Students today often post opinions on a wide variety of topics on social media platforms. Their real-time, raw, unfiltered views can have a wide reach, especially when a video goes viral. Without the use of social media platforms, it is doubtful whether the Black Lives Matter Movement would have become the global movement it is today. Social media has an active role to play in drawing attention to such matters and helping people to take action in one way or another.
How did the Black Lives Matter movement start?
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement started online in 2013 after the murder of Trayvon Martin. Alicia Garzia posted about his death using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The Black Lives Matter movement was then created by Alicia together with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors.
Since 2013 the movement has grown by using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to spread its message. After the murder of George Floyd, it became a global human rights movement. It has spearheaded demonstrations all over the world protesting against systemic racism and police brutality.
Many students getting an education today at college or university are very aware of the BLM movement. A school teacher may set a BLM essay for students to write about as part of a class. Reading black lives matter essay topics can help them to understand more. If they can’t find a suitable essay topic, they can ask a professional writer to write an essay for them.
Social media use during the pandemic
From the very beginning, the Black Lives Matter movement saw social media as a useful tool. During Covid-19 restrictions, it was a forum for agency and mobilization. People had lost their jobs or were working from home, so they were often more able to participate. Social media was flooded with BLM sentiment.
The leaders of the movement and supporters were forced to adapt during a time when traditional means of mobilization weren’t available. The Black Lives Matter movement managed to shine a light on racial inequalities through the use of social media during this time. Their social media use was strategic and targeted. They could easily mobilize people online, but they also congregated offline to bring out change. People were encouraged to offer support, attend protests, etc.
Mobile phone videos capture evidence
Many people have captured incidents of racism and police brutality on their mobile phones. When videos are posted on platforms like Instagram, every share and repost gains hundreds of views. Searching the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter BLM Instagram exposes people to countless examples of incidents, such as peaceful protestors facing unnecessary force and corrupt policing.
There is no doubt that racism is still prevalent in society today. Those who witness or experience it can depict it most accurately. The freedom of social media provides an effective way to get this across. This is why issues like #BlackLivesMatter and social media are an effective combination.
Why is social media such an effective medium?
Traditional media often fails to find a balance when presenting evidence. Social media has provided a space where young people can get more involved with political causes. Younger generations favor social media, and it provides more than just entertainment. BLM social media activism on social media platforms can change perceptions and force people to take notice. This is what happened in the case of George Floyd. He would have been just another dead black man killed unjustly by police if the footage hadn’t gone viral on Facebook.
Many news reports wrote about George Floyd protests becoming riots and being hijacked by criminals like looters. On Twitter, the record was set straight. Users created threads showing videos of police inciting violence at peaceful protests. Social media videos can reveal certain details that clearly show where mainstream narratives may be lacking.
Sharing resources, petitions, and more
Reading stories on official news outlets can affect people, but they don’t have a means of offering help or bringing about change. Social media offers a way for them to take action. They may find literature to read so they can become more aware of their white privilege. They can find explanations of various concepts, such as systemic racism. It is often possible to sign a petition or find an organization to which they can donate money.
Spreading the voices of young people
When young people use their voices, they can influence real change. They are not just being negative about society but trying to make the future better for all. What they express on social media can influence their future careers.
Historical periods of social activism have always included young people. For example, young students protested against the Vietnam War. Social media just makes expressing their opinions easier. Social media undoubtedly has its negatives, but it can also give young people more chances to get involved in activism from an early age.
In the U.S., a handful of teenage girls were able to organize a Black Lives Matter protest in Nashville. They used an Instagram account for the purpose. They already have more than 14,000 Instagram followers. The protest was attended by 10,000 people. Mobilizing that many people would be difficult without the help of social media.
The power of social media as a platform for activism should not be taken lightly. The accessibility of social media platforms means that large and diverse groups of people can mobilize to support a cause. The Black Lives Matter protests were mostly peaceful, much bigger, and more diverse than any other previous protests in American history.
Mobilizing legal action
The protests have led to some real results. Derek Chauvin now has to face a charge of second-degree murder. The officers who were present at the scene face charges of aiding and abetting. While this is a success, the Black Lives Matter movement sees accountability and justice as two separate things. They believe there is still a long way to go to achieve justice in the U.S. Unfortunately, translating diverse mass mobilization into actual societal change can take much time and effort.
Social media has many benefits for movements like Black Lives Matter. It can help to spread information, share evidence, and mobilize people to take action. They can be encouraged to donate, sign petitions, share resources and attend protests. Organizing protests is much easier online, and it’s possible to mobilize large crowds. In the long run, what is most important is that people don’t just engage on a temporary basis but that the BLM movement helps to bring about ongoing change in daily lives.