The past few years has seen the rise of many extremists in our world trying to preach their extreme views on others. Whether it is Donald Trump, ISIS or Britain First, they all have one thing in common: they all spout absolute bigoted rubbish condemned by the majority yet are still seeing an increase in supporters. Why is this? Many blame the media for always reporting on these groups whenever they say something new and controversial and there is much call for the media to just simply boycott reporting on anything new and offensive these groups say, as to prevent their influence and their message of intolerance from spreading.
But we can’t say the media is to blame for this rise in popularity in extremists and their views. These people may have ridiculous and despicable views, but they are not stupid. They know how to appeal to people, how to get into their heads, how to get them to believe the lies they are telling. Maybe a media blackout would do a little damage to their popularity, but I believe this damage would be minimal. And you have to think about the other effects this blackout would have on the people opposing their voices on hate? Would their popularity decrease also? There would be so many unpredictable, possibly negative effects this possible blackout could have. Furthermore there is a deeper moral issue to this. We can’t simply ignore hate in our society. Hate is something that needs to be confronted and needs to be countered. Ignoring hate isn’t a solution, it’s a problem. If there is hate in our society and we censor it from our media, block it out, then we are dooming the public. It is the first stage of eliminating choice from society, the first stage of removing people’s freedom of speech. We are preventing them from being able to decide from themselves what is evil and hateful and what is not. We will create a moral less society if we think we can make all the moral decisions for the public. And that is a dangerous line to cross.
So instead of blaming the media, blame the people saying these hateful words. Instead of blocking out these hateful figures/groups, we must fight them. We must educate people, we must counter the hateful narratives they are fed. But more importantly we must make them realise for themselves that these figures/groups are hateful and there words are nothing but divisive and deadly.