We live in an age of information – whether real or fake. Channels such as Youtube, Facebook and Twitter are designed to spread information, some of which has the potential to go viral. The term ‘viral’ made me think about this information’s effect on people. Content distributed over social media reaches our minds and fills them with unfiltered information with the potential to contaminate our thoughts with ideas of violence and scenes of cruelty. This is where the relationship between ‘viral’ and ‘virus’ became interesting to me; how unwittingly we can succumb to a proliferate force.
The voice of populistic right-wing media seems to grow louder, gradually silencing our human values and the pursuit of a peaceful co-existence. My question: how do we preserve our innate ethics? The first step towards re-gaining the inherent human kindness is a step back from fear, suspicion and aggression that is being spread by the media each day.
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Escaping contamination turned out to be a challenging plan. Due to my personal connection to Turkey, I would like to address one of many instabilities happening around the globe. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime is known for brutal violations of human rights. With a vast number of imprisoned and tortured journalists, academics and artists, Turkey’s system has become an oppressive machine silencing opponents of its right-wing agenda in a remorseless way. The current political regime in Turkey is gaining voters by dictating the content of the media, which results in a massive manipulation of people’s ideology, drawing people towards right-wing ideas and violence. In the midst of this mass madness, a crucial question assumes a shape: how can a human individual, as a part of a potentially malfunctioning and unjust society, disconnect from such a manipulative environment?