Occupy Wall Street Movement: An Analysis

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We perceive social media to be a powerful device capable of shaping opinions through the wide dissemination of knowledge. However, through Paolo Gerbaudo (2012)’s critical examination of the Occupy Wall Street movement, we see a clear case study of the failure of social media to create real change. In addition, it demonstrates how social media interactions and limitations can undermine critical messages and actions. Another advocacy campaign fell victim to this media pitfall, and its lead, perhaps singular, activist, Suey Park, faced hostile criticism for its very existence. At least, that is how her story is framed in the Syfy show, The Internet Ruined My Life. In 2014, Park challenged the satirical news show The Colbert Report for its seemingly …show more content…
However, while her response instigated a viral campaign, it was ultimately short lived and inconsequential. As a movement, #CancelColbert lacked key elements of successful activism emphasized within the few achievements of the Occupy movement, such as real-world interactions and the identification of powerful leadership (Gerbaudo, 2012). The former is clearly absent from a movement that began online, where Park’s call to action amounted to a tweet reading “#Cancel Colbert. Trend it” (“#CancelColbert,” …show more content…
In her interview, Park notes the apparent stress she felt when her words were taken out of context and her followers disappeared, resulting in her emotional breakdown (“#CancelColbert,” 2016). It posits her as a victim of malice, seemingly innocent and entirely sympathetic. However, as a “career activist,” Park sat in a position where criticism should be expected. Though it certainly does not justify the misogynistic harassment she received, it is not uncommon for advocates to face adversity (“#CancelColbert,” 2016). Park essentially abandoned her position as a leader once support started to wane. Gerbaudo (2012) notes that the OWS Movement, despite its claims, maintained leadership and hierarchies in order to achieve its goals (p. 130). Ultimately, strong leadership and courage in the face of adversity is vital to leading support for a cause, and Park failed to demonstrate

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