Depp v. Heard: Social Media and Biases

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were a Hollywood power couple. However, all of that took a turn following their infamous trial last year.


The Depp v Heard trial that is now streaming on Netflix spanned a total of over 100 hours. Due to the star-studded parties, the televised trial was followed by millions of people. Although trials may benefit from public traction, the public voice inadvertently affected the way the trial unfolded and society as a whole.

Depp V Heard (TV Mini Series 2023)
Photo via IMDb

This high-profile defamation case shows how negative biases can cause gaps in understanding. And that can affect our lives too!

Social Media News

Tiktok news updates make ‘keeping up to date’ easy. But how do we know if it’s the truth?

These ‘news segment’ posts are usually short clips narrated by just one person and can be really captivating. The onus is on us to embrace it as the absolute truth.

Journalism / News / Opinion accounts on TikTok
Photos via TikTok


Opinions should be heard and celebrated. But every individual opinion is filtered through personal schemas based on the reporters experiences, knowledge and perspectives. The truth of any situation would therefore require a wider read of the topic and looking into cross-references and other reported accounts. The same goes for Twitter, Facebook or Threads posts.

Online v. Reality

Many people feel that the Depp v Heard’s case was swayed by ‘evidence’ that was heavily circulated online during the long court case. The argument against the jurisdiction was that the jurors could have been influenced by all the opnions circulating on social media. If you found yourself taking sides in this case, it is probably due to confirmation bias. As human, our minds have a tendency to side with the personal values and believes that we have always held to be the truth.

So why should we care?

I guess it depends on the kind of social media that we want for ourselves. What if we are at the recieving end of the negative vibes? Do we also want to perpetuate cancel culture, piling on and cyberbullying? As a netizen we all have choices and can contribute to the kind of world we want to live in.


Taking Perspective

One way to make our social space kinder for everyone is to practice perspective taking.

This will help us to avoid jumping to conclusions, developing prejudices and reinforcing stereotypes.

Try out perspective taking the next time you feel tempted to jump on the band-wagon with everyone else. Trust me, you’ll feel so much more wiser and kinder.


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Photo via Netflix, Taken from https://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/web-series/depp-v-heard-review-netflix-series-johnny-depp-amber-heard-trial-8896701/

Photo via Netflix, Taken from https://www.indiewire.com/features/commentary/depp-v-heard-netflix-1234895515/

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