The information revolution taking place through social media has impacted virtually all aspects of modern life. Whether you believe that the traditional news media is fake news or not, social media tends to tell a different story in many cases.
In a recent study by the Pew research center, it was revealed that More than half of all Americans have engaged in at least one “political or social-minded activity” on social media in the past year, according to the study. They include people looking up information on local protests, using hashtags relating to a political issue, or encouraging others to act.
The study also reveals that while a majority of Americans believe that social media are important in accomplishing a range of political goals, black Americans — eight in ten— value the platforms for magnifying issues that aren’t usually discussed in the main stream. A smaller share of Hispanics and whites — around 60 percent for each group — share the same sentiment.
But while most Americans have an overall positive impression of social media’s ability to help drive political change, Black and Hispanic social media users are more likely than whites to say that social sites help them find politically like-minded people, get involved with issues that are important to them and express their political views.
One Notable example is the BlackLivesMatter hashtag used on Twitter. According to the study, that hashtag continues to spike following the highly publicized fatal deaths of black Americans by law enforcement. The hashtags ability to spark interest in these subjects make it a prime example of hashtags associated with political issues or causes.
racialized social media movements and their influence became the focus of a recent move by Facebook to remove fake Facebook or Instagram accounts or pages associated with a political influence campaign linked to the Russian government. Those pages had been found to exploit names like “Black Elevation” and “Resisters,” and organized counter protests to white nationalist rallies in Washington.
As with most things, social media can be used for good or evil. It is up to the individual to use it as a valuable tool for justice.