Culture

Social Media Mobs Are Just Peer Pressure On Steroids

By Simone Hanna··  7 min read
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Today, there’s more pressure than ever to be “culturally aware,” but not with personal experience or self-derived information. Instead, many feel constantly cornered into submitting to ideals that fit certain narratives and societal norms – if they don’t, they become outsiders.

Selective Outrage

The modern activist usually enjoys the attention of protest-posting and self-indulgent activism. Social media “feminists” are a perfect example; instead of talking about human trafficking or genital mutilation, many of these flame-igniters will concentrate on posts about gender stereotypes or post useless threads on bodily hair. 

In other politically active groups, many of these same figures will attend climate protests and attack countries already trying to tackle the issue, never touching on countries such as China or India who pollute air and water much more than the countries who make the effort to be climate-friendly. Never researching, their job is to simply hear and repeat. 

Many will never engage themselves in issues that actually involve altering their lifestyles.

Fixated on looking politically engaged, celebrities and internet normies will often post and rant about situations that are somewhat “problematic,” yet irrelevant enough for them to not actually do anything genuinely meaningful or ground-breaking – unless ground-breaking is shouting in the streets with placards for cute Instagram photos, of course. Many will never background search or engage themselves in issues that involve actively altering their lifestyles; instead, they can share cute “climate crisis” threads from the comfort of private jets, blissfully unaware of how regular people live or struggle.

Faux Celebrity Outrage

When it comes to convenience cases, celebrities are often the worst. With major platforms, they often post political takes with no background or deeper research, allowing their loyal fans to repost and agree sheeplike with them. They’ll talk about “systemic racism,” though never mentioning the contextual factors of these situations. Studies have debunked systemic racism repeatedly, yet the narrative keeps being fed and fuelled by celebrities seemingly eager to keep it going. 

A prime example of faux outrage driven by celebrities and the mainstream media can be shown in Biden’s border crisis. During the previous administration, public figures were eager to pile on about human rights and cry about the cruelty of border control, but under Biden the “cages” magically become appropriate shelters. In addition, the number of migrants held by the Border Patrol has also been growing every day, but celebrities won’t make one comment on any negatives brought on by Biden, nor will they ever realize how much human trafficking comes along with the rise of illegal immigration. Never accepting how such situations hurt regular people, from their ivory towers they can simply follow whatever trends online. 

The selective, faux outrage of celebrities turns their fans and followers into sheep.

Recently, #StopAsianHate has been growing in the media, with many quick to blame “white supremacy,” not even bothering to look at statistics showing that non-white groups account for more anti-Asian violence. 

Activists and online figures have also been eager to blame attacks on “violent white men.” Late March, Kamala Harris’ niece Meena Harris took to Twitter to call “violent white men” the “greatest terror threat” to the country. With a bit of background research, Meena would have found that the percentage of mass murders involving white offenders is actually lower than the percentage of the U.S. population that’s white, meanwhile, the percentage of black offenders far exceeds the percentage of the U.S. population that’s black. But she doesn’t care. Why would she when she can simply assume stereotypes are facts? 

The Politicization of Tragedy

Everything today is made political, including tragedies. People use atrocities for personal gain, eager to use events as justification for certain agendas. Tony Timpa’s 2016 homicide is just one example of the double standard that lies today in politics. 

Standing out for his similarities to George Floyd’s case, which has become media-heavy and widely vilified, Timpa was an unarmed white man who faced police assault when an officer held his knee on his back for 14 minutes. Timpa resisted for a few seconds before being restrained on the ground, warning officers “You’re gonna kill me!” as they proceeded to laugh and joke as he lost consciousness.

Tony Timpa received no big memorials, no public outcry across nations, and there was no fight for him, despite the similarities to the George Floyd case. His death was left uncovered by many mass media outlets, you won’t find his face spray-painted on brick walls, his name won’t be on placards, and he won’t be trending on the internet. Tony Timpa simply lies as another forgotten soul. 

People use atrocities for personal gain, eager to use events as justification for certain agendas.

Mainstream media often sensationalize the killings of unarmed people if they’re of a certain background, often downplaying police killings of white people who are unarmed. Timpa’s death was the result of gross misconduct by officers, and despite homicide from police officers still being a rarity, this story didn’t get the coverage it deserved. 

George Floyd’s death was a grim and gruesome act of misconduct, but white officers are no more likely to use lethal force against minorities than non-white officers – the fact that such tragedies are used to portray certain views as fact proves a much larger problem in society. 

This double standard was also seen in the shooting of Cannon Hinnant, a 5-year-old boy who rode his bike onto the property of his next-door neighbor and was shot at a point-blank range. Media coverage of his death was widely criticized by conservative outlets when they failed to mention that Hinnant was white and that his neighbor was a black man. This debate soon sparked more fire online, with many calling out “racism” and stating the murder wasn’t a racial issue. It had no need to be a racial issue, but with role reversal, many would have taken the opportunity to politicize and twist it to add fuel to an ever-growing “race war” we have seen forced upon us. 

Mob Culture and Peer-Pressure

Even when statistics are stated, many will be automatically branded a “racist” for repeating them or utilizing them for the sake of debunking lazy falsehoods. 

Groupthink mentality has built massively in the last decade. People constantly need to feel self-righteous and virtuous, so they subject themselves to whatever is on-trend at the time. When people don’t bow down to the mob, they’re putting themselves at risk of being "canceled” by a flock of angry internet warriors, eager to bully others into thinking in the same flawed ways they do. 

With the fear of the mob being more than valid, it’s no wonder people become slaves to group-think.

With the fear of the mob being more than valid, it’s really no wonder that so many people become slaves to group-think – these mainstream views are always safe, and since so many follow them, they’re often viewed as fact, leaving many indoctrinated by force-fed information.

Closing Thoughts 

Social media mobs live and breathe peer pressure, constantly engaging in hashtag activism. They pick and choose the outrage and where it’s acceptable to feel superiority to those who aren’t eager to participate, creating a false existence of problems that were never there in the first place. 

The selective outrage of the mobs is turning the masses into sheep, allowing many of us to become more afraid to question the information we’re fed. The outrage is all virtue signaling, only striking unnecessary division, and it must end. 

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