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Response to Paris Terror Attacks, Article Critique Example

Pages: 3

Words: 841

Article Critique

The world is in an outrage about the Paris terrorist attacks. There is a growing concern about the security of our nation against groups like ISIS and the attacks even resulted in the death of an American student abroad. While many people have taken to social media and other Internet venues to provide support for the people of France, others have taken the opportunity to point out other terrorist attacks that have occurred lately and not been adequately covered by the media. Most notably, people are citing an ISIS attack that had occurred in Beirut one day prior to this incident, killing 43 people and wounding 239. A second commonly discussed story is that 147 students were shot dead by a Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militant group in April.

Individuals that post the latter two stories are outraged about the lack of attention that these stories have received and tend to ridicule people on Facebook and Twitter for having been blind towards them. However, it appears that the people posting these stories are only aware of them in light of the press that has been issued concerning the Paris incident. Thus, rather than calling for outrage against media sources that selectively choose which news to report, people online are attacking one another blaming them for their ignorance.

It is important to consider that social media sources are considered to be major media venues today. People learn about many major news stories from these sources and are often limited to a discussion of which news stories are trending. It is helpful for us to all remember that we unfortunately do not have a significant influence on these trends. Furthermore, since none of us were personally able to visit Kenya or Beirut to investigate this news, we cannot be held responsible for not being aware of what was occurring in these countries. In times of war, it is necessary for us to know what is occurring in each country because this knowledge helps us form opinions and create discourse that will help us determine resolutions to these problems. However, if we keep pointing blame at one another about being ignorant, we are not causing solutions. Instead, we are contributing to the problem.

It is now important for us to consider how we will act in light of these recent terrorist attacks. Many are doing so by responding in fear to the Muslim population in general. However, it is necessary for us to remember that we should not be afraid of a religion for the terrible actions of a few. Have you seen the faces of the refugees in the many videos posted online? They are scared. Many of them had to leave a place that they call home, not only because they do not believe in what terrorist groups are doing, these terrorist groups are also threatening them. We must remember that the Syrian refugees have the same enemy as us. However, they are more powerless than we are because there is nothing that they can do to counter them. Their only hope is to escape to a new land, just as many of our forefathers have in order to escape persecution.

The debate over who is or is not ignorant on Facebook has become a prevalent problem this decade. It has become easier for people to repost information, claiming that it is their view or that they were one of the first people to have thought a certain way, when this is not the case in reality. Furthermore, there is not a significant enough discussion as to what can be done to improve the current state of affairs. Overall, it is important for each individual to take a step back and think about what they are doing or saying before they post content online. Many comments have been offensive against entire groups of people and even the thoughts that are posted to defend these groups are not without bias. Unfortunately, Internet posts will not solve problems. While they are a meaningful way for us to have a dialogue about current events, this can only occur if these comments are well-thought and reflect factual knowledge and information to support a broadcasted opinion.

Because of a lack of thought, blaming others for being ignorant about Beirut and Kenya has become a common problem on social media. However, it is not reasonable to blame one’s Facebook friends who had been just as misinformed about this topic just prior to reading the post blaming them for their ignorance. For social media to work as an effective news source, it is important to remove the aspect of blame from sharing resources. It is valuable to share news stories that may have been missed by the mainstream media, but only if this is done in a socially responsible manner. Attacking people for imagined ignorance contributes to the creation of unnecessary problems, when what we really need is a solution. It is important to keep having your voice heard, but think before you post.

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