Social Networking & Activism “Tweets and the Street”


As we know, the main instrument within the New Media Activism are the  “new communication technologies like the internet, mobile phones, and more recently social media applications — especially social network- ing platforms like Twitter or Facebook — [that] are regarded by many as drivers of revolutionary changes in our societies”(Archetti, 2012, p. 182). These changes are not only social, but they also play a large role in politics.  “New media, such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, have played a major role in episodes of contentious political action. They are often described as important tools for activists seeking to replace authoritarian regimes and to promote freedom and democracy, and they have been lauded for their democratizing potential.” (Aday et al., 2010, p. 3)

According to Paul Mason, BBC journalist, the functionalities of the various social networks as a tool full suite of contemporary activist, would be as follows:

  • Facebook is used to form groups and set dates and places to meet on a physical level. It is ideal to realize what will be the guidelines which will be carried out within the whole process, as well as collect and make available, all relevant information.
  • Twitter is used to describe the events in real time and broadcast news without going through third parties or other “cumbersome operations” typical collection of media data.
  • YouTube and other social videos and photos networks provide a way to give immediate evidence of information that are published in other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. They are the “evidence” that attest to what we are telling.

One of the main features of social networks is the use of #hashtags to follow events or a complete activist campaign. It is very useful to avoid noise from other news and so that people can follow at every moment the steps that are taking place.

As a literaly example we could find Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism, by Gerbaudo (2012), which tells what he saw when he was in the middle of the famous demonstrations in Cairo. Twitter and other online social media have become a powerful weapon of mass movement and have been consolidated as important channels to join a society with the same ideals, so that different persons are acting in defense of rights and, at the same time, people wishing to claim a political and social change that improves their quality of life.

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  1. I really agree that New Social Media works for us in two ways, it is as described above a great tool for organizing and spreading the word, however we seem much more attracted to the post we make ourselves and the reactions to them, then interacting and reading other people’s posts. And maybe it lays something in this, with how the reward system in the brain works when we interact on social media and the strive for social change and activism with the same tools. posts.

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