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According to Staff (2010), freedom of expression is a constitutional right for all people of the United States to be able to share their thoughts and views without interference by the government or anybody else. The first and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution grant this right, which is restricted in fair terms. However, speech can cause a person to interfere with the intended party and damage their prestige. People speak out against the success of the government or of individuals in society (Pilkington, 2015). In most cases, officials will attempt to cover up their wrongdoings in order to avoid prosecution. This paper will look at the use of cartoons by Mike Keefe to point about hate speech in the society.
Social media sharing among people is used to make people updated on what is happening around the world. However, it has a dark side when it is used without regulation and caution among the people. According to Golijan (2012), a family was robbed after a teenager girl aged 17 years posted photos of the massive sum of money on Facebook. Seven hours later, two robbers arrived at their home demanding to talk to the girl regarding the money posted on the Facebook. The girl was helping her 72-year-old grandmother count her saving when she decided to snap a photo of the enormous sum of money and post it on Facebook. The robbers stole money from the girls' motherhouse after noticing she no longer lived with her. This incident clearly depicts the dark side of social media and the dangers of people posting their whole life activities in the social media.
The use of cartoon to speak out critical issues in the society has been used well by Mike Keefe who is a cartoon editor and a weekly contributor in the American Online ("Mike Keefe." Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2017). His cartoons have appeared in many productions like Newsweek and World Report among others and have made him win awards like the National Headliners Award and Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. The use of different cartoons has been used to depict severe events in the society in a simple way creating humor and educating the viewers. Information is provided in a simple way which does not produce conflicts because of the use of the cartoons.
Above: A photo of Mike Keefe Cartoon
In the cartoon image of study by Mike Keefe, it shows the dark side of social media directly and transparently. The use of imagery makes the viewers understanding easy and also fun. He has used a picture of an animal which looks like an ogre with a jacket written, "The dark side of social media." This picture shows that despite people loving to share their daily activities on social media, it can be dangerous as it may get into hands of "ogre person" who can hurt them. However, in this cartoon photo, it shows clearly that some people with evil intentions intend to share messages that relate to hate, taunt, rant and defame. The dark color behind the computer indicates that the rogue people use social media under fake names and social media accounts to circulate hate speech while remaining unknown or unidentified. The picture shows that such people post information which is on their minds and not indeed what is happening. They can use their emotions and feelings to incite others. The ogre picture in the picture shows a person who is willing to hurt and shed blood through the use of the social media.
Finally, cartoons usage to pass information is simple and clear. It does not cause hatred among the people depicted as it is humorous. However, the cartoon picture needs critical thinking by the persons looking at them to enable them identify the message the cartoonist intended to pass through. Cartoons present a wide range of information which are the lessons that people should interpret. Social media usage is proper to make people updated with the current news in the world and also aware of technological advancement. However, in the recent days, rogue people have been using social media to spread hate speech among the people. These acts are wrong and irresponsible behavior among people. The government must regulate social media to prevent the spread of hate speech. Additionally, parents should control the usage of social media by their children to avoid them posting sensitive information in their accounts which can be dangerous.
“Mike Keefe.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Nov. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Keefe.
Pilkington, Ed. “Texas Attack Shows How US Protects Free Speech – No Matter How Offensive.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 6 May 2015, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/06/texas-shootings-free-speech-constitution.
Staff, LII. “First Amendment.” LII / Legal Information Institute, 5 Feb. 2010, www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment.
Golijan, Rosa. “Family Robbed after Teen Posts Photo of Money on Facebook.” TODAY.com, TODAY, 29 May 2012, www.today.com/money/family-robbed-after-teen-posts-photo-money-facebook-800882.
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