Social Media: A Matter of Life and Death

By Alejandra Lee

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We have all discussed the pros and cons of social media, either in classes or among our friends. However, for some, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs are no longer mediums in which to express individuality, but rather journalistic tools in which to educate and help the communities that struggle with social issues. In Mexico, social media tools are being used to regain whatever sort of democracy and citizen sovereignty is left to fight for.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 6.45.53 PMThe large majority of the so-called “citizen journalists” in Mexico, recount the countless atrocities and crimes that are left unreported by the national news outlets. Such news outlets, which are more than likely, controlled by powerful leaders in the government with ties to the drug cartels, are not really being society’s watchdogs.

Corruption might be “off the roof” in Mexico, but there are brave heroes out there who use these outlets to the full extent of the word Social Media. To some extent, they are the only truthful media for society.

In the past few months, there has been chaos in many cities across the Mexican Republic, one of them being the murder of a Tamaulipas Twitter-enthusiast whose posts of danger alerts that pinpointed the location of violent incidents in real time actually cost her life.

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The cartel hacked unto her Twitter account and threaten other social media users to stop twitting, sharing, or posting these kinds of alerts on social media or they will too be killed.

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There are Facebook pages dedicated to this kind of civil journalism, where people put their lives at risk every day by “liking” the pages, commenting, or worst: being the ones creating the posts and managing the accounts.

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These brave communities keep their voices out, speaking up for their loved ones and the safety of their citizens. Social Media, to them, is no matter of brand recognition, or sharing their personal lives, but to truly commit to spread the word and awareness to crucial events and acts of terror that everyone in the country could benefit from. The only difference between their actions behind their online behavior compared to privileged countries is their eagerness for truth, justice, and life.





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