To explain the problem of violence in society, researchers should begin with that social violence and seek to explain it with reference, quite obviously, to those who engage in it: their identity, background, character and so on.
Gauntlet goes on to criticize studies that focus on children by stating that they do not as a control group, and that the studies are conducted primarily to further a "barely-concealed conservative ideology." He counters the premise of these studies with the concept that not all depictions of violence are even bad to witness. USC Professor Henry Jenkins, for instance, suggested in his speech to congress that The Basketball Diaries utilizes violence in a form of social commentary that provides clear social benefit.
Gauntlet explains further that objects defined as "violent" or "anti-social" may not be judged as such in the minds of the viewer and tend to be viewed in artificial circumstances. These objects are furthermore based on previous studies with flawed methodology, and are not grounded in theory. Additionally, he claims that the effects model attempts to understand the meanings of media.
Historical criticisms situate the 'meta-narrative' of effects theory within a long history of distrust of new forms of media, dating as far back as Socrates's objections to the deleterious effects due to the written alphabet.
Political criticisms pose an alternative conception of humans as rational, critical subjects who are alert to genre norms and adept at interpreting and critiquing media representations, instead of passively absorbing them.
Supporters of effects theory contend that commercials and advertising prove that media influence behavior. In the 20th century, aggressive media attention and negative coverage of trials involving celebrities like Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle or Michael Jackson have influenced the general public's opinion, before the trials effectively started. However, these critics do point out that while the media could have an effect on people's behavior this isn't necessarily always the case.
Critics of the media effects theory point out that many copycat murders, suicides and other violent acts nearly always happen in abnormal upbringings. Violent, emotionally neglectful or aggressive environments influence behavior more than watching certain programs, films or listening to certain music. Most people who carry out these acts are also mentally unstable to begin with.
Also there are other thinkers who criticize effects based research, such as Terry Flew and Sal Humphrey, Barker and Freedman.,,-Martin Barker (2001) criticised Elizabeth Newson who alleged link between media violence and real life violence in her report in 1994, Brooke (2003–07),for example talks about this in details. The report gained media attention when it claimed the horror film Child's Play 3 had influenced two 10-year-old boys' behavior and led to the Murder of James Bulger in Feb. 1993. After examining and assessing Newson’s report, it was apparent that there was no clear link between the film and the crime. Critics pointed out that Newson's case studies were reliant on press accounts and opinions rather than independent research. However, Newson's report was influential, and has led to more censorship of videos and more concern from the British Board of Film classification on the psychological effects of media violence. The attention and question become whether they were watching violent media.
But Barker (2001) doesn’t agree with Elizabeth Newson. He rejected her claim about the connection between media violence and real life violence, in his argument he justifies his position, he indicates that there was not a scrap of evidence that the boys had seen the movie and Child's Play 3 is a moral film. He also criticized anti media campaigns and described them as ignorant and disguised political campaigns. He states that these claims are represented by media and most of people have no chance to check the credibility of them, he also points out that these films including Child's Play 3 are often attacked because they deal with political issues. Moreover, he lists real cases, for example “a man takes a gun and shoots his entire family after watching the news, arrested and tried, he explains his actions on the basis that the world news was so bad there seemed no point in anyone going on living”. Barker suggests that this case for example is no different that other putative cases of media a causing violence, Barker said that we should not always blindly blame the media because people are not copycats, instead we should be aware of someone's mental state and take other factors into account before making such claims. For example, in his case he states that the man's reaction was abnormal. Therefore, his behavior could not be explained by suggesting “the effects of the news”. There are other social and cultural factors in criminal acts in which the media are not the basic influence. Barker also suggests 'that we must look beyond a specific film to think about the specific context in which it has been consumed, and the wider social background of the people'.,according to Barker there is no such thing called violence in the media that either could or could not cause violence, we should rather pay attention to how social factors and background make some people consume media in specific way., for instance, even the news also show lots of violence, so people should rather pay attention to how social factors and background make some people consume media in particular way. In addition Barker (2001) proposes further research, he suggests that the theory of media violence connection must be tested because identification with particular element in a film is not something can be seen. He also noted problem with campaigners treating delinquents as normal people who become influenced by the media. Therefore, he suggests further research on how these people understand and consume media.
-Critics of effects research see no connection between exposure to media violence and real life violence. Although some research claims that heavy exposure to media violence can lead to more aggressive behavior, it has been suggested that exposure alone does not cause a child to commit crimes.
-Flew and Humphreys (2005) said that the assumptions of effects researchers are frequently flawed. According to Flew and Humphreys, Freedman (2001) and Goldstein (2001) the number of studies on games and violence is small and the research suffers from flawed methodologies which do very little to prove a direct link. Terry Flew and Sal Humphreys also state ‘that differing context of consumption will always mean we need to take account of the particularities of players and how and why they play, effects researches often give insufficient account to the relevance of cultural contexts and the way in which media are actually implicated in the circulation of meanings in our cultures'.
-Freedman (2007) is another thinker who rejects this idea, in reference to the FCC ‘the Federal Communications Commission in US’ report that suggests link between media violence and real life violence, Freedman indicates the lack of discussion and states that the FCC does not make a sufficiviolence. For example a recent long-term outcome study of youth found no long-term relationship between watching violent television and youth violence or bullying
Certain groups tend to argue for media effects in an effort to promote a political cause. Demands for the banning of certain songs or the labeling of obscene albums came specifically from conservative political groups in the United States. However, Tipper Gore, the wife of Al Gore, was the founder of the Parents Music Resource Center, and was the main figure in pushing for warning labels on music although she does not fit into the conservative demographic. They argued that such material had simple and identifiable effects on children, and thus should be banned/labelled. Political factions use the media to influence possible members into joining their groups. ent distinction between people’s opinions, intuitions and musings on the one hand, and the hard scientific data on the other, and he indicates the lack of discussion of one of the strongest arguments against the idea that media violence causes aggression. According to Freedman the rate of violent crime in the United states increased sharply from 1965 to 1980 and some people blamed that increase on media. The rate of violent crime leveled off until about 1992, since that time, television continued to have violent programs, there was also more scenes and media showing more violence, if exposure to violent media cause real violence one would surely expect the rate of violent crime to have increased sharply, yet, since 1992 there has been a dramatic drop in violent crime, it seems clear that media violence did not cause the earlier increase. Therefore, it is widely accepted that there is no convincing evidence that prove that media violence cause violent crime or any type of real life