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Empowering Change Through Social Media

Social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter are not only for entertainment purposes as it evolved to be one of the most prominent voices in uniting the people and creating change in the society.

Back then, we consider telephone, newspaper, radio and television as the first hand sources of information, but today, we have Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and many other social platforms to express what we think about the current situation of the government and society.

This can be related to the Million People March, a protest which began because of a signature campaign to scrap the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), also known as “Pork Barrel”.

Last August 26, 2013 at the Luneta Park, thousands of anti-pork barrel militants, well-known media personalities and political figures gathered to witness this momentous event. According to sources, the crowd peaked at 60,000 to 400,000.

The hashtags #millionpeoplemarch, #AbolishPDAF, #AbolishPorkBarrel and other related terms flooded different social media platforms fast. According to Rappler, the online activity is not trending here in the Philippines alone, only 41.6% of the mentions came here and the rest were generated overseas including USA, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and Australia.

 

Social Media: Avenue for Self-Expression, Unity and Revolution

To give a quick overview, the Million People March Group has sparked its own “selfie protest campaign” by encouraging the netizens to make their own personal protest photos which shall be posted on their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.

As protest arts and memes spread online, various anti-pork barrel groups unite to heed the call to attend the protest rally which is said to have no central organizers. The event tagged as “modern people power movement” expects 1 million people as initiated by the Facebook users.

Indeed, social media is vastly making an impact not only to private enterprises but also to government and national affairs as well.

According to the study of the International Peace and Conflict Organization, social media created a twist and an impact to the political arena. It also emphasized the silent power to transform societies, individuals and even government, a proof that many people’s lives now are influenced by it at present.

The Role of Social Media in a Nation’s Political Transformation

As of February 2013, Facebook already has 1.06 billion monthly active users and 680 million mobile users. While Google+ has 343 million active users, Twitter on the other hand has 500 million and there are 800 million Youtube users creating 4 billion views per day.

With that, social media can contribute to the biggest socio-political reforms in many countries like the Philippines and Egypt.

Some studies argued that, social media played an instrumental role in the success of the anti-government protests which led to the resignation of Egypt’s former dictatorial leader, Hosni Mubarak.

Like the Million People March of the Filipinos, Egyptian activists used Twitter and Facebook to harness worldwide attention and sympathy in the revolution. They uploaded images and videos which describes the revolution events and updates, as well as the information about police torture cases of protesters.

In the end, both countries attained their objectives in creating an impact through an innovative reform. Social media became their outlet in making their voices and opinions to be heard while reminding everyone of their freedom and power to unite for the common good of the society.

This reminds us that we can’t live a single day without being exposed to various social media platforms. While they are are a useful form of leisure, it may also be an important vehicle  to drive change in the society and the world that we are living in.

Sources: Rappler.com, Inquirer Group, Manila Bulletin

MiLi

About MiLi

Melissa heads her enthusiastic online media specialist team in Digitalmoz. With major accounts under her belt, she has developed a firm grasp on how the business works and how her clients can befriend Google. Local, organic, social media – name it.