Global protest, technology and social media: Research roundup By Margaret Weigel Can social media promote lasting political change, perhaps even a revolution? If so, to what extent?
Nevertheless, we are only just beginning to understand how social media in fact produces real-life results in the context of conflict, revolutions, and social upheaval.
It was a fascinating debate and a wonderful event with an impressive cast of debaters. I am very happy, proud and even a bit surprised to say that the opposition was victorious. I therefore wanted to share with you a draft of the speech I gave on this increasingly pertinent subject.
As noted above, this is just the beginning of the debate. Madam President, honourable members, ladies and gentlemen, There is no point in standing before you and denying that social media has changed how political and social activism is done.
It clearly and obviously has. To suggest so is to misunderstand what it means to do social activism and to be a social activist.
We are told a very simple story about the relationship between social media and social activism. You have all heard it. Social media topples Arab tyrants. Social media leads to democratic elections. Social media can bring rebel leaders in the heart of Africa to justice.
The problem here is simple. None of the above is true. An absolutely necessary condition for the effectiveness and success of a social campaign is building a political community of real-life, off-line physical human beings committed to a common cause.
It did not go viral randomly or because of celebrity endorsements on Twitter and Facebook. It should thus come as no surprise that KONY began trending on Twitter before the campaign video itself was released — as the carefully cultivated community of Christian youths in mid-sized American cities began tweeting.
Consider too, the role of social media in the Arab Spring. It would be wrong to attribute the effectiveness and success of human rights and democracy campaigners in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, and so on, entirely to social media. The opposition to these regimes had learned from decades of experience, training in human rights and civil disobedience.
The people who bravely marched on Tahrir Square in Cairo and Green Square in Tripoli did so not because they heard about it on Twitter but because of real grievances; because of years of outrage and humiliation; because, to them, enough was enough.
Part of the popular narrative also tells us that re-tweeters and sharers on Facebook themselves are a new breed social activists, ready at the whim to tackle tyranny and oppression, their iPads and iPhones proof of their commitment to liberal democratic values.
Again, this is fundamentally misleading. Sharing and re-tweeting KONY was a symbolic action, the merits of which we can debate. But it was symbolic action taken almost exclusively by people who were never activists in the first place.
They are the ones who confront, challenge and sometimes alter the very social and political fabric of their societies by making long-term commitments, making personal sacrifices and often putting themselves at risk.
They have been doing it for years, sometimes decades before Twitter and Facebook even existed! Rather, we must understand that in this age of persuasion, social media is one of the tools available to social activists.The future of how effective youth involvement in social media can be really depends on the level of interaction between the public and these social media tools.
Activism and awareness raising is a long term fight, even through social media, and must be kept up in an effort to engage younger audiences and prepare them for future involvement.
By CEO of EDEL Technology Consulting at IMANI Youth Event Traditional media and bureaucratic restrictions are no longer walls high enough to deprive our society of accountable governance through youth activism.
Activism is quite simply taking action to effect social change; this can occur in a myriad of ways and in a variety of forms. Often it is concerned with ‘how to change the world’ through social, political, economic or environmental change.
Youth is a powerful force for change and youth activism is on the rise, with a lot of young people taking action for social transformation.
Youth are engaging with . The relationship between social media use and youth’s political participation has been extensively studied. However, explanations for youth’s online collective political activism have been less explored.
Previous studies have used the concept of internal political efficacy to examine the. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.
It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.