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Is social media outrage a positive force in society?

The age-old maxim goes, "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention". This has never been more applicable. Nothing drives social media engagement like outrage and social media platforms have embraced models designed to inflame and spark anger. The success of positive social and political movements like #MeToo and the Arab Spring largely stem from social media outrage but is it a positive societal force, or a dangerous sociological weapon that can destroy as fast as it creates?

Social media outrage is good

Social media outrage spurs political change by increasing political and social participation.

Social media outrage drives political change

Social media outrage empowers social movements which drive political change.

Social media outrage culture increases political participation

Social media outrage increases political participation by engaging many that would otherwise remain indifferent.

Social media outrage offers a mechanism for accountability

Social media outrage, like the mainstream media and other institutions, offers an additional mechanism for accountability.

Social media outrage is bad

Social media outrage can ruin innocent people's lives, limit free speech, fuel polarisation and aid the dissemination of misinformation.

Trial by social media

In the legal system, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. When someone is swept up in social media outrage, they are afforded no such luxury.

Social media outrage is polarizing

Polarization in society is deepening and social media outrage is partly to blame.

Social media outrage obstructs free speech

Social media users self-censor to avoid becoming the target of social media outrage.

The merging of domains

Social media outrages cause all the domains of a person's existence to blend into one.

Social media outrage facilitates fake news

Social media outrage aids and facilitates the spread of false information

Social media outrage dilutes real issues

The ending of Game of Thrones can prompt as much outrage as a school shooter.

Social media outrage is neither a positive nor a negative

Social media outrage dissipates too quickly to have any lasting effect. Therefore, it is neither a positive nor a negative societal force.

Social media outrage is a storm in a teacup

Social media outrage dissipates too quickly to be meaningful.

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This page was last edited on Monday, 8 Jul 2019 at 05:21 UTC