Moral Panic is defined as “an instance of public anxiety or alarm in response to a problem regarded as threatening the moral standards of society.”
In class we discussed a few aspects of moral panic; how it is created, who is effects and how it has changed through the development of technology using an example of moral panic from the past, Mods and Rockers and a current moral panic involving Neknominations.
Moral panic can be provoked by several factors; boredom, mass media coverage, encouraged by violence by building it into a spectacle and creating sides. Moral panic effects most people in society and the media becomes mediator between the wider society and the youths. The way in which the media do this is by explaining the behaviour, providing feedback and opinions of the behaviour. When society becomes outraged by the bahaviour it leads to feelings of persecution and group exclusion. The media can also worsen the situation by exaggerating the ‘craze’, demonstrating how the ‘craze’ is done resulting in many more youths taking part.
In relation to the Mods and Rockers in the 1960’s the media’s coverage of the event led to others going to the beach to watch as though it was entertainment. It almost encouraged the behaviour in youths and it outraged the rest of society. The same is now currently happening in internet culture with Neknominations.
Neknomination has spread through out youth cultures like a virus. From my own personal newsfeed on Facebook it appeared over night. Neknomination consists of a person filming themselves drinking a point of alchohol in a creative way. At the end of the video they then nominate the next person who is to better there creative attempt. This new media craze has escalated into something larger than what it was originally. As a result two youths have lost their lives.
When moral panics outrage society there is often a need to blame someone. In this case many people have tried to blame Facebook and have asked Facebook to remove all content in relation to Neknominations. Facebook have refused to do so. My personal opinion on the matter is that Facebook is not to blame. Those who take part in Neknomination, I feel, have complete responsability for their own health and the amount and way they choose to drink is of their own accord.