Terror attacks by Muslims ‘get 4.5 times more coverage from US media’

An explosion erupts as runners near the finish line in this file photo of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Massachusetts. (Reuters)
Updated 04 July 2017

Terror attacks by Muslims ‘get 4.5 times more coverage from US media’

The media is making people disproportionately fearful of Muslim terrorists despite committing fewer acts compared with non-Muslims, a study from Georgia State University showed.
An analysis of US media coverage between 2011 and 2015 found that while Muslims perpetrated fewer acts of terrorism than non-Muslims, attacks by Muslims were nonetheless written about 4.5 times more than the others.
In their study “Why Do Some Terrorist Attacks Receive More Media Attention Than Others?”, authors Erin M. Kearns, Allison Betus and Anthony Lemieux said that the uneven media coverage ‘reinforces cultural narratives about what and who should be feared.’
“All attacks in this study are considered terrorism by experts and should be covered as such. Yet, clearly, media do not cover these events equally … Muslims perpetrated 12.4 percent of the attacks yet received 41.4 percent of the news coverage,” the authors said in their study.
“By covering terrorist attacks by Muslims dramatically more than other incidents, media frame this type of event as more prevalent. It is no wonder that Americans are so fearful of radical Islamic terrorism.”
“Reality shows, however, that these fears are misplaced. One way to combat this is to change the public narrative on terrorism to cover attacks more evenly,” they commented.
Focusing on two sources – LexisNexis Academic and CNN.com – to measure media coverage, they found that the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing received almost 20 percent of all coverage relating to US terror attacks in the five-year period.
The attack by carried out by the Tsarnaev brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, ethnic Chechens who had immigrated to the United States, killed three people.
In contrast, the 2012 killings carried out by Wade Michael Page – a white man – at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left six people dead, received just 3.8 percent of coverage.
A mass shooting by Dylann Roof of nine people in an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina received 7.42 percent of the coverage while a 2014 attack by Glenn Miller on a synagogue in Kansas killed three people but only received 3.27 percent of the media attention.
“When President Trump asserted that the media does not cover some terrorist attacks enough, it turns out that he was correct,” the authors said. “However, his assertion that attacks by Muslim perpetrators received less coverage is unsubstantiated.”
“Beyond just the quantity of coverage, it is also important to analyze the content of what is said. Might media be reticent to use the term ‘terrorist’ to describe some attackers? How do casualty rates report the way that media discusses attacks? When is speculation about the perpetrator’s mental health more prevalent?”


Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

Updated 03 June 2020

Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

  • “We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said
  • The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence

SAN FRANCISCO: Snapchat on Wednesday stopped promoting posts by US President Donald Trump, saying they incite “racial violence.”
“We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said in response to an AFP inquiry, referencing the youth-focused social network’s section for recommended content.
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover.”
The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence, thrusting rival Facebook into turmoil for refusing to sanction false or inflammatory posts by the US president.
The decision was made over the weekend, during which Snapchat parent Snap chief executive Evan Spiegel sent a lengthy memo to employees condemning what he saw as a legacy of racial injustice and violence in the US.
“Every minute we are silent in the face of evil and wrongdoing we are acting in support of evildoers,” Spiegel wrote as companies responded to the outrage over the police killing of a black man in Minnesota.
“I am heartbroken and enraged by the treatment of black people and people of color in America.”
Snapchat will not promote accounts in the US that are linked to people who incite racial violence on or off the messaging platform, according Spiegel.
The Discover feature at Snapchat is a curated platform on which the California-based company get to decide what it recommends to users.
Trump’s account remains on the platform, it will just no longer be recommended viewing, according to Snapchat.
“We may continue to allow divisive people to maintain an account on Snapchat, as long as the content that is published on Snapchat is consistent with our community guidelines, but we will not promote that account or content in any way,” Spiegel said in the memo.
“We will make it clear with our actions that there is no grey area when it comes to racism, violence, and injustice — and we will not promote it, nor those who support it, on our platform.”
Snapchat is particularly popular with young Internet users, claiming that about half of the US “generation Z” population tapping into news through its Discover feature.