By Alex Tuai.
In the age of the Internet, social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Youtube are playing more and more significant roles in connecting people both domestically and internationally. Social media platforms have become one of the main methods of rallying people around a cause. Despite the criticism they have received, think of efforts like Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 or the Twitter hash tag #BringBackOurGirls in response to Boko Haram’s kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian school girls.
Another very well known example is the Arab Spring. It was the Arab Spring that popularized the usage of social media for mobilization tactics. There have also been several published studies including Anita Brever’s The Role of Social Media in Mobilizing Political Protest: Evidence from the Tunisian Revolution* and Madeline Storck’s The Role of Social Media in Political M obilisation: a Case Study of the January 2011 Egyptian Uprising.**
Social media provides a quick and accessible way to connect people’s causes and interests around the world. However while it has become a norm for the Global North, it is still developing as a mainstream tool in the Global South. Based on my experience and work with BRICS from Below in South Africa my posts will be exploring and examining how social media is being used, profiling some of the organizations and their work, and examining how social media’s role has evolved since its beginning.
Alex Tuai is a senior at Long Island University Global who will be working with the network alliance BRICS from Below in Durban, South Africa for the next six months. She is majoring in global studies with a focus in international relations and American foreign policy.