Social Media Enables Social Change. Again.
Facebook and Twitter have done it again. One more time, we’ve seen these tools used to cause real social change.
This week brought us a controversy about the pulling of financial support for Planned Parenthood by the Susan B. Komen for the Cure Foundation. On Jan. 31, the fight was on when Planned Parenthood used Twitter to announce that they felt they had been wronged. Three days later, news sources reported that Facebook was recording 20 negative posts per minute about the Komen controversy. The next day, on Feb. 3, the Komen Foundation reversed its decision and reinstated their funding for Planned Parenthood.
Similar results occurred last month with the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) controversy. On January 18th, thousands of web sites went dark in what was reported to be the largest online protest in history. Two days later, on January 20th, Congress shelved the proposed acts.
It’s a whole new world when it comes to public protest. No longer do you need to spend hours painting signs and chanting slogans out in the cold. Not that that doesn’t work too. But we all now have access to a virtual Town Square that is immediate and worldwide. And since it’s so easy to participate, more people than ever are out there fighting the good fight.
It’s exciting to think about where this is going to take us. Social media tools are still new to many users. Businesses, civic groups, and advocacy organizations are only starting to think of them as part of their marketing and communications strategy.
Maybe someday, bills in Congress will be voted on by all of us using Twitter. Who knows? Instead of taking back Washington, we can just take it over!
Which online protests have been most interesting to you?
Learn more about the Komen and SOPA online protests: