Murder Videos on Media Platforms and Their Consequences

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Brenda Cossman introduces the case of Mark Marek being charged with "corrupting morals" based on section 163(1)(a) of the Criminal Code for uploading the video of Jun Lin's murder by Luke Magnotta. Cossman suggests that Marek is essentially being charged with obscenity, while the focus is on "corrupting morals." This has created confusion because "corrupting morals" is a concept from the 19th century, whereas the courts had changed the focus of obscenity from morality to harm since the late 20th century. Since the Marek is being charged for "corrupting morals," the courts are implying that it is morally inappropriate to view such sexual and/or violent content. Nonetheless, Cossman argues this concept of morality is outdated because the focus is now supposed to be on harm. In addition, Cossmans reveals a flaw in the Criminal Code and its use, or lack of, by courts. To elaborate, Cossman explains how section 163 of the Criminal Code still includes "exhibiting a disgusting object, advertising medicine, drug or article for causing abortion or miscarriage, curing venereal diseases or restoring sexual virility." That being said, Cossman continues that there have been no charges under the aforementioned description in recent decades. The flaw here is that this description of section 163 is based on the concept of morality, not harm; but it is still codified in the Criminal Code. Thus, Cossman is arguing that the courts are using an outdated perspective when charging Marek with "corrupting morals." Cossman provides another example of a similar case of Remy Couture who uploaded content similar to Marek's on his website. Despite this, Couture was acquitted because he argued that the "images didn't cause harm, [because] they were artistic ... ... middle of paper ... ...ing so will be a form of moral protection of media viewers, and especially minors. This is an important motivation for censorship because children should not be able to access such content with a few mouse clicks as it is both morally damaging. That being said, this censoring of murder videos applies to everyone because if people are permitted to upload these videos, then more people will watch these videos as a result. Consequently, society will experience desensitization from repeat viewing of murder videos on the internet. As stated in lecture, this desensitization has only negative outcomes. For instance, desensitization will make people less likely to help others in real-life situations, especially when violence is present. People will also feel as if violence is the norm and utilize it as a means of getting what they want, or even if it is meaningless violence.

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