Facebook As A New Tool For Activism

Overwhelmingly, I have found through my research that most, if not all the activist and awareness groups are now relying heavily on Facebook as a means of either recruiting members, promoting the group or allowing people fast and easy access to the group and in turn information about the cause. Which makes sense; at a point when Facebook has become such a large and pervasive part of our lives, there is no reason why it should not extend to our social and political awareness and/or involvement. However, it is notable to say that in certain cases what we have is in certain ways a reversal of that; Facebook and the like have become a breeding ground for political and social activity which has then been transferred onto the social sphere. It is perhaps a signifier that a new age of activism is being born with a whole set of new rules and implications.
As such, it would be pertinent to discuss some of these implications. On the one hand, it is crucial to question the nature of the information which becomes available on the internet, and the way in which people thus become involved. Above all, one must note that the internet have largely become the place wherein fast and easy information is made available. It is possible that many of the people who become involved in certain groups have only had access to this type of fast and easy information, and have not fully informed themselves on the cause or group before choosing to become involved with it.
Furthermore, there are certain implications in terms of privacy on Facebook and the internet which render its use detrimental to activists. The internet, with all its diversity and opportunity for freedom of speech, has also become a macrocosm in and of itself, but a macrocosm which at any point can also be closely monitored by those who can gain access to the information. More importantly, activity can be monitored, and activists can be tracked by groups and authorities who are specifically opposed to a certain cause or statement which is being made by said activists. Inasmuch as the internet affords the opportunity for anonymity and freedom of speech, it also has the dangerous backlash of placing all of us, activists and non-activists alike, in a very controlled container which at any point holds the risk of uncovering undesirable information to unwanted people.

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