Reshaping Social Activism

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By: Blanca Reyes
One of the biggest social media movements happened in November, 2010. During the Arab Springs, the tweets related with it increased by thousands per day; videos of the protests reached millions and millions of views. Blogs and postings in Facebook from government opposition groups reached without precedent high levels. Social media helped raising awareness around the world about the situation. Social media also played an important role organizing the protests and divulging the repression from the government.
These events marked the “beginning” of the called e-activism (although social media had been used before, it had never reached these levels).
Some people have divided digital activism into three categories: Awareness/advocacy, organization/mobilization, and action/reaction. Each of these categories are used to get different results. The outcomes can be from spreading the word about a cause, a non-profit organization asking for help or getting attention to the government, media and/or authorities.
We do not need to look at other continents to find excellent examples of how social activism is being doing nowadays.#BlackLivesMatters, #MarriageEquality, #RefugeesWelcome and #NosFaltan43 are just a few examples of many causes, which are looking for the community’s support. Although social media cannot replace the protests, votes or marches, it is a powerful platform to organize people and to promote their causes.
Social media also helps to bring out of the shadows social problems that, very often, are not covered by the mainstream media for different reasons. Sometimes it is not because of a malicious reason of lack of interest, it is just about not being able to be at the right place or at the right moment, or it is, simply, because some events are taken as usual injustices. It is here where social media lights the flame of society’s interests for these inequalities.
It is a fact that most people want to see more social justice in the world; it is also a fact that nowadays many people have access to any kind of social media. Although these platforms cannot replace the actions, they can be, for sure, a powerful tool to find support and to make visible important social causes.

Works Cited

“Arab Spring.” Wikipedia, 20 Oct. 2016, Accessed 23 Oct. 2016.
Egeland, Alexis. “Hayden Lawn anonymously decorated to memorialize Nos Faltan 43 victims.” The State Press, 28 Sept. 2016, Accessed 23 Oct. 2016.
Garza, Alicia, et al. “Herstory/ Black Lives Matter.” Black Lives Matter, Haki Creatives, Accessed 23 Oct. 2016.
“Internet Activism.” Wikipedia, 31 Aug. 2016, Activism. Accessed 23 Oct. 2016.
“Marriage Equality USA.” Marriage Equality, Tectonica, 2014, Accessed 23 Oct. 2016.
O’Donnell, Catherine. “New study quantifies use of social media in Arab Spring.” Washington, U of Washington, 12 Sept. 2011, Accessed 23 Oct. 2016.
“Refugee Welcome.” Refugees Are Welcome, 19 May 2016, Accessed 23 Oct. 2016.

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Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism