Annie Bates-Social Media for Social Justice

Instead of condemning the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, critics are now praising users of social media for promoting social justice causes writes Annie Bates.

Rather than users of social media utilising their devices to create cyber friendships and an internet community, many patrons are being encouraged to continue hashtags for specific issues in our society. The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls relates to the hundreds of Nigerian girls that were kidnapped by a terrorist group. This led to a social media rally which continues to draw attention to this devastating crisis. Many women are active on social media but not only for the pretty pictures. The driving awareness of women and girls’ issues through hashtag activism is very popular today. These truly innovative campaigns have spread to thousands and thousands of people throughout the world. The reading and sharing of these hashtags will give many other people in our community insight into different issues.

Other social media activities promoting awareness are the different challenges that are filmed and shown online, these challenges create awareness of different issues. The very popular ALS Ice-bucket challenge featured all over Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. In India millions of people lack access to clean water and proper sanitation and believed the ice-bucket challenge was wasteful. They have started a rice bucket challenge that involves people of their community to take a bucket of rice from their kitchen and give it the nearest person in need.

I believe social media can be very beneficial in creating awareness of different issues in our society rather than just being a tool for creating cyber communities.

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