Conflicts on social media lead to real conflicts


Online disputes escalate into real conflicts, sometimes with deadly consequences.

PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s no secret that social media is changing human behavior and the way we interact. These platforms are also having an impact on gun violence in Portland.

“Social media certainly plays a role,” said Lt. Ken Duilio of the Portland Police Department.

Duilio explained that disputes over Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat sparked some of the recent shootings.

“It incites this immediate violence, this immediate anger, this immediate response to retaliation,” Duilio said.

In June, a social media row between two men and their respective girlfriends led to a late-night car chase and shootout in the St. Johns neighborhood of North Portland, court documents show. Alexander Martinson, 19, died from a gunshot to the head.

RELATED: Victim Dies After Saturday Night Shooting in St. Johns

Many shootings involve trivial things. A disrespectful comment or post can erupt on social media and involve a large group of people as rivals.

“Once an interpersonal beef in Portland becomes something that can be seen, judged or commented on by people in Houston, Chicago, LA or Tacoma, it carries a whole new dimension. Now our interpersonal beef is no longer personal, ”said community activist Royal Harris.

With lots of people watching and commenting on it, an online post can cause young people to become impulsive, leading to violence.

“For the kids who are on the fence this is a great chalkboard material for them because it’s your friend they’re talking about, it’s your brother they’re talking about, what are you going to do about it? topic ? Said Lionel Irving, veteran of gangs and community activist.

RELATED: Are Gangs To Blame For The Spike In Gun Violence In Portland? It is not that simple

Irving warned that social media can also help create new shooters by glorifying guns and gang life. Facebook and Instagram are full of photos and videos of young men posting guns on social media.

“When I was running in the streets, it was a secret. You didn’t want anyone to know that, ”Irving said. “Today, these children, they have no problem posting photos. “

Some social media posts aren’t even real. Young men sometimes borrow guns to take pictures and post harsh looking videos. The problem is, it’s not a game, gang veterans explained.

“A lot of us older cats like to say that there’s this fantasy world where young people can go and be who they want without realizing that some of this disrespect takes its toll on the real world. “said Harris.

The challenge is to stop this violence, especially in a world plagued by social media. It’s not going to go away, Harris warned.

“The question is how do we as a community, how as parents, educators, leaders do we approach this? Harris said. The community activist suggested that we focus on teaching young people how to deal with conflict instead of turning to a gun to try and fix a problem.

LOOK: Gun violence in Portland isn’t just a gang issue

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