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Social media changed how people of all ages can reach out to each other and collaborate to promote specific causes. For example, the campaign “Am I Suspicious?” asked people to question their prejudiced judgment of young Black men (CourtScrub, 2012). Another movement that dealt with racism was the hashtag #StudentBlackOut, an initiative created by the Black Liberation Collective (Brown, 2015).
The principal aim of this project was to demand better rights for Black students on university campuses. In this case, the hashtag was used on various platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to foster discussion and raise awareness about the challenges that young Black people faced while attending school. The most recent example of student activism was the Never Again movement which followed the school shooting in Parkland, FL (Witt, 2018). With the hashtag #NeverAgain, students protesting for stricter gun control rights and the survivors of the incident shared their stories.
The effects of these campaigns rely on social media to some extent. It is clear that online platforms contributed to the increase in awareness– hashtags are a simple way of sorting information and disseminating it to the public. They also show that many people are invested in the problem and want to see it solved. However, it is arguable that social media has only positive effects on activism. It may also lead to some people engaging on platforms but not doing anything else to help. Nonetheless, the overall outcome is that the issues are highlighted quickly and effectively on social media, leading to further press coverage and the public’s rising interest (Witt, 2018).
This learning shows that engagement should be meaningful to encourage people to change. Student activism is well-organized and collaborative – a lesson that may improve business strategizing and marketing.
CourtScrub. (2012). Howard University Trayvon Martin “Am I Suspicious?” campaign video. Web.
Brown, S. (2015). A Collective’s #StudentBlackOut seeks to ramp up the pressure on colleges. The Chronicle. Web.
Witt, E. (2018). How the survivors of Parkland began the Never Again movement. The New Yorker. Web.