All in a Media Moment: Social Media and Social Justice

Social media has become one of the largest assets for social justice movements. These platforms not only publicize horrific events, but also allow individuals to spread the word about movements and resources with the click of a button. Movements rise and fall everyday, but this experience begs the question of how these movements can use this 15 minutes of social media fame to make long lasting change.

Everyday there is a new tragedy being posted on social media, whether that be a school shooting, instance of police brutality, public sexual assault case, etc. Some of these most famous media tragedies in recent years have included the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against Brett Kavanaugh, and the recent school shooting in Nashville. Each of these instances led to public outcry and overwhelming support for social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, Me Too, and gun safety. However, in many cases this wave of social media support dies out almost as quickly as it began. Therefore, attempting to capture and ride these rapid social media waves is quickly becoming one of the most valuable assets that a social justice movement can have and it is slowly changing the way that media interacts with tragedy.

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Jordan Leavitt-McGee

5 thoughts on “All in a Media Moment: Social Media and Social Justice

  1. Totally agree. The rapid progression of media intermediaries has opened a lot of doors to shine some light on social issues that need more attention. I was part of the Egyptian Revolution against a corrupt government in January 2011 that arose with the help of social media, more specifically through Facebook. It all started with posts about meet-up information to stand up together despite any differences, to the point that the government recognized this threat and blocked access.

  2. I think social media has been a great way to bring awareness to social justice issues. Some changes have been good but with platforms like Instagram and TikTok, it’s so easy for the mission to get lost and for misinformation to spread. It’s gotten to the point where social media is now being flooded with tragedies, aggressive opinions, political polarization, etc. It has become draining if you spend a lot of time consuming it and it’s taking a toll on the mental health of our society and how we interact with others. I feel like it’s led to more people being pissed off and saying, “We should do something!” than actually bringing substantial change about what’s happening in the world. I think these social justice movements might be more impactful if positive wins for the movements are publicized more and there’s more focus on how people can contribute to the cause in a practical way than just showing tragedy and trying to get people riled up about it.

  3. The social media is a double-edged sword that brings us great convenience while also presenting numerous potential risks. In order to mitigate these potential “crimes,” we should regulate our own behavior more strictly, and at the same time, governments should implement appropriate policies to address these issues. Furthermore, I believe the content has strayed from the topic, and I am uncertain about its relevance to art.

  4. Hey Jordan,

    An interesting comment on social media and the news, however, I’m not sure how much it has to do with art and how it intersects with crime. I also don’t think social change can happen online, and you make a good point about understanding the ebb and flow of the social media world is a growing and important asset. That being said you might want to look at it more as a crime against culture so that it intersects more deeply with the art world.

  5. Hello Jordan! Social media has certainly revolutionized the way social justice movements gain visibility and support. With millions of people online, it has become a powerful tool to raise awareness about important issues and inspire people to take action. However, the challenge remains in how to maintain momentum and turn this attention into meaningful change. It is crucial for movements to use this opportunity to not only raise awareness but also to provide resources, information, and avenues for people to get involved beyond just sharing a post. Additionally, it’s important to not solely rely on social media for change, but rather to use it as a complement to other forms of activism such as protests, lobbying, and community organizing. Social media can be a powerful tool for social justice, but it must be used strategically and effectively to create lasting change.

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