Social Media Supports #Ferguson

Consider an evening at home: your television is on, turned to the local news broadcast. Your phone is in your hand as you tweet about what you are having for dinner. Now consider meshing these two things; instead of posting about dinner plans, you’re live-tweeting the police standoff happening the next block over.

This is a form of social activism, one that is currently being used to broadcast to the world – in real time – the situation in Ferguson, MO. Lydia Brassard writes about the popular Twitter trend, #Ferguson, describing how up-to-date, concise posts have boosted both the country’s view of the situation and the awareness of racial conflicts in not only Ferguson, but in other news events as well.

By keeping up with #Ferguson, according to Brassard, you are filtering through hegemonic news sources that depend on a person’s pre-established views. Instead, you are receiving information from many different sources at once, thereby deepening your understanding of the event on a much broader level. This, in turn, allows for a more accurate and diversely understood public.

The lack of censorship on social media sites is one of the biggest reasons that trends like #Ferguson are so effective. People are free to post what they want. When people choose to post about the news and events instead of their chicken Parmesan dinner, that is when social activism starts.



One thought on “Social Media Supports #Ferguson

  1. It’s interesting that Twitter and other forms of social media are democratizing the way we learn about our world. Instead of being confined to the views of two or three news stations that inevitably have political biases, we can browse through what hundreds or even thousands of people are saying about a particular event. There is likely to be every view and political bias possible encompassed in a Twitter hashtag. While it is beneficial to hear many viewpoints, it is also concerning that sources like Twitter are not edited or peer reviewed. This can lead to a kind of social media hysteria where facts or opinions that have no basis in truth become viral. It is both a blessing and a curse to have every viewpoint, live and up to the minute. In some ways it can lead us to understand our world better, but it could also lead to tyranny of the majority.

Comments are closed.