Sample Marketing Paper on Social media and protests

Introduction

In the past years, the internet has been discovered as a transforming factor in the global social, economic, and political environment. Today, distance is not a barrier when it comes to reaching the far ends of the world or the isolated regions. Social media platforms have allowed communication between people and respective groups in a fast, affordable, and convenient manner. Political issues have gained popularity over time due to the real-time information that is spread across networks throughout the world. The use of social media has been given more impetus by the activists and organizers of all manners who have made use of this tool to create awareness, air their issues, insight into certain groups of people, and so forth. This means that relevant activists have moved from the traditional means of communication like newspapers to the forms of communication that propel the masses to take part in an instant dialogue.

According to Kreimer (2001), the number of protest movements today has multiplied with the help of the internet which allows social media to give out information that was difficult to transmit or share in the past. Additionally, social media has encouraged activists to mobilize the public in protecting their causes. Furthermore, the social media has now allowed the social movements in gaining the momentum towards being more influential and autonomous. The emergence of platforms like Sina Weibo is now belong used to generate as well as share relevant content that brings up protests through the strengthening of ties in different networks while enhancing mobility. This is something that enables some mediated exchange.  In comparison to the traditional exchange which was restricted to the physical congregation, the mediated exchange leads to collective action. This assignment is therefore focused on an analysis of how social media spaces have contributed to protecting communication environments based on a case study of the 2020’s #Million MAGA March# of on Sina Weibo. This will be done to prove that social media acts in favor of spurring protests.

According to PEW research, 34 percent of Americans participate in group interaction over the social media. These participants have some shared interest or cause. On the other hand, a similar share of Americans  (32%), confess to influencing others into participating in the cause of their interest. The smaller shares use social media only to get information regarding the protests that take place in a particular area. This smaller share also shows their support for a cause by changing their profile images or make use of hashtags to express their opinions in relation to a certain cause. In total, 53 percent of American adults have engaged in such activities in 2017 (Anderson, 2018). Below is a demonstration of this.

The survey findings by this PEW Research Center indicates that Americans have the belief that social media sites are significant in achieving some relevant political goal like commanding the attention of politicians or for the creation of social movements that would bring change(Anderson, 2018).

The rise of movements like the #Million MAGA March# has sparked discussions regarding the effect of social media spaces on social activism coupled with political engagement. To that effect, in the next section, there will be a discussion on the roles of social media in activism and political engagement based on the case study examples.

Social media is uniting affordable while at the same time supporting supportive services. Identification has been done relating to the manner that social media has encouraged protest communication. For one there is an inward-oriented kind of communication that encourages social media to create an inward organization. Social media is also an affordable manner of communication that is something that ensures that recruitment and retention of information are achieved. This is a platform for people to create membership coupled with asynchronous participation. However, it is important to understand that even affordability is not the main reason for greater levels of protest participation.

Social media has increased the ability of activists to organize their cause across networks which is something that also works to overcome the time/space limitations. These are actions that would eventually lead to protests spill-overs. When it comes to mobilization or the change of views, social media plays a vital role. There are studies that present an overemphasis on the internet (Gillan, et al., 2008). The use of mobile phones when it comes to political and social protests is seen in visual images that popped up in the protests. This enables the change in attitude and direction of supporters. Therefore, through making social media affordable coupled with the fact that this platform increases the efficiency incoordination, as well as mobilization, shows that social media creates some protest environment that builds protest communication.

Self-mediation is also another thing that social media brings forth with respect to enabling the protest activists and movements. This is something that has been done over the years. However, it is through the use of social media that this activity has increased. How it does this is through the transmission of texts and visual discourses. With a focus on the case study, one can note that social media appeals to the emotions of most. For instance, visual content is noted to bring forth more protest like in the case of the support that is given to Asian supporters. In most cases, there are those that argue that social media seeks to bring forth opportunities that allow the public to bypass some of the set controls so as to construct some collective identities. This is therefore a strategic tool that enables protest actors to air their cause. However, it predominantly involves actions that take place in an informal setting when it comes to social, economic, or even political spheres. The protests that take place on social media platforms are also products of an unconventional realm. this is something that is further complemented by additional decentralized coupled with informal processes that the internet offers(Geser 2001; Krueger 2006) A good example is the case study which proved that the users of Sina Weibo created the hashtag for #Million MAGA March# which made it ensure for the others to track the original content that is posted. Indeed the internet tools that are provided a platform of internal debate among various parties of protests. The forums that are present within the social media coupled with the mailing lists encourage internal protest movements through the creation of online debate (Gillan, et al., 2008: 157). This is something that many studies have captured in relation to how social media enables the thought of the public.

Additionally, the activists that participate in online debates have found this platform to be quite significant to their causes. The online tools have proven to be more constitutive rather than being instrumental. The networks have proven to bring forth fights that strike the ideological enemies(Jordan and Taylor, 2004). In reference to the case study of the #Million MAGA March#, supporters changed views in accordance with the content that was produced within the network. This made them choose between Trump and Biden. This is evidence of how social media has been used to directly support or opposition in the political realm. Many activists or citizens surveil different public figures or causes through pervasive cameras. This is done through different platforms.  According to Mathiesen (1997), surveillance is an outcome of what is referred to as the synoptic viewer society which is also known as the ‘many who watch the few’. In the current US society, it is noted that police are viewed and watched through surveillance cameras from phones in real-time when it comes to demonstrations or public protests so that any uncouth behaviors are noted. This is something that would expose what is meant by police brutality. Thus the social media creates an environment that brings engagement of the public in cases of passive-aggressive behaviors by the authority which fuels more protests.

Akin to the surveillance issue is the fact that social media provides a space whereby archives can be made and pulled down in cases of elections or other public events. This creates some clear memory of either text or audio-visual content that would work to tarnish or empower a certain group. Looking at the case study, it is evident that the #Million MAGA March# is a result of the public feelings against certain parties in relation to past activities. For instance, from the case study, one can note the direction of support for social media users.  The various meditations of protesters and activists have come in handy when a party needs to disqualify another when need be. There is some permanent nature that is created which act to be culturally transmitted therefore bringing forth different protests through feeding the struggles, benefits, or even effects of certain activates.

All the above act in favor of social movements in the transference of knowledge and content which work to influence other future protests. This is actively referred to as movement spill-over. In essence, it is true that social media creates a certain environment that promotes protest communication.

Conclusion

In the current world, digital technology, specifically social media has brought forth an environment where people can express themselves while also taking some position in current affairs. This may e both negative contributions or positive. This can either reinforce or undermine the state authority. The contribution herein is based on an assessment of the Sina Weibo platform which covered the events of the 2020 #Million MAGA March#, which have proven the fact that social media creates an environment that is conducive for protests. While there is an existence of conflicting views to the respect of the role of social media in communicative protests within the current times, the issue of Trump and Biden supporters has brought forth a new meaning to the role of social protests. This is a contribution that brings more knowledge to the topic at hand. However, it is in hope that more input will be brought forth in the future in this regard. The fact remains that social media is an important tool in the creation of awareness of the public which stands at an objective side to issues that take place in real-time.

 

References

Geser, H. (2001): On the functions and consequences of the Internet for social movements and voluntary associations; online: http://socio.ch /movpar/t_hgeser3.pdf

Gillan, Kevin, Pickerill, Jenny and Webster, Frank (2008) Anti-War Activism: New Media and Protest in the Information Age. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Mathiesen, Thomas (1997) ‘The Viewer Society: Michel Foucault’s “Panopticon” Revisited’, Theoretical Criminology 1(2): 215-34.

Kreimer, S. (2001). Technologies of Protest: Insurgent Social Movements and the First Amendment in the Era of the Internet. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 150(1), 119-171. doi:10.2307/3312914

Krueger, B. S. (2006): A comparison of conventional and Internet political mobilization, in: American Politics Research 34 (6), 759–776

Anderson, M. 2018. Activism in the Social Media Age. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2018/07/11/social-media-activism-acknowledgments/