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Social Change through Social Media - Women's March on Washington

Social Change through Social Media - Women's March on Washington

On January 21st, 2017, the Women’s March on Washington protest took place all around the world to protect women’s rights after the inauguration of Trump. They protested women’s rights along with immigration reform, health care reform, the natural environment, LGBQT rights, racial equality, freedom of religion and workers’ rights. The march was a stand against the misogynistic ways of Trump.

 

The movement was started as a Facebook event where Teresa Shook of Hawaii invited friends to march on Washington. Other women also created Facebook pages and this lead to thousands of women signing up to march, so they consolidated their pages to create one united march. Marches were held all around the world with the largest participation being seen in Washington with about 500,000 people, three times the size of Trumps Inauguration.

 

The protest was created on social media and made even larger due to it. I was able to see videos of the march on Facebook, images of friends with posters on Instagram, and updates on Twitter. The movement itself was powerful, but it was made even more powerful through the influence that it had on these platforms.

After reading the articles “The Unwanted Labor of Social Media” by Lisa Nakamura and “Social Media Conversations About Race” by Monica Anderson and Paul Hitlin, I became aware of other ways social media has helped bring about social justice. The women’s march on Washington is an excellent example of how social change can be created through social media.

 

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2 comments

Good article! I was also excited to see how much of the marches all around the world I could view on social media. On the Women's March on Washington website, they have changed the message from rallying people to march to getting people to act from wherever they are in a campaign for 10 Actions for the 1st 100 Days of the new presidency. Do you think that the energy that this movement had at the march can continue, and will social media be a crucial part of its success?

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The Nakamura article mentioned that "strong feelings of fellowship, mutual support, and community" can arise out of these online social justice movements. Did you feel watching, even participating, in the women's march through social media interaction engendered any from of commnitity identify, good will or support? Could being an activist participant through social media rather than a passive viewer change your reaction or feeling of ownership/belonging to the movement?  

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