Fear In The World Of Social Media
Hildreth, Jamie E.
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Many researchers believe that perception of crime is formed by how crime is presented or framed by news media. News media has previously been society's only gateway to the rest of the world. "Violent crimes are prominent and presented as the norm in news media and commercial television programs, thus providing millions of people with a daily diet of rape, murder and drug abuse" (Greer, 2005). Emergence of social media may be removing many of the controls news media had in place with instantaneous, supposedly unbiased, unfiltered information. Social media may also be exacerbating the effects of news media by providing many different accounts and opinions on a current topic, altering the perception of crime in society more profoundly than news media alone. Several decades of research proves a correlation exists between news media and fear of crime. With the evolution of technology and introduction of social media, society now has a new forum to investigate events all over the world without the mediation, or manipulation, of the entities controlling news media. The purpose of this research is to investigate whether the consumption of social media mitigates the effect news media has on college students' perception of crime.