My students actually alerted me to this. It has great implications for political power. Watch the video at the end of this post. It has 55m youtube hits. People can really make a difference through social media and this is evidenced in obama’s action (albeit mediocre) against Kony.
It poses more questions than answers. Will social media lead to a less nationalistic and more global commune-istic (I fear the actual C word!) world society where oppressed classes will rebel against the ruling classes or at least refuse to fight each other in capitalist inspired wars?
Certainly social media heightens accountability. But I have huge fears too. I recently saw a relative on Facebook re-post an Israeli soldier pointing a gun at a young Palestinian girl. Horrifying. But apart from the caption how did I know this was the case? How do I know it wasn’t staged? I couldn’t verify the picture yet I was urged to “share” with all my “friends”. I didn’t. Social media could become a tool for those best at propaganda. It could become a battle of the worst ideals. It can become a majority tool. Imagine Hitler on Facebook …imagine he convinced millions across the world that the annihilation of Jews was crucial? Imagine convincing our army to act against him if many followed and agreed with his views? How do minorities protect themselves against sensationalist social media?
For our studies of political power the KONY 2012 campaign is new and a great example of “people power “. How much people power do we really want? Be careful what you wish for!
For all that, I for one will contribute to this campaign :