Effect of Media in significant crime

Author- Huda Zehra, a student at Unity Degree College

Nowadays, Internet is such a platform which has become the most important part of our life, without which a person cannot assume his life. This article provides a detail analysis of how the media platforms (news, social media and perception) effects and influence the significant crime. It is the era in which the crime rate is very high and the people are accepting it as normal. The rapid development in the science and communication technology enable us to stay in touch with the day to day activities of the society. Earlier it used to take a lot of time for news to reach but now news travels in the blink of an eye. Technology has many benefits but it also has disadvantages, it only depends on how we use it. Social media also have both positive and negative impacts as it enables us to stay in touch with the relatives who live far apart from us.

Definition of Crime and Media:

Crime- Crime means an act which is illegal in nature and it adversely affects the individual and society. Crimes consists of financial as well as physical loss from which the public safety can be seriously affected. Examples of crimes are murder, kidnapping, robbery, dacoity, sexual harassment, rape etc.

Media- Tools which is used for delivery of news, other information and other entertainment purposes are termed as Media. Examples of media includes newspapers, magazines, T.V, radio, social media platforms (WhatsApp, Instagram, twitter) and many others. The main purpose of the media is to inform and entertain the viewers.

Media and Crime are both inseparable words as media play a very important role in covering the crime and in warning the public about all the serious crimes.

Here are some ways in which the media affects the crime, they are as-

  • Feeling of fear: When media covers any serious or violent crime then it makes an environment of fear and anxiety among the people living in the society.
  • Sensationalism: Reporting of crime and media coverage of protests through news and other platform encourages more people to became the part of that movement.
  • Copycat Behavior: Copycat Behavior is an action which the person is inspired to performed after seeing them on internet, social media websites and news channels. Media coverage of the serious and heinous crimes can divert the mind of any individual to perform the particular action which is illegal in nature. Sometimes the person gets inspired from the movies or serials and commits the crime.
  • Vigilantism: Vigilantism is the conduct in which the individual takes law in their hands and punish the offender by their mindset which turns into illegal actions.
  • Question of security: The increasing amount of crimes raise questions for the people living in the society whether they are safe or not? 
  • Effect on offender behavior: Sometimes media effects the behavior of the criminals and help them to learn new methods and techniques to commit the crime more effectively.
  • Replica of crime: People who are already involved in illegal activities, because of the criminal reports of the media, they learn more ideas and techniques to commit more serios crimes.

It is the responsibility of the media to cover and report the accurate and balanced information and news by respecting the rights and dignity of the persons who are involved in the legal proceedings related to that particular information. Increase in crimes can also results in the formation of new laws and policies for the welfare of the society.

Exaggeration of crime by media: Media plays a very significant role in forming the public thoughts and thinking towards the particular crime. Sometimes crimes are misrepresented and even serious and major crimes are shown as common and small than actual.

News reporting with scary languages and pictures can form fear and insecurity among the people and question about their safety arises. Some media channels and institutions show crimes through animation and cartoons which makes the crime scarier and more serious for the viewers. Media can also call any expert to talk about that violence and crime but it is possible that they may be exaggerating the matter. This can decrease the trust of the people upon the media channels and institutions. The exaggeration of the media information can put a negative effect on the society as it creates fear and anxiety in the minds of the people. 

Social Media and cybercrime: Media play a very significant role in the case of cybercrime. There are some certain types of cybercrimes-

  • Phishing – It is a cybercrime technique which tries to lure you through emails, messages or websites that appears trust worthy. Phishing includes clone website phishing, spear phishing, phone phishing and email phishing.
  • Theft of identity- Theft of person’s name and its personal information to get loans, credit or any other benefit is termed as identity theft. It is the improper and illegal use of one’s personal information to enjoy the monetary advantages. This is similar as spoofing.
  • Obscenity- Sharing and transportation of the obscene material is illegal in the eyes of law. Offenders sometimes convert the normal image into cheap obscene image to blackmail, defame and disrespect the victim.
  • Job fraud- Online job fraud is the common type of cybercrime in which the fraudsters acts as a representative or employee of a repudiated company or firm and demand the amount for the registration, training or any other service as well.
  • Viruses and Malware- These cybercrimes are used to gain unauthorized access to computers or networks using the harmful software. This leads to the theft of user’s information and data loss.
  • Cyber- Stalking- Cyber stalking is to follow someone through internet without their prior permission which can cause various problems.
  • Defamation – Defamation is the harm to a person’s reputation and goodwill and social media plays a significant role in this cybercrime. It is of two types; slander and libel. Libel defamation includes written and recorded statements whereas slander defamation includes oral or verbal statements only.
  • Hacking – Hacking is the technique where individuals gain unauthorized access to computers or social media accounts with the help of various techniques and procedures.

Constitution of India, Indian Penal Code, 1860, Information Technology Act, 2002 are some of the laws which deals with the social media and the crimes related to social media.

It is of no doubt that social media plays a very prominent role in shaping the thoughts and lives of the people. Social media help to transmit the news and information related to crimes among the people living in the society which create a feeling of deter and anxiety in the minds of the people. The relationship between the media and crime is inseparable as to grasp the knowledge about any of the crime, social media proves to be very useful. Social media acts as double-sided sword for us as it provides information and news but on the other hand it also misguides the individuals and create a terror in the society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *