Social Media’s Influence in Activism and Revolution

Words: 834
Topic: Entertainment & Media


Across the global village, the introduction of communication via the internet has liberated contact and made it efficient and cost-effective. At present, by a click of the button, an individual is in a position to communicate with the entire world. Social media has become very common among activists across the globe. The most common types of social media users among the activists are Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. Social media has had several impacts on modern activism and political revolutions. This analytical treatise attempts to explicitly review the role of social media on activism and revolution on the world stage.

Development of social media

Reflectively, the source of media reference in this paper is social media use, which has surpassed other means of communication. Scholars in the field of communication media are still fully glued to the well-distributed channel of communication known as the internet to predict and explain the underlying factors that enabled certain cultural influences to be popular. Moreover, social media remains to be the most popular central element of information transference landscape in activism and political change actualization. It’s been statistically established that activists spend more time in the internet watching news, blogging, and interacting with their followers on pertinent issues such as poor governance, need for change, and tools for paradigm shift across the globe (Abdelhay 21).

Social media and activism

Social media has made communication to become concentrated and sophisticated as users enjoy access to information in the quickest way possible. Therefore, users of social media have formed internet cultures, which are platforms for sharing information. The information may be in the form of grievances, desired changes, and social issues affecting society. For instance, the Arab Spring, which began in the year 2009, was propelled by social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter (Chaney 379). Accessibility of the social media prompted opinion shapers in the Arab nations to inspire the need for change, especially among the youths. Social media was used to incite, inspire, and organize the successful political upheavals, which led to a change of political leadership in countries such as Libya, Egypt, and Iraq. Despite the efforts of the current president of Syria to stay in power, social media in the form of Facebook and Twitter has been successful in marshaling support for the rebel leaders in the form of funding, medical supplies, and voluntary fighters (Al-Suwaidi 23).

The internet media plays a significant role in the process of defining and forming social consciousness and its limits towards achieving social change in the modern world characterized by informal interaction. In theoretical conception, functionalism believes that mass media revolution and solidarity as an agent of communication would facilitate the occurrence of revolutionary modes of reception and functioning of different target audiences. Through embracing maintenance strategy topology, it is easier for an internet user to identify the aspects of self-disclosure, positivity, and social networking as the assuring factors that promoted the effectiveness of mass cultural modes used across the generational divides to manage the cross-generational conflict as is the case in Syria and Ukraine. The change has been inspired by authenticity longing that clouds the memory of a person to experience the absolute real from the enclosures of the norms of the society. Therefore, understanding the mass culture is made possible through expressions, illustrations, and even reactions to political and social interests, as was the case during the revolution in Egypt (Mansour 39).

Social media has catalyzed democratic reforms and government changes across the globe. The social media has become a very significant tool for expression of dissatisfaction with any form of poor governance, corruption, and abuse of office. This platform has been used by the global community to demand accountability and good leadership. For instance, activities on social media forced the parliament of the Philippines, Ukraine, and Egypt to impeach their presidents. In the Philippines, the public protest on social media forced congress to reverse its earlier stand that President Joseph Estrada would not be impeached. The Filipinos’ public outcry on different social media sites and eventual street protests forced the government to present crucial evidence of poor governance against Estrada. The political activists used social media to mobilize the Filipinos to pour into the streets and order for the trial of the president when still in office. Due to fear that the president might centralize power to defeat the legal and parliamentary systems, the activists circulated the message ‘Go to EDSA’ on social media sites. The message pulled millions of Filipinos into the Manila streets. Owing to fear of losing the support of the public, the congress had to impeach the corrupt president (Abdelhay 21).


Conclusively, the paradigm shift in the internet user mechanism is defined by manipulation and interactivity levels that may emerge as a conservatory of the viewer’s traditional spectatorship among the activists. Social media has remained very instrumental in fighting poor governance and has catalyzed political revolution and a leadership change in countries such as Egypt, Libya, the Philippines, and Ukraine.

Works Cited

Abdelhay, Nur. “The Arab uprising 2011: new media in the hands of a new generation in North Africa.” Aslib Proceedings 64.5 (2012): 11-39. Print.

Al-Suwaidi, Jonah. From tribe to facebook: The transformational role of social networks. Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, 2013. Print.

Chaney, Eric. “Democratic Change in the Arab World, Past and Present.” Harvard Review 23.1 (2012): 363-414. Print.

Mansour, Elton. “The role of social networking sites (SNSs) in the January 25th Revolution in Egypt.” Library Review 61.2 (2012): 23-67. Print.