“-but social media functions as a ‘counterpublic’- a space for exchanging political views and opinions that exist in opposition to the norms of its cultural environment, and that ‘provides an alternative structure for citizen voices and minority viewpoints as well as highlights stories and sources based on relevance and credibility.’” -Paragraph 2 page 40
“As these and other researchers demonstrate, social media allows users to be the authors of their own lives;” -Paragraph 1 page 41
This article helps highlight the important role of social media, in that anyone can be given a platform regardless of race or identity. This allows for marginalized groups to speak up and rally support, while spreading awareness of social injustice and hatred. Hashtags allow for posts of a specific topic, for example #BlackLivesMatter or #StopAsianHate, to reach a wider audience and make finding people who care about a movement and rallying support as easy as a single tap. As well, social media can make fundraising more achievable: many people in poor living conditions, those who face eviction or homelessness either due to lack of funds or being cast out by their family for their beliefs, may see relief funds from compassionate strangers. Even those who can’t directly support these causes may easily spread awareness to dozens of others by sharing or retweeting the post. As more and more tragedies and hate crimes pop up, more and more awareness is spread online in the hope of supporting those affected and combating these events. By spreading awareness over social media, people show support in many ways, by donating money, voting or even going out to help directly if possible. Aside from support for minorities and marginalized communities, social media can also be used to spread awareness about global threats such as climate change, and how to fight against it. Many social media users share tips and ideas on how we can cut back on our carbon footprint, as well as informing others about charities and nonprofit organizations who work to clean trash and plant trees. A few years ago, a popular social media figure started a hashtag called #TeamTrees to spread awareness of his plan: for every single dollar donated to his cause, he and volunteers would be planting one tree. Due to his influence and the many other well-known people he asked to help spread awareness, knowledge of the charity exploded, and they ended up amassing around 20 million dollars.
While Social Media is regularly used to spread awareness and to help others, it is just as often used to spread hate speech and misinformation; how can we combat this?