How Has the New Communications Technology Affected the Way Social Movements are Organized?

New communications technology has become more advanced and accessible than ever. This gives social activists a chance to use mass communication tools more easily and cheaply. As a result, this supports dispersed, bigger, and oftentimes anonymous tactics that involve fewer risks.

Here are some of the ways that these new technologies are changing the way social movements are being organized right now.

Mass and Digital Communications

The increased versatility, capacity, and affordability of smartphones and other forms of digital technology, such as live broadcast capacity, photography, and video, have all served as the driving force behind social media networks and DIY media, including digital memes.

Mobile Justice, the ACLU app, and Facebook Live, not only allow campaigners to have real-time reporting from a demonstration or hearing but it also lets them document the law enforcement’s behavior while it happens.

Memes have also become an omnipresent visual social media form on both Facebook and Twitter. Hashtags are also being used to connect slices of certain communities all over the world. These hashtags have now become a feature of the cultural landscape.

A few years back, the ability to broadcast live called for transmission contracts and expensive equipment. However, all the different kinds of smartphones, combined with broadband’s growing ability and cell networks have now made real-time streaming and live broadcasts accessible all over the world.

The results of this have democratized who can watch whom and who can report the news, thus speeding up the cycle of news and at the same time, providing an almost instantaneous opportunity to mobilize campaigns and movements. However, the latest gut of internet neutrality laws means social organizations will need to fight to maintain the advantages that these advances have to offer.

The Impact of Virtual Activism

There is no surprise that social movements are heavily using social media to voice out their messages. As expected, however, the growth of social media sparked some heated debates regarding the effectiveness of this particular means of communication. Although there is no denying that the sheer number of people who use social media has seen exponential growth for the past 20 years, it is still worthy to note the kind of impact that virtual activism has.

Many people all over the world will surely agree that the Facebook revolution is nothing but a myth. However, it is safe to say that social media has had and can mobilize at a scale crucial to catalyze people’s power.

Organizing Social Movements Made Easier

With the rise of new communications technology also comes the continuous innovations that people can use to organize social movements, letting the whole world see and listen to what they have to say. There is no denying that the trend of using memes, hashtags, and other latest ways of communication can pave way for these social movements to become more widespread so that more people can participate and voice out whatever they have to say. It is through these new communication technologies that the social movements will continue to change, hopefully for the better.