The creation of social networking site has went beyond socializing, keeping in touch with friends around the world and meeting new people with the same interest. Facebook and Twitter has become so powerful that it is now used as a platform for a revolution movement. This week’s reading discusses just that.
I personally do agree that Facebook and Twitter has to power to make a change because of its potential to reach out to the mass. An essay by Maria Popova provided few historical proof that social sites helped make a change.
2008, public protest in Colombia incited and estimated 4.8 million people to participate in 256 protests against the FARC.
2009, the largest public protest in Bulgaria that resulted resignation of several Parliament member accused of corruption.
2008, A 13-year-old boy used the social web in organizing blood drives after Mumbai terrorist attack
“Adam Penenberg used Twitter in a fine piece of investigative journalism to uncover the details of a $131-million death verdict against Ford that traditional media had failed to access.”
Another example would be our local BERSIH movement. According to their official Facebook page (2006), BERSIH is a coalition backed by 84 non-government organisation (NGOs) in the mission of advocating clean, free and fair electoral system. Up to date BERSIH has coordinated two demonstrations.
Popova pointed an interesting point where she wrote that “online communities broaden out scope of empathy. Traditional media may not provide people sufficient information that would create such impact, maybe it is because traditional media are often one sided being and having some influence by the government in some countries. Social sites allows people to share their point of view and sharing often raw information about an issue, like unedited self-recorded videos and pictures.
With that said, Facebook and Twitter actually gives people the power to make a change. But just by clicking a button does not make a difference, all the example above proved that what Popova said about the “domino effect of awareness, empathy and action. None of the above would have happened if any one of the elements were absent.
About BERSIH 2.0 [Official] 2006, accessed 25/10/2012, http://www.facebook.com/BERSIH2.0OFFICIAL/info
Popova, M 2010, “Malcolm Gladwell Is #Wrong”, The Design Observer Group, Accessed 25/10/2012, http://changeobserver.designobserver.com/feature/malcolm-gladwell-is-wrong/19008/