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What the 1 in 5 British Muslims Hashtag taught us about the Media
Thursday, 10 December 2015 11:00

What the 1 in 5 British Muslims Hashtag taught us about the Media

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rsz not true

At the end of last month we followed the story about how people had started the "1 in 5 British Muslims..." hashtag which became a movement, a campaign even, against The Sun newspaper's headline of "1 in 5 British Muslims feels sympathy towards Jihadists" with interest. The Sun, as it tends to do, had taken the results of a poll they ran out of context and had rephrased statements. The questions in the poll only allowed a narrow field of answers and the sample was actually very small.

What we loved about this is that there really was a social media storm of people tweeting some angry tweets, however, most of the tweets were ironic and making fun of The Sun's stupidity. This got us thinking that it's clear that not only does social media have a great deal of power where things can easily turn against a person or organisation, but also about how the media is now made accountable for their mistakes publically and very quickly indeed.

Until now, the media was indispensable to democracy, having a position from which they could judge decisions, opinions, etc. and people would trust the media and base their decisions - such as who to vote for, for instance - on the information provided by that traditional media. If something was incorrect, the media would get a reaction but perhaps a smaller and less immediate one.

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Now Social Media allows for an immediate and global reaction to take place. People still do trust traditional media, of course, but if they feel something is not right they will voice it immediately through their social media channels and will expect a reaction. We think this is great because it questions that almost untouchable omnipresence of traditional media and we believe questioning is always a good way to find the truth.

What we also loved about this was that the number of people sending angry tweets was far smaller than the number of people tweeting funny ironic messages. Which to us shows that humour is often far stronger than anger. You can change someone's mind or make them look more closely at an issue by making them laugh, and isn't that a lovely thing?

Read 1647 times Last modified on Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:23

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