AJ Kay Profile picture
Writer/Researcher/Editor; Socrates, Jane Fairfax, & Jon Stewart; 4th-Grade All-City Spelling Bee Champ; Pro-Oxford comma; *degrees, credentials, blah blah* /bio

22 Jul, 12 tweets

A 2015 article explains 'moral panic'

"...a situation in which public fears & state interventions greatly exceed the objective threat posed to society by an individual or group who's claimed to be responsible for creating the threat in the 1st place"

3 criteria apply:

🧵🪡

#1 ✔️(see pic)

The media - quickly followed by the general populous - labeled anyone who questioned the C19 narrative a 'granny killer' & proposed denying them HC & freedoms.

This has since progressed to include the unvaxxed and those immoral enough to become infected...

#2 ✔️

It's objectively true that the media not only greatly inflates the risk from Covid, but people believe them.

"WHY IS ALL COVID-19 NEWS BAD NEWS?
nber.org/system/files/w…

Ppl believe they have a 12% chance of dying if infected - 80X the IFR
covid19pulse.usc.edu

#3✔️

This one is in progress, as the panic has yet to subside, which makes sense.

The internet makes it easier to keep a perceived threat relevent despite the disconnect b/t the panic & lived reality

Punitive, unnecessary legislation is emerging all over the world.

A lot of ppl have intuited this pattern, but didn't have name for it.

And, as explained, it's not just a tug-of-war between good and bad. It's complex and this author identifies 5 distinct categories of social actors: (I'm a 'folk devil')

Which are you?

And this is one explanation for the callousness & cruelty directed - for example - toward young & disabled ppl who report that the moral panic is harmful: because for the hysteria to take hold, every folk devil must be completely morally unredeemable.

This part is really interesting b/c, at least so far, actual LE has been tangential to the real 'law enforcer' actors, who have emerged as the epis, 'experts', & PH authorities repeatedly amplified in the media to reinforce the above-mentioned punitive, unnecessary legislation...

This is some brief commentary on how the media contributes to public panic:

Framing looks at the issue from only one angle, while priming taps into preexising (often planted) beliefs - e.g. "the hospitals will be overwhelmed AGAIN" when they never were in the first place.

Why did most politicians default to policy restrictions?

Because with the folk devil at large, their position required them - in order to be perceived as moral leaders - to protect the public from the morally bankrupt FDs.

Finally, one reason we see media doubling down on the fear-mongering - despite the precipitous drop in already low-level risk - is that ALL the other actors rely on the public perpetuating the panic to support the actors' own personal/professional success.

The public are pawns.

This is a good thread to share with anyone you feel may be inadvertently contributing to the moral panic.

If even 1/100 ppl sees the part they are playing - & that realization helps them transition from panic to rational thought - that's a win for everyone.

(And, yes, I can.)

Share this Scrolly Tale with your friends.

A Scrolly Tale is a new way to read Twitter threads with a more visually immersive experience.
Discover more beautiful Scrolly Tales like this.

Keep scrolling