As someone who has followed the infamous YEGwave Instagram account since December 2021, I’d like to add my two cents.
YEGwave posts some very questionable things, but since the passing of Bill C-18, Meta has blocked almost all other forms of news publishers and broadcasters on its platforms. We Gen Zers usually get our news and updates from social media like Instagram and Twitter. Since we can’t access any news or access The Griff on social media, we can only get our news from YEGwave. I wonder why Meta is allowing that. It could be classified as more of an entertainment account than a news source.
Compared to the distribution of traditional media, the news-based social media account YEGwave reports on what’s happening around Edmonton within minutes. Whoever runs the account doesn’t have to follow any rules or regulations except for Meta’s guidelines. Many followers will usually send videos and photos to YEGwave right away, which is why they post so quickly. Not to mention, they cover news that traditional media doesn’t.
“The constant reporting on fights, gun violence, crash accidents and whatnot has personally made me become desensitized to events happening in Edmonton.”
However, there are many upsides to YEGwave, such as getting fast news that reports on many different topics while being written in a way that is digestible and entertaining for Gen Zers. Not to mention, there seems to be a connection that has developed between the followers and the account owner. It’s almost as if they are waiting on YEGwave for news. The account will even warn the public if a sexual offender is released which lets the public know that they should be more vigilant outside. Lastly, they have created a space where young people can freely voice their thoughts and opinions.
But, there are downsides, too. For one, the constant reporting on fights, gun violence, crash accidents and whatnot has personally made me become desensitized to events happening in Edmonton. The shock or distress element is no longer there after constant overexposure to this kind of news and images. If anything, I get more angry at the drivers and people making this city feel unsafe. Nothing makes me more furious than when YEGwave posts about a predator that the police have released after being convicted of horrible crimes. I especially get annoyed when the police warn the public that the offender has a high chance of committing another sexual offence. YEGwave could also have an impact on younger people, specifically teenagers, who may think that fights and violence are normal since they are constantly exposed to them online. Since no one keeps YEGwave in check, there is a high chance that some information they report might be inaccurate.
Overall, times are changing, and YEGwave brings something different to the news scene. The person or team running the account is anonymous, but they are most likely regular folks like us. YEGwave is not some prominent, well-known publication or news broadcaster Yegwave has a more casual voice when it comes to reporting news compared to the professional tone of bigger news outlets such as the Edmonton Journal. YEGwave also invites their followers to share their thoughts in the comment section which creates a safe space for people to engage with each other.There is more openness and communication, which is attracting more followers. People also feel more comfortable reporting to the page about happenings in Edmonton. The anonymity brings a different angle to media reporting that has never been seen before in Edmonton.