How Social Media Influences Global Political Movements

Social media platforms are facing a myriad of criticisms, ranging from accusations of contributing to rising anxiety and suicide rates among Amer­ican teenagers to profiting from selling personal data and compromising indi­vidual privacy. The Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 demonstrated that prominent racial justice and equal­ity movements could be organized through digital activism, which gained widespread support and online en­gagement. Social media is an instru­ment of political change, but these changes are dangerously consequen­tial. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Capitol riots in the United States, and increase in political polarization, the world is abandoning the perception that social media does not significant­ly impact domestic and world politics.

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Focus on Clicktivism: The New “Social” Environment

After Volkswagen officially announced the scandal was in fact true, the corporation experienced a plunge in stock prices and reputation. However, that was not all that was in store for the company. Within five hours of the announcement, the Volkswagen hashtag on Twitter accumulated over 3,000 mentions and the brand’s social media following actually grew as a result.

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Focus on Clicktivism: China

Yang Zhong, one of the first arrested for publishing rumors online, sparked a large amount of online protest, leading to his release. Also, Tang Hui was sentenced to the “re-education through labor” system after constant petitioning of officials who had not been persecuted. Not only did public outcry lead to her release, but it also led to the abolishment of the “re-education through labor” system in China, according to the New York Times.

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ISIS, Rivals Recruit Fighters on Social Media

According to the British Home Office, charges could be brought forward “that will depend on the nature of the conflict and the individual’s own activities.” Another determinant of charges is the YPG’s connection to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is deemed a terrorist organization by the United States.

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