Is the social media network like Facebook and Twitter just used for our entertainment? Just by having a twitter account or a Facebook, one knows that this not true. Not too long ago, people started to share frantically the Kony 2012 video and that later caused uproar in society motivating them to donate money to this organization greatly helping to stop the war criminal and save the children under his command. With this example it can be seen how social media are influenced in activism and this not the only example.
As discussed in the following paragraph’s it will tell of recognizable events and the shocking outcomes of social media activism in our world. The success of the protests in Iran that happened in 2009 is credited to twitter. Twitter was so influential in the revolution that many people called the revolution the “Twitter revolution”. Golnaz Esfandiari believed that twitter did not help much for organizing protests except letting people outside Iran know about what was happening but credits bloggers instead of helping the revolution. Gladwell) This didn’t stop others crediting twitters involvement in the revolution. For example Mark Pfeifle, a former national security adviser believed if twitter was suspended for maintenance “the people of Iran would not have felt empowered and confident to stand up for freedom and democracy” and he nominated Twitter for the Nobel peace prize. ( Gladwell) From these two peoples’ perspective social networks were still important to help the Iranian people fight for their freedom.
Activism works well with social media network if it’s not asking much of the participant. This can be seen by the story that Andy Smith and Jennifer Aaker wrote in their book called “The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change”. (Gladwell) It tells of a story of a girl named Bhatia that needed a bone marrow transplant but could not find a match. So her business partner sent more than 400 emails to her acquaintances to tell of Bhatia predicament.
Shortly sending the emails YouTube videos and Facebook pages were made to encourage people to register in the bone-marrow database. Also the registration and participation didn’t take much from the participant. This later resulted with 25,000 new people registering with the database and not only Bhatia found a match but for others too. (Gladwell) Social media has helped tremendously during horrible natural disasters in Haiti and Chile.
After the earthquake almost all Haiti’s communications were down. Victor Herrero of USA Today noted that these circumstances made people rely on social networks to find their family and friends, food and water, and transportation by using twitter, Facebook and Google apps (Keller). Also Mashable’s Ben Parr said that Facebook and twitter updates appeared every minute and twitter was mainly used to show “moving and gut-wrenching TwitPics of the disaster. (Keller) By the people sharing information and pictures of the disasters on the social media, it caught the attention of people in other countries. People started to donate money and food to help the people affected by the earthquake because of the influence of social media. In conclusion, social media has gained a significant role in influencing activism. It has helped people find others that have the same ideas and beliefs so they can join and make an impact in the world Like the Iranian people have.
With social media making it easy to share information with many people so fast and easy it has helped campaigned to save many of people lives either if was related to an illness or natural disaster. The social media have made people aware of the problems of others by the impacting information, pictures, and videos received by the people we follow on twitter or our friends on Facebook, giving an incentive of helping others because the information is quite impacting. Thus, motivating people to help and join people for a cause.