Speaking Out: How Digital Activism Influences Social Movements blog discussions
You are hoping to become a guest blogger for one of the online social change publications you greatly respect and read regularly. In order to convince the publication that you are worthy of their consideration, you have pinpointed Digital Activism as a topic on which you would like to focus. You sent the editor a list of various posts that fall under your topic and she is excited about the possibility of your working together. She has given you these guidelines and asked you to flesh each of the following blog posts to send back to her.
Blog Post 1: New Digital Technologies and Social Change
Describe how new technologies can be a spark for social change and have contributed to recent increases in protest activity around the world. (1–2 paragraphs)
Explain how new technologies can expand the public sphere by empowering average citizens to become more directly involved in social change. Include at least two examples to support your reasoning. (1–2 paragraphs)
Blog Post 2: Mobilizing Resources With Digital Technology
Describe how the MoveOn.org and Tea Party Movements have utilized digital technologies in their organizing and mobilizing efforts. Include details and examples to support your reasoning. (2 paragraphs)
Analyze the degree to which online activism complements, replaces, or has no effect on offline methods of social movement participation. Include details and examples to support your reasoning. (1–2 paragraphs)
Blog Post 3: Creating Opportunities for Change With Digital Technology
Describe how pro-democracy activists utilized digital technologies to create opportunities for change during the Arab Spring revolts of 2010 and 2011. Include details and examples to support your reasoning. (1–2 paragraphs)
Despite the best efforts of advocates for social change, the success of any given movement often depends on whether a suitable opportunity for change exists. Analyze the extent to which favorable or unfavorable political environments, including the reactions of government authorities, affected the ultimate success or failure of the Arab Spring revolts in at least two different countries. (2–3 paragraphs)
Blog Post 4: Building “Leaderless” Movements With Digital Technology
Describe how participants in the Indignados Movement, Mexican Spring, and/or Occupy Wall Street Movement utilized digital technologies to sustain and publicize their cause. Include details and examples to support your reasoning. (1–2 paragraphs)
Analyze the advantages or disadvantages of a “leaderless” organizational structure when building a social change movement. (1–2 paragraphs)
Blog Post 5: The Unfolding Future of Digital Activism
Locate two resources related to a current online social change movement. Based on these resources, summarize the goals of the movement and provide at least two recommendations about how the movement should (or should not) make use of digital technology to pursue or achieve its goals. Include details or examples to support your reasoning. (2–3 paragraphs)
SOLUTION TO THE BLOG POSTS
Blog post 1: New Digital Technologies and Social Change
New technology has been made in recent years, which has paved the way for people in the community and worldwide to connect. Many people have internet access and utilize social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, making it easy to reach them easily. Modern technology has been used in several ways, including commerce, entertainment, and most importantly, to promote social change (RohlingeR & Bunnage, 2018). Protest activity worldwide has tremendously increased because people can communicate easily share information widely about meetings, issues to address, any injuries done to them that should be aired to the relevant authorities.
Engagement of the citizens in social change can be direct or indirect. An important aspect of social change is providing training and education to volunteers or individuals affected by the change. This can be easily achieved by maximizing the internet by using its education tools, providing numerous training programs, setting up online courses, or distributing educational materials through emails and messages. Many people will be educated about the cause, its importance, and how the change will be effective.
Blog post 2: Mobilizing Resources with Digital Technology
Moveon is an organization where millions for a better society. Its members consist of people from different walks of life joining forces to impact social change and enable political progress. They have utilized modern technology by creating a website to post new opportunities for change, organize campaigns, and mobilize people to impact change. Moveon created a people-powered petition to campaign and enabled their rights to be heard. An example is a petition to the US Senate to pass the women’s health protection act, where women are allowed safe access to abortion services (Rohlinger & Bunnage,2018). This protects the autonomy right of women in cases involving abortion.
The tea party movement has organized its protests by utilizing Facebook and internet blogs to share information with many people. Essential information about their protests, including the cause, action to be taken, location, and reasons for the change to be implemented, are posted on social media platforms emailing that people are updated on the developments. Staging and planning for demonstrations become easier, and mobilization of people is swift.
Modern technology has not just given people the opportunity to do more but has also enabled them to learn. Effecting real impact and social change needs an individual to be educated and informed on the issues that need to be changed how and why it needs to be implemented. Online activism enhances offline methods of social movement participation. Social media allows individuals to express their opinion through writing detailed posts about issues that collectively affect them. Also, online community members can provide the support and resources to organize activities and raise awareness. Hence online activities facilitate offline Protects by organizing and facilitating it.
Blog post 3: Creating Opportunities for Change with Digital Technology
Arab spring was pro-democracy protests and uprisings that challenged the authoritarian regime in the Middle East. The movement was mostly composed of the youth who fought against the government that was oppressing them to put power in the hands of the people. They used social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to organize them and work towards a common goal (El Haddad, 2020). They posted messages on these platforms, which enabled them to pass information not only among themselves but also across the world, gaining their support towards their goal. Social media promoted the Arab spring because mobilization became easier, thereby influencing change.
Social change is never easy to be implemented. It comes with a lot of hardships and difficulties, which are associated with a lack of adequate resources to implement change or the fear of change in the status quo. The Arab Spring movement, just like any other protest for social change, was met with resistance in several countries. In Syria, the Arab Spring revolt was met with resistance from the government, leading to war (El Haddad ,2020). Death tolls are still rising in Syria, although the revolution is still ongoing. Despite the social media influence, gruesome pictures of people being oppressed come out of Syria every day.
The Arab Spring revolution in Egypt and Tunisia was, however, successful. Messages in social media networks such as Twitter enabled information to be passed within the local participants and evoking an international response which led to the ousting of the authoritative government. Zine al-abidine ben Ali of Tunisia was overthrown a few weeks after the protest began, and Hosni Mubarak stepped down after 18 days of mass protest from the people. The protests in this country were peaceful and non-violent. Social media enabled Tunisia to organize rallies and protests, which helped overthrow dictators in the government.
Blog post 4: Building “Leaderless” Movements with Digital Technology
Participants in the idignados movement, Mexican spring, and occupy Wall Street movement relief heavily on social media to achieve their goals. Occupy Wall Street movement was a protest against economic inequality and the influence of money on politics. They formed a Twitter blogging site to engage participants and enhance social connections across many people. Twitter enabled participants to interact, share information and publicize the cause of the movement. People who shared the same political and social objectives supported the cause.
Leaderless organization structures are individual, social, or group interactions that challenge established instructions to bring about a designed change. Leaders are individuals who influence others towards the attainment of goals positively. They ensure that staff are motivated and have a clearer understanding of their goals. They can be able to measure when goals have been achieved and make decisions effectively without delay. They also ensure that deviations from the missions are avoided. However, its limitations are that it may not be involved in decision-making, and creativity among participants is not enhanced.
Blog post 5: The Unfolding Future of Digital Activism
The moveon movement has enabled everyone in the society to thrive and ensure that the voices of the people are heard by the governments through their campaigns. The moveon movement is determined to ensure that there is an inclusive and progressive future for everyone. They strive to engage equality, justice, and sustainability to everyone regardless of their status. The movement should utilize all social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, youtube, and Instagram because this is where they can reach a lot of people in less time and without spending a lot of money or resources, which can be hard to access (RohlingeR & Bunnage,2018). They should make their messages simple and easy for everyone to understand the cause of their campaigns.
Passing the women’s protection health act is a petition started by MoveOn to US senate. This campaign protects women’s individual right to choose whether they want an abortion or not. Barriers to accessing health care services and being provided with safe abortion to women will be avoided when this bill is passed. This will help to avoid deaths and infections rates included by women when they are not provided with safe services. The public should be educated on the rights of women, the cause of the campaigns, and the importance of the bill to the health of women.
El-Haddad, A. (2020). Redefining the social contract in the wake of the Arab Spring: The experiences of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. World Development, 127, 104774.
Rohlinger, D. A., & Bunnage, L. A. (2018). Collective identity in the digital age: Thin and thick identities in moveon. org and the tea party movement. Mobilization, 23(2), 135-157.
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