Moral Panic? What about?
One key influencer of the moral panic issue is mostly from the media and the social media platforms. Why media is related? Media is related because they are responsible for covering the news stories. Recently, the news information is more focus on the War On Drugs which showed the unhealthy news to the children. Killings and more killings everyday from every news channels of television that can be seen. It basically gives the masses the idea of accepting the fact that “drugs” is the worse problem here in our country; whereas, the poverty problem and the low quality education were being set aside. Education, in the sense that there are a lot of social media illiterates that came out like mushrooms. Especially in the Facebook world which is prone for posting misleading information to the masses; wherein people will only read on the news title and that these type of people always feel the laziness in reading the whole article. Another thing is that most people always judge directly based on their own biases. Which is unfair right? Some people in our country are too judgmental. They don’t even know how to flip the other side of the coin, and these type of people are mostly slave and part of the troll and memes community, to be honest. What they see is what they get. The ability to have the critical thinking was not practice, and it makes me feel so sad to think about it.
What is a Moral Panic?
Moral Panic was first used and made popular by Stanley Cohen, a South African criminologist who illustrated the from his famous work “Mods and Rockers” at seaside resorts in Brighton, England during the 1960s. His work shows on how the reactions were influenced the formation and enforcement of social policy, law, and societal of the threats posed by the youth groups. (1) Moral Panic is defined as a situation in which public fears and state interventions greatly exceed the objective threat posed to society by a particular individual or group who is/are claimed to be responsible for creating the threat in the first place. (2)
The current situation in our country is one great example of the moral panic due to the media and the social media’s news feed that exaggerate a certain news story. Our country is on the clear and present danger of becoming a “Martial Law” or shall we say an autocratic country again. The government’s “War On Drugs” had taken so many innocent lives of the marginalized people. The declaration of the war on drugs campaign raised too many questions, especially to those Human Rights Advocate (including me). But still, the government continues to deny the allegation, even if the president himself admitted. As quoted from his statement taken from the theguardian.com news article;
“Sons of whores I will really kill these idiots,” he said.
“My campaign on drugs will not end, until the end of my term six years from now when every drug pusher is [killed],” he said, making a throat-cutting gesture.
Moreover, the said statement was bitten by the powerless supporters, the marginalized group of people. Plus, the major broadcasting company’s daily news about the killings and about the so called drug problem which is overly reported. Statistically, the Philippines is not even on the Top 10 list of the world’s drug producing country. It is always been a question for all the people here on why there are lives that were taken every day? but still the government continues to deny it. Whether or not it’s true that the government was involved–the fact that there are too many people were being killed is still a big piece of a puzzle to solve.
Who does it? Who did all the killings?
From that scenario, it created more fear to the masses to go out in groups, for they are afraid that they might be the next victim of the shooting spree. When will it stop? That’s the question. Human rights are always been denied, and that’s too pathetic to accept, right? How long will the country mourn? Can the poor people be granted with fair justice soon? This moral panic must be stop, and I hope there will be more people who will continue to spread the rightful words and raise more awareness to the masses.
And I hope that the media industry and the government will learn to realized the importance of the human existence, and set aside their interest in money and will think about of the vast damage of moral panic that it cause for the entire society.
Educate the masses, instead of creating fear; Help the poor, instead of killing them.
Source for Moral Panic definition:
(1) and (2)