Another issue worth exploring is whether the coverage of certain mass media events provoke a copycat reaction in the general public. Professor of Anthropology Alex Mesoudi, PhD, digs into the issue in his article “Mass shooting and mass media: Does media coverage of mass shootings inspire copycat crimes?”. Mesoudi analyses whether a connection could exist between recurring mass shootings, for example and how mass media has portrayed these events and why this might be. Mesoudi argues that events that have been very similar to each other might arise from how human psychology has evolved; that is, by relying on someone else’s expertise. Mesoudi claims that mass shootings are harder to link between each other despite similarities, but a phenomenon that shows a strong link is a raise in suicides whenever a celebrity suicide has been overly discussed by the media. The author concludes by stating that there’s evidence that shows that restrictions on the reporting of suicides can reduce copycat suicides and that perhaps it might be beneficial to do the same regarding mass shootings.
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