Although it is true that the media communicate news of real events, it is also true that news is changed by very fact of its passage through the media, whatever the efforts to present it objectively. In particular, the media are often accused of giving undue importance to events involving violence. There is also concern for the growing tendency to mix fact and fiction in presentations designed to give heightened interest to the news. The media can not only reinforce impressions gained from other sources, they can also create the impressions. The commonest charge made is that by portraying violence the media lead people to imitate what they read, hear or see. It is even more often claimed that the violence gives rise to imitation and thus leads to juvenile delinquency or crime. The long-term effects of violence in media far outweigh its immediate effects, but are more difficult to assess.
At the time of his arrest, Timothy McVeigh, the man responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, had a copy of The Turner Diaries in his possession. McVeigh's action against the Murrah Federal Building was strikingly similar to an event described in the book where the fictional terrorist group blows up FBI Headquarters. The book details a violent overthrow of the federal government by white supremacists and also describes a brutal race war that is to take place simultaneously.
Violence in Germany against refugees is strongly correlated with the use of Facebook: the higher the use of Facebook, the higher the violence against refugees.