Blog Post

Social (Media, Justice, Both?)

Social media - a concept that has consumed our lives. This mode of communication has become the hub for long-distance connections, news, and political conversations. We have talked in class about collaboration, and social media allows people who may have never been able to get involved with movements to contribute something whether it is expertise, opinions, money, or other contributions. It is easier than ever to connect with people from all over the world, and organizing large events has become as easy as a few clicks on a computer or cell phone as opposed to dozens of phone calls to spread the word. 

The Wired article, "How Black Lives Matter Uses Social Media to Fight the Power" highlights that "Any large social movement is shaped by the technology available to it and tailors its goals, tactics, and rhetoric to the media of its time." 

The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag came in 2013, in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer. Since then, hashtags have been a focal point in discussing race relations and police brutality when it comes to unarmed black people being shot and killed. 

The details of these occurences have been spread, and the video footage of the killings online for just about anyone to see. One concern is that spread of these videos through social media is normalizing what is happening and desensitizing us. We know that none of this is normal. But, the media does have influence over how we receive news, what facts we get, and the point of view our news comes from which we should continue to bear in mind.

While social media has been a revolutionary tool for social movements, and the #Black LivesMatter movement in particular, it comes with its downsides. 

The Pew Research Center's "Social Media Conversations About Race" looks at statistics related to the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and social media, and is a good article to familiarize yourself with. 

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