Experts discuss social media's impact on social justice

Published: Jul. 7, 2016 at 10:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2016 at 11:35 PM CDT
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Alton Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge was killed during an officer-involved shooting. Source:...
Alton Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge was killed during an officer-involved shooting. Source: Facebook

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Videos that surfaced this week of police-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota are showing once again the age of technology that we all live in.

"People wouldn't have known about them," said Jennifer Skjellum, President of Tech Birmingham.

Skjellum believes if it had not been for smart phones and the internet, these events might have unfolded differently.

"If something like that ends up on page 5 of the newspaper, or front page of US News, the audience is much more limited. The opportunity for these messages to be widespread is there because of technology," she said.

However, just because you can use your cell phone to record video doesn't necessarily mean every clip needs to go viral. There is a big responsibility for you as the photographer as well as your viewers.

"I do think that citizens should always be aware and be thinking when they see something happen," said Dr. Chandra Clark, University of Alabama communications professor.

Clark also says it's important for citizen journalists documenting a scene not to jump to conclusions.

"By having people more aware of how they can use this technology, overall is a great thing. But sometimes people have to slow down," Clark said.

That way authorities can do their jobs, and draw the right conclusions.

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