Ruby van Hamersveld- social justice

In most cases, social media users are being praised by critics for promoting social justice.  These users are manipulating social media platforms by highlighting injustice’s felt by others. However, caution or restraint is required, as many attempts can promote or instigate negativity to an organisation, party or an individual.

Social justice is defined as “promoting a just society by challenging injustice and valuing diversity.”(Ref: Matthew Robinson, PhD).

58% of Americans think that tweeting or posting information online is an effective form of advocacy which has been a major trend in social media beginning in 2014.  These activists put a spotlight on news stories where justice is seen to be lacking, expressing their point of view can promote others to engage and write their opinions as well.  Social activists can cause topics to go viral or trend by using hashtag activism to create awareness about his/her opinion on a particular news story.

Through hashtag activism, #BeenRapedNeverReported became a global phenomenon, with nearly 8 million people in countries as far away as India and Saudi Arabia taking part in an effort to rid the social stigma that surrounds victims of rape and reminding them that they are not alone.  With the exception of this successful campaign, some other posts are not creating awareness, rather naming and shaming organisations or individuals.

When trying to promote justice, we have to talk about the relations between people who are unjust, and to bring justice to them requires rewarding some at the expense of others.

‘Social Justice Warriors’ often name and shame people out of stupidity and emotion over the slightest comment being posted on social media, often causing anarchy and confusion.   Some ‘Social Justice Warriors’ take it to the extreme, and it can become a problem. This can cause anger between strangers and can cause vigilante acts.

With all that aside, social justice, if used correctly, can highlight positivity, create support towards an organisation or individual and can make readers feel heard or included by writing their own opinions and ideas.


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