Why the Revolution will not be tweeted

Subject: 📡 Media
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 375
Topics: 🤳 Social Media, Activism, Facebook, Police
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Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Why the Revolution will not be tweeted’ presents the argument that activism cannot be achieved through the use of social media platforms. According to Gladwell, activism can only be achieved through a real engagement of participants. In this case, social media cannot be classified as an effective method of engaging people in an active protest.

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Social media does not provide a physical platform where activists can physically meet and share their sentiments. Gladwell considers the use of social media as a platform for activism as a cowardice method of fighting for rights or policy implementation (Gladwell, 42).  He argues that Facebook and twitter are platforms for making friends and cannot be used as medium for activism. The title of the article is relevant as Gladwell perpetuates that revolution may not occur without a physical struggle. Civil-rights movement can be classified as high-risk activism groups. This is as a result of their active participation in physical platforms to ensure that the voice of activists is heard by higher authorities. Gladwell says that, “Activism cannot be compared to donating bone marrow achieved through the use of a social media platform” (Gladwell, 42). Donation of bone marrow is not considered as a trivial matter as it does not involve personal as well as financial risk.

The media and social media platforms can be categorized as mediums for empowerment. Twitter and Facebook are used to relay information. Activism entails courage as it might lead to riot and physical confrontation with the police. Gladwell argue that social media platforms cannot influence change (Trottier & Fuchs, 33). James K. Glassman told cyber activist that, “Facebook warriors cannot be relied upon to enforce change through activism (Gladwell, 42). However, they may accelerate the process that leads to change through uncovering hidden agendas and political conspiracies. They can be used as tools of public enlightenment in the fight for change.

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  1. Gladwell Malcolm. The New Yorker. Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted. New York: The New Yorker. Published: October 4, 2010. Print.
  2. Trottier Daniel and Fuchs Christian. Social Media, Politics and the State: Protests, Revolutions, Riots, Crime and Policing in the Age of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. London: Routledge, 2014. Print
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