To what degree are modern technical adaptations increasingly effective or weaker movements?
Movement have been a core part of culture since time immemorial. They promoted social aspects like jobs, housing and government action. But in the 21st century, social and technical dimensions have been massively expanding and advancing (VOA news, you tube). Embracing the latest technologies has positive and negative effects on movements. The techniques provide special organizational and speech opportunities. #SayHerName is one of the social movements that have relied on the new technologies to push for its agenda in public. #SayHerName was created with the objective of raising the much-needed awareness of the African Americans female victims that had suffered from police cruelty and violence against black people in the United States (U.S.). The social movements have its roots in 2014 (Brown, Ray, & Summers 1). #SayHerName was formed because the popular news media were focused on highlighting the police brutality regarding the Black men (Towns 122). The Twitter hashtag wanted the public to acknowledge that Black women go through the same ordeal as their male counterparts.
However, their plights have not been adequately highlighted by the mainstream media platforms. #SayHerName centers on educating the public that police violence and brutality is an experience facing all Black people regardless of their sexualities, class, and genders (Towns 122). The adaptation of the new technologies played a central role in the social movement. #SayHerName grew stronger because it copied the strategy of #BlackLivesMatter (Brown et al. 6). Twitter consists of both women and men who contribute to the strengthening and weakening of a given hashtag. The fact that #SayHerName relied on mentioning the names of the women who had experienced police violence served as the primary attraction to the hashtag. The adaptation of the new technologies offered a platform where the hashtag contributors could integrate content from blogs and mainstream media websites on Twitter (Brown et al. 3). During the launch of the movement, there were minimal interactions because people did not have an idea of the objective and goal of #SayHerName. However, as people try to recognize the intention and its ultimate contribution to the society, they tend to actively participate making it strong. By the year 2016, #SayHerName had clocked over 400,000 mentions across the world. It is clear that their primary objective and issues had been well highlighted (Towns 123). The public were aware that Black women also faced police violence like the men. Therefore, the development of the new technologies plays a vital role in improving the strength of the social movements as portrayed by #SayHerName.
How does technology use impact the logistics or direction of movements?
Networks are a form of technologies that have been central to the advancement of social movements. In the mid-20th century, there was reliance on people in advocating for the rights and certain aspects of the society. The unavailability of technologies made it hard for social movements to thrive adequately. However, the development of new technologies has been fundamental in building power in all communities irrespective of their class and gender. Moreover, a significant percentage of individuals have access to smartphones and computers. The creation of #SayHerName was regional due to its focus on the Black women in the U.S. From the #SayHerName perspective, it is clear that technology impacts the direction of social movements. The previous campaigns such as #BlackLivesMatter was general concerning its focus in the society. However, #SayHerName helped in shaping the direction of social movements.
The information placed on the technological platforms have lasting effects (Brown et al. 8). People who did not have time to visit the sites such as Twitter have the opportunity to revisit and look for information regarding the meeting points and agenda of the movement. Additionally, it is clear that #SayHerName helped in shaping the direction of the social movement. The movement through the Twitter hashtag played a role in the transferring of the knowledge. At first, #SayHerName primary contributors were black women had been affected by the police brutality and violence (Brown et al. 2). However, as people learned about the movement, there was a spillover effect which forced other ethnic groups to contribute to the agenda of #SayHerName (Towns 125). Moreover, the Twitter hashtag offered a favorable platform for the activists to communicate the meeting points and hold events such as vigils in honor of the dead Black women.
What are the 1-2 most important insights that you have learned from analyzing how social movement participants use technologies?
From the analysis of how social movement participants use technologies, I have acknowledged the role played by aspects such as social media in strengthening the intensity of the protests. With the presence of multiple forms of techniques, the success of any social movements depends on the barriers to entry and objectives. People using the technologies are diverse. They have different knowledge, perception, attitude, and skills. Hence, the participants of the social movements should often tailor their objectives and provide a favorable environment for interactions. Technologies provide a channel whereby interested parties learn about the social movements. Conversely, when the entry point to locating the objective and content is high, most people will be discouraged from engaging with others. On the other hand, individuals who seek to contribute to specific social movements mandate that the objectives are clear and concise. #SayHerName managed to attract a large audience because it focused on the past and current issues affecting the Black women. Moreover, #SayHerName utilized the prevailing conditions such as the presence of #BlackLivesMatter to push for their agenda in public. Thus, when using the new technologies such as Twitter and Facebook, social movement participants should observe and analyze the prevailing conditions and tailor their objectives such that they can meet or attract the public attention.
What should be the role of technology in future campaigns or movements?
The emergence of the #SayHerName had its foundation on the materiality of the internet. From this perspective, it is clear that the role of technology in the future movements and campaigns would be unprecedented. One of the evidence that portrays the critical function of technology is the advancement and sophistication of the devices and internet. The developers are at the forefront in creating effective, cheap, and timely technologies (Mattoni). In the future, the role of technology would be to determine some of the fundamental aspects of social movements such as organizational patterns, structures, and protest activities (Mattoni). Globalization has become part of humans. People and goods move from one location to another with ease. Similarly to people and products, social challenges such as discrimination can be moved to other societies. In this case, the role of the technologies would be to act as a platform where individuals can present their experiences and advocate for necessary change. The allowing for networks that are global should also be the role of technologies. The creation of the mobile and online-based structures eradicates the geographical limitations of social movements (Mattoni). The purpose of technologies in the global networks is evident by the Arab uprisings which started in Tunisia but was able to spread to other nations such as Libya, Syria, and Egypt among others. Therefore, the role of technology in the future movements and campaigns would be to shape the direction of the social issues.
Brown, Melissa, et al. “# SayHerName: a case study of intersectional social media activism.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (2017): 1-15.
Mattoni, Alice. “Journalism and Social Movements.” The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements (2013).
Towns, Armond R. “Geographies of Pain: #SayHerName and the Fear of Black Women’s Mobility.” Women’s Studies in Communication 39.2 (2016): 122-126.
NEWS, VOA. “New Exhibit Explores Power Of Press In Revolutionary America.” YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 29 Nov. 2017.