The Importance of Social Media to Activism

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Lindsey Brown
Professor Daren Dean
English 2000
22 March 2013
You Cannot Ignore the Importance of Social Media
According to, activism is the policy or action of using campaigning to bring about political or social change. A huge campaign that is well known across the world, the Civil Rights Movement, was brought about by Martin Luther King, Jr. King risked his life everyday to ensure justice and equality for the African American race. “Small Change” by Malcolm Gladwell gives insight on how activism is more effective than social media, especially from one scenario at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. Gladwell points out his strong belief of what activism can do for a society rather what social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook can do. Although many people may or may not agree with Gladwell’s point of view that, “The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism”, this remains a very important topic for discussion. From the Civil Rights Movement, activism has been very beneficial to certain societies while so has social networking media sties. Today, there are many sources that support the idea that social media does have a strong impact on political or social change. However, as a member of society I have acknowledged the reasons behind activism’s effectiveness.

The matter of activism has always been beneficial in the field of change. Since activism deals with the attacking deeply rooted problems the question of what is considered a tool of activism is an argument for both sides. In one case Gladwell’s article, “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted”, argues against the strong impact and change of social media. In the article he states that the platforms of social media are built around weak ties and weak ties seldom lead to high-risk activism. He further claims that although social networks are effective at increasing participation social activism does not succeed...
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