It is interesting how we, as humans, react towards different news we see daily on the internet and on traditional media. Not sure if many of you have noticed lately but social media and news don’t really mix well. Why? There are two reasons. First, there’s a high probability it is fake news. Second, the news shared is most probably framed by the news/entertainment account that posted it to make you think the way they want you to think about the story. Let me show you an example and how is the best way to react to it.
A Dog’s Purpose is a book turned into a movie about a dog that discovers the meaning of its own existence by living with different families through reincarnation. The main plot of this sounds interesting, but it also sounds like a movie that’d make you cry. Why am I mentioning this movie? Because many people started saying that they’d boycott this movie and encouraged many others to do so. The reason why this happened, was because a video was released by TMZ showing the filming of a German shepherd, that’s a breed of dog, being “forced” into what could be seen as a pool of rough water. The video also shows the dog being taken out of the pool. How did most people react to this? By screaming; “THIS IS DOG ABUSE!!”. This went so far that PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) also shared the story and the video thus further spreading the idea that this was animal abuse from the filmmakers of this movie.
The story doesn’t stop there. After the news came out, the filmmakers defended themselves by saying that the dog in the video wasn’t harmed and that they work with professional animal trainers to ensure the dog’s safety. Of course, this wasn’t enough for the outraged people screaming animal abuse. Now at this moment, there are clearly two sides, people who are saying it’s dog abuse and people who are saying it’s not dog abuse. As any human being in our society, you’ll feel the pressure to support one of the sides. However, what you should do is sit tight and wait for the story to further develop. This will save you from becoming the person that blindly shares everything he/she sees as being the one and only side to a story. Let’s finish this story.
The release of this story also mentioned that the American Humane Association was present on the film set when this was being filmed. This, of course, made many people, the people who are screaming dog abuse, question why they didn’t intervene when this was happening to ensure the dog’s safety. They pretty much gave the same statement of the filmmakers, which was that there were professionals to ensure the dog’s safety. However, the American Humane Association went a step further and conducted an investigation on this matter. In my eyes, this is a great way to say “god damn it let’s just make this official and shut everyone up”. Of course, this is my opinion, not the American Humane Association’s opinion. After the investigation, it was concluded that the video that TMZ posted to the internet “was deliberately edited for the purpose of misleading the public and stoking outrage”.
Let this example be something that most people can learn from. We are living in a society where we are being bombarded with these kinds of stories. The controversial stories are the ones that produce more likes and shares which in turn produce more profit to the people posting this on the internet. There is so much fake news or framed news out there that jumping into conclusions is just the wrong thing to do. Then again it’s also interesting how this video was released right before the premiere of the movie. Interesting topic to investigate. Moving on. Will news/entertainment companies change their way of reporting to ensure they are informing us with the right content? Absolutely not! We all have to remember that yes, they are informing us on different stories as they develop but these companies know that the more controversial things are, the more we will click and share. This means that we as readers have to always double check everything and make these companies accountable for what they are doing. In other words, don’t fall in their trap and inform others about it.