The use of social media to spread information has always been apparent, but to what extent does social media have an impact over activism and the way people think about things that really matter?
Social media is great, in the fact that anyone can create and access using social media platforms. Some story that gets censored by governments or mainstream news channels can be published and shared online using social media because of the self publishing aspect of it. You can write whatever you want to write, and if it’s worthy enough of being shared it will be shared. This is why when it comes to activism, activists are more and more commonly using social media to spread their messages. Because of it’s grassroots ability appeal.
One example of social media being used by activists to spread a message and gain support is community advocacy organisation, GetUp Australia. GetUp is famous for it’s political advertisements which have the ability to go viral, thanks to the use of social media, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The most famous example of this would be the ‘It’s Time’ YouTube video with over 8.5 million views which promotes the movement toward marriage equality in Australia. When this video was released in 2011, it spread quickly on Facebook and Twitter, and received so many views online, all thanks to people sitting at home on their computer or at a bus stop on their smart phone. And the whole GetUp organisation would not be as successful now as it is if it wasn’t for social media. Even more recently, during the 2013 federal Australian election, this advertisement, which was originally made for television advertising. But this ad was refused by television networks to be shown for whatever reason, and this is where the use of social media came in. GetUp emailed members asking them to share with as many people as they could to get the message out, because the television networks wouldn’t. It now has over 700 thousand views on YouTube.
GetUp is just a grassroots organisation with the aim of spreading information about a number of different issues in Australia. It utilises social media and is a perfect example of an organisation utilising this, because without social media, GetUp would not be near as popular as it is.