Activism In Social Media

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From social revolutions to anti-slavery riots, people inspire societal change through activism. Activism seeks to turn away from conventional ideologies, and normalise one’s own cause, thereby creating a new normal (Hansson and Jacobsson, 243).
A study conducted in 2005 showed that there were 1024 million Internet users around the world and this number increased to 3174 million in 2015 (“Number”). With the rise of the digital age, activists are now taking their cause onto cyberspace, especially on the Internet. Social media activism, in particular, is the modern day version of protest. The use of hashtags, videos, websites and photos seek to spread the message of their ideology, garner support and influencing people to take action.
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The study used social network diagrams, to show the involvement of two distinct mainstream media entities, indicating that the story was being conveyed to a wider audience between 24th November 2014 to 2nd December 2014 (Freelon et al. 55). This is supported by a study titled, “The Measure of a Movement: Quantifying Black Lives Matter’s Social Media Power”. In this study, the 3 most persistent communities in the converstation about police brutality – namely, BLM, Political Conservatives and mainstream news outlets such as CNN, the New York Times Associated Press, etc – were identified (Freelon, et al, “Measure of a…show more content…
Moreover, the effects of activism in digital media have become more prominent in recent years due to the use of mainstream media outlets and the increase in non-hierarchical networks within organisations. However, it is also important to note from the various research studies that digital media activism does not impact or involve different demographics in the same way.
It is also evident from this paper that many studies regarding digital media activism are limited to specific groups of people, which reduces the credibility of the study. Additionally, some of the studies involve sampling biases such as language barriers which resulted in rejection of certain respondents. Thus, there is a need for studies involving greater diversity, in order to provide an accurate representation of the impacts, successes, and uses of activism in the digital

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