Social Media And Activism

Traditionally counter culture has been small, but it can turn big. In culture and society class we were learning about the Arab springs.

How a small movement or energy can change things. In Tunisia, the revolution began with a fruit stall holder setting fire to himself. This action led to the downfall of a corrupt dictatorship. Check out this video, it explains it clearly

People were inspired to action. It was December 2010. People were now using the internet. Seeing images of the protests on Facebook, the government were asking the police to shoot the protestors. These videos on Facebook, shocked the Tunisia’s.

On-line revolutionary conversations have often preceded major events on the ground. Social media spreads ideas internationally. Traditionally, counter culture has not been on-line, it can still have a wider impact in a non-online sense.

There is different types of social activism. #hashtag activism is big. There is no make-up selfie to where something can go viral. This can be called an ‘exercise in social narcissism’, where you show yourself to do something good and people feel moved to do something. It raises lots of questions. Are we an ego-centric society?

Are we sitting at the computer versus being active? Are we consciousness raising? Is this affirmative action? Other considerations are on-line media – surveillance, what are corporations doing with our data?

Also, media bias turns people to the internet. People may have no money for a political campaign, when peopl care enough it generates activism. (Note; Obama spent $8 million on online activism).

On-line activism can

  1. Awarenes/Advocacy
  2. Organise/Mobilisation
  3. Action/Reaction

Check out these Links.

Commentary on Twitter and Arab Spring.

This one is very interesting. A man sets himself on fire outside Washington governemt buildings in October 2013 and hardly a wimper is heard. It is really strange. It says “What kind of a society have we become? A man decides to commit suicide as an act of political courage, and is dismissed by both the police and media as unworthy of further examination”

What are we so concerned about? A story hidden by the media. Brave new world.

Also, this is a great resource on

Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice



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