Social media revolutions, will they ever work?

I am sure we have all done it at some stage – signed an online petition or sent out a tweet followed by a hash tag, designed specifically to incite change in the world some way or another. What good does it really do, though? Hashtags such as #blacklivesmatter and #notokay (a recent one used against sexual harassment in the light of Donald Trump videos), are used to provoke the audience to join the movement. This is with hopes that the hashtag will go global, and actually makes a change – this is the utopian, idealist point of view. The most recent movements I can remember joining, are petitions toward saving Medicare, and he #notokay movement on Twitter.

While I’m never certain that anything will come of it – because it hardly does with movements based predominantly online – I do them anyway. This is because if change was to occur, I’d be glad to have been apart of the movement, and I’m willing to support a cause. Despite my cyber realist point of view toward these online revolutions, there are some, which have worked in the past – namely the ALS ice bucket challenge, which raised millions toward the cause. (Looi, 2016) In my opinion, this is because it allowed social media users to get involved physically, before posting it online for attention – therefore leading to more movement.


Looi, M. (2016). The ice bucket challenge worked: There’s been a breakthrough in ALS research. [online] Quartz. Available at: [Accessed 10 Oct. 2016]. (2016). meme better – the modern meme generator.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Oct. 2016].





3 thoughts on “Social media revolutions, will they ever work?

  1. aidanhenson says:

    Hey, nice post and it’s always nice to see Obama.
    I saw this TED talk the other day, that I’ll link in down the bottom, that was pretty relevant. Basically, the speaker, one of the chaps running a facebook page at the heart of the Egyptian Spring, talked about the role of social media and communications in organising social action. Basically, he indicates that while social media is great for mobilising, it’s less good at organizing itself into a permanent social structure or influence. In his example, it was great for organising protests, marches and the like that resulted in the overthrow of the government, but it failed at organising the institutions that would replace it, which required more than sheer numbers of supporters.

    I think that is a good demonstration of how people are easily mobilised through social media, but when it comes to meaningful and permanent change, social media falls short and we are left wondering if it is really effective at all.
    If that makes sense.


  2. Sam Hazeldine says:

    It is easy to overlook how successful the ALS ice bucket challenge was in the context of becoming a viral video. Also, I don’t think the Trump hashtag really stuck like it should’ve (probably because he’s done so many stupid things). Content aside, i think your post could benefit from some direct hyperlinks and possibly even some relevant videos, the above posted is a good case example to add.


  3. briana says:

    Great post, it’s nice and concise. Good work tying in your meme with your content and i agree with what you said about joining in on the movement because it makes you feel like you were apart of some change. Do you think that this drive peoples motivations behind support causes?


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