote a powerful and positive message with potential to go beyond someoneâ€™s expectations. This is something that the media world has to offer us right now, and everyone should take advantage of this to improve society instead of destroying it. 9
KONY 2012 facts and figures
Social networking sites such as facebook and twitter had a significant effect on the campaign.
Based on a true story, this 83 minute documentary directed by Barbara Schroeder shows how a social networking love triangle leads to a homicide. It all began on an Internet chat room where a teenager by the screen name of, talhotblond, got involved with a married man by the name of Thomas Montgomery who automatically recreated himself as an 18 year old soldier. This online “romance” ended once the teenager found out about who Montgomery really was. As a form of getting revenge, she decided to start another online romance with a 22-year old guy, Brian Barrett, who was Montgomery’s co-worker. Throughout this whole process, the teenage girl ended up getting the two guys against each other that concluded in Montgomery murdering his coworker. This relates to the whole topic of social media and how to use it wisely. This documentary is a great piece that contains real-life examples of how vulnerable people are on social sites.
THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL MEDIA We no longer live in that era where socializing had a complete different definition. Today, this mostly happens on a different world called the Internet. Social media, which basically summarizes this, has a lot to offer. From very positive to negative results, one can change themselves and this world simply by properly using social networking sites. With the help of these websites, anyone is now capable of being role models or straight “online thugs,” but why would anyone want to be that? Planning ahead we should all start to think about how future generations would interact with each other as a result of the inappropriate use of social media. We must do something today for our future, we depend so much on technology that at this point it is irreversible. Whatever we do it’s going to be highly influenced by high tech devices and media that are part of our culture and who we are. Thus, using it properly and “thinking before publishing” is something that should be considered more often.
Written and Edited by: Rodrigo Valencia
December 2012, Issue 1