© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
School Closing Information

Social media can be amplifier, facilitator of violence, researcher says

Facebook page
Creative Commons
Facebook page

A fatal shooting was captured on Facebook Live as a war of online words spilled out into the streets.

Terrell Smith was shot and killed on June 28 in Ypsilanti Township. A fifth and final suspect, 19-year-old Coreyon Brown, was arrested by federal agents on Monday. Brown is believed to have been the shooter.

University of Pennsylvania professor Dr. Desmond Pattonhas studied the connection between social media and violence for 10 years. He says there has been an increase in violent events tied to online interactions. And while we don’t have causal evidence, he says he has more than a decade of observational evidence in his research.

“I definitely think that we should be paying attention to social media as a potential amplifier and a facilitator of violence.”

Patton says understanding community violence in today’s world must include social media. However, this also raises additional concerns about online surveillance.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU todayto keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
Related Content