Monday, April 20, 2015

Fuchs chp 4 and 8

Fuchs 4 and 8:

Fuch’s chapter 8 deals with the role of social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook, in aiding with slacktivism. Slacktivism is defined here as the kind of activism associated with social media that doesn’t require people to make a “real” sacrifice or invest “real” effort in the promotion of a cause. It’s remarked by Evgeny Morozo on page 188 as feel-good online activism that has zero political or social impact and gives those who participate an illusion of having a meaningful impact on the world without demanding anything past joining a Facebook group. Josh Moran posed this question on March 17, 2015: is Fuch’s underestimating the power of these social media platforms?

I believe he is underestimating these social media platforms. He makes the claim the Facebook and Twitter activism would only succeed in situations that do not require people to make real sacrifice. Fuch’s mentions in Chapter 4 that face-to-face communication and Facebook were activists most important means of obtaining information about the Occupy Wall Street movement. But he later goes on to dismiss this component as insufficient. I disagree with this comment. I keep bringing to mind the KONY 2012 video that brought national attention to the Invisible Children movement. In the course of a few days, thanks to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, there was such intense exposure of the video that the KONY website crashed. It was later included among the top international events of 2012 by PBS and called the most viral video of all time by Time Magazine. The purpose of the video was to draw international attention to Joseph Kony, leader of an African Militia serviced by refugee children and to have him arrested by the end of 2012. The campaign resulted in a resolution by the United States Senate and contributed to the decision to send troops by the African Union. I believe this stands as a testament of the sheer power social media platforms truly possess. What some believe to be mere slacktivism or clicktivism still aids in the cause.  

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