As our ever-so-connected world engulfs itself in social turmoil, what better way to spread the word than with a hashtag? Social media activism is a thing, and it works.
According to Statista, over 80 percent of Americans use social media. Thus, social media provides a platform for protest like that of no other news medium. Activists have the largest audience to date to spread their message and can garner necessary support to make a change.
Last year, April Reign created the hashtag, #OscarSoWhite to protest the lack of racial diversity in the Oscar nominations. From her hashtag sprouted a whole movement that even provoked celebrities to boycott the awards show. Mainstream media continued to spread the hashtag and joined with millions of social media users to create a change. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences claimed it would make changes to its nomination process to ensure equality. Fast forward to the 2017 Oscars, and the Academy created a diverse nominee pool unlike any past Oscar ceremony.
The Black Lives Matter Campaign has also used social media to its advantage. Not only does social media provide a platform for police brutality to be showcased, but it also allows millions of people to join the cause regardless of age, race, socio-economic background or location.
Recently, social media has acted as the main stream of information with regard to the United Airlines issue. The video of a man forced off a United jet circulated through social media, and millions joined in protest through the same manner.
Social media activism acts as an important part of modern society. It bestows all of us a voice and an ear to the happenings of our world. When supporting a cause, don’t forget a hashtag, as it may just help #SpreadTheWord.