The reading for this week highlights the centrality of social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, to the success of political activism movements. Citing the case of the 2011 Arab Spring, many scholars and cultural critics have suggested that the spreading of information across social media platforms created the conditions for a political movement by exposing people to new ideas, providing a forum to communicate about social injustice, and create an interest in human rights (Quinn, 2020).
Although the Arab Spring movement demonstrates the importance of social media in advocating for social change, it can also have adverse effects. As we have seen in recent years, social media platforms are often used to spread false information that can have serious consequences for democratic structures.
Consider the use of social media in the political arena. For example, social media has been an important way for social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter to help organize and facilitate conversations around the importance of systemic racialized violence and police brutality. Or the case of the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021, where rioters willingly shared images and video of their crimes, often resulting in social and legal consequences. Although these are two examples of how social media is used to spread information, they are also powerful reminders of how collective consciousness can operate constantly connected world.
To think about this further, select a social media platform and analyze the ethical impacts. What are the strengths of the technology and how does it benefit the population? What are the weaknesses of the technology and its potential limitations? What are external factors that may contribute to the success of the technology? Finally, what external factors may pose a threat to the success or adoption of the technology? What social, political, and cultural trends may influence reception?
Your initial post should include concrete examples. Be sure to provide APA citations for any outside references used.
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