The practice of activism has changed dramatically with the emergence of technology. Online magazines and blogs have given activists a new forum in which to discuss their causes and gain feedback. In the modern world, social media websites have become increasingly popular and not only provided instant feedback from followers but also created a network of supporters towards a shared cause. While public protests for civil liberties are still evident, social media has provided a site where activists can organize these events discreetly and report their progress directly to other social media users, which takes the power away from biased media channels. Social media activism has been an effective medium to raise awareness of a variety of causes through many different means, whether it is physical assembly against an oppressive government or a comical campaign that raises funds towards a deserving cause. Through social media and its popularity, marginalized groups are given a medium to discuss their perspective on important topics. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been able to facilitate the organization of unique causes. Such sites have been able to foster an array of causes such environmental, political, and social activism. Social media is an important instrument that everyone can use to generate important change within their community, country, and even the world.
Social media’s influence on activism came into prominence after mass protests throughout the Middle East were reported on and organized by activists on Twitter and Facebook. These sites became their medium because citizens could not organize and discuss their grievances openly due to oppressive and heavily controlled governments, social media became an instrumental advantage to those same activists. Criticism of such Middle Eastern regimes by its citizens would have posed a great risk and ruined any planned protest. By using social media, such citizens were able to raise international awareness of human rights violations in Middle Eastern countries: a fact that governments try very hard to suppress. In the initial stages of the uprisings activists were able to maintain the anonymity in order to get mass support before marching in the street. The results of the Arab Spring prove social media’s power. In 2011, Egypt was facing unprecedented levels of poverty and corruption and the public was wary that the economic and political situation would only worsen. After the Tunisian uprising in 2011 that ousted their corrupt government, Egyptian youth became motivated to fight corruption using the only medium they knew by which they could evade their government’s suspicion: the internet. The protest movement became incredibly popular after the hashtag #WeAreAllKhaledSaid was used to fight the police brutality that killed Khalid Said, a young Egyptian, at an internet café. Social media users used the hashtag to fight corruption and organize movements against police brutality and the Egyptian government. Following his death, a Facebook page called “We Are All Khalid Said” was made and accrued over 4 million followers. On this page, activists and disgruntled citizens interacted with one another to form protest movements and make demands from the government. (We are all Khalid Said, Facebook)
From the Khalid Said incident, another hashtag arose that was used to form a protest: #January25. This hashtag set the date for a mass protest against President Hosni Mubarak and his corrupt government. The movement was successful in toppling Mubarak’s regime after months of large protests. Wael Ghonim, the Facebook administrator of the “We Are All Khaled Said” group, was jailed for facilitating such protests under Mubrak’s regime, but remains certain that social media has had a huge impact on social change. In an interview with Terry Gross on NPR, he stated that while the anonymity of social media users is often perceived as a flaw, it turned out to be a strength in the initial planning stage because it ignited an interest in participation from people who were originally scared and skeptical. Ghonim was arrested early in the protests and was unaware of the impact his planning had made. Egyptian social media users carried out Ghonim’s plan of attack and expanded on it by initiating the January 25th hashtag. In an interview with “60 Minutes,” he shared the importance of social media in a country that is oppressive and corrupt: “If there was no social networks, it [the revolution] would have never been sparked. Because the whole thing before the revolution was the most critical thing. Without Facebook, without Twitter, without Google, without YouTube, this would have never happened.” However, Ghonim does iterate that while social media was important in the Egyptian Revolution, it was merely an instrument: “We used all the available tools in order to communicate with each other, collaborate and agree on a date, a time and a location for the start of the revolution,” he says. “Yet, starting Jan. 25, the revolution was on the streets. It was not on Facebook, it was not on Twitter. Those were tools to relay information, to tell people the truth about what’s happening on the ground.” Ghonim also used social media to expose the hypocrisies foreign governments have exhibited when dealing with Egyptians in one short, simple tweet: “‘Dear Western governments. You have been supporting the regime that was oppressing us for 30 years. Please don’t get involved now. We don’t need you.’” Social media thus gave Egyptians a variety of tools during this time of strife by allowing them to organize protests, alert citizens of dire situations, and chastise the governments who aided the Egyptian regime become powerful and oppressive.
Social media does not always produce dramatic results like it did in Egypt. One of its other functions is to ensure that important historical events are not forgotten. It is also used to help raise awareness on causes and events that the media chooses to either ignore or not give enough attention to. For example, human rights violations around the world which are an area that the media fails to emphasize and makes foreign governments hesitant to intervene due to reasons such as international pressure, finances, and politics. People harmed by such violations are able to send a help signal through social media and gain international responses that generate attention and action.
Political causes such as the intervention of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, the investigation of war crimes in Israel, and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide are all events that gained international recognition through social media. Raif Baddawi from Saudi Arabia is a political blogger currently held in custody on charges ranging from insulting Islam, apostasy, and insulting religious figures (Human Rights Watch, Saudi Arabia). His punishment was initially the death penalty, which triggered outrage on social media, eventually leading to a reduction in his sentence to a still unacceptable 10 year sentence and lashings (Freeman). In response to her husband’s unlawful capture, Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi’s wife, decided to lead one of the largest social media campaigns in the region under the hashtag, #FreeRaifBadawi. This campaign exposed Raif’s situation on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to an international audience, causing Saudi Arabia to discontinue lashing Raif. In addition, it exposed the insincerity of foreign governments that selectively chose to fight for human rights in countries like Africa, Syria, and Afghanistan, while turning a blind eye towards violations in countries such as the wealthy and powerful Saudi Arabia. Thanks to social media, countries like Saudi Arabia are now accountable for their offences in a way that other countries have never alone given.
In the summer of 2014, Gaza was under attack from Israel after a number of incidents occurred between these two countries. Israel named the attack, “Operation Protective Edge,” in which many Gazan civilians were attacked and killed. The tension between Palestine and Israel has persisted for the past 60 years, and while neither country is blameworthy more than the other, Western media has presented Israel as the victim and Palestine as the terrorist where they focus mainly on interviews with Israeli officials such as Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and not on Palestinian officials and their perspective on the crisis. Hashtags such as #PrayForGaza, #FreeGaza, #GazaUnderAttack, #EndTheBlockade, and #BDS have been used on social media in an effort to eliminate media bias and to expose Palestinian suffering. During the 2014 attack on Gaza, a reporter named Ayman Mohyeldin was sent to Gaza to reveal the Palestinian perspective on the crisis but was brought back by NBC midway through the crisis, while Richard Engel remained despite not having the same knowledge of Gaza Ayman had. People on social media immediately took notice and demanded that he be sent back. Eventually, the pressure from social media users on Twitter, Facebook, and online petitions forced NBC to reassess their decision, and they sent Ayman back to Gaza until Israel had stopped its attack. Yousef Munayyer, executive director of The Palestine Center, remarked on this situation by saying, “Just shows you the power of social media.”(Stelter, 2014)
Raising awareness of crimes in history is also a form of activism that attempts to prevent similar atrocities from happening in the future as well as show respect for the lives lost. Take for example the Armenian Genocide, in which the Ottoman Empire slaughtered countless Armenians, a tragic event that remains unrecognized by many governments (including the United States) due to their political connections to Turkey. The Armenian Genocide, while being a huge event in the country’s history, has gained little recognition over the years due to having been suppressed by Turkey and its political partners. In more recent years, social media has allowed the gruesome details of the Armenian Genocide to be brought to the surface. In fact, the 99th and 100th anniversary of the genocide in 2014 and 2015 have been trending worldwide topics on Twitter (Michellekeilich), thus encouraging increasing numbers of Turkey’s youth to educate themselves and demand their government to take responsibility for the murder of many Armenians (Riley, 2014).
Social media’s biggest advantage is that it is far-reaching and achieves results quickly by instantaneously raising awareness of world events and allowing users to conveniently locate specific topics through hashtag symbols (#) respond to social and political issues. The Ferguson-Palestine social media connection embodies this benefit of social media by allowing two groups of people facing similar social problems to connect online despite physical distance. Both the “Black Lives Matter” and Palestinian groups deal with a systemized category of oppression in which both groups are racially profiled and targeted, leading to unlawful arrests and even death. This connection would not have been fully acknowledged if it weren’t for the medium available that enabled them to talk to each other and have them be fully aware of the others’ situation. They are now interconnected so that when protests of one group arises, the other is almost always notified and acknowledged. It is now normal to see a Palestinian flag at a “Black Lives Matter Rally” and a “Black Lives Matter” banner displayed in Gaza. Both groups are also able to exchange words of encouragement through social media. Nour Erekat, a Palestinian Scholar, states, “Palestinians used social media to share their advice on how to deal with tear gas and rubber bullets, and protesters chanted ‘From Ferguson to Gaza, we will be free.” (Quoted in Haaretz, 2015) Angela Davis, a political activist, explains the benefits of such a connection, “Mutual expressions of solidarity have helped to generate a vigorous political kinship linking black organizers, scholars, cultural workers and political prisoners in the U.S. with Palestinian activists, academics, political prisoners, and artists.” (Quoted in Haaretz, 2015) While both groups have not yet achieved their desired dreams of equality and freedom from brutality, the recognition and support of the other adds legitimacy and wider acknowledgement for their causes. This is especially important given the fact that there are groups within the United States that downplay the importance of the “Black Lives Matter” group or even criminalize them. Meanwhile in Israel, any resistance to their occupation is viewed as terrorism and yet, they continue to limit their freedoms. Seeing a Palestinian flag at a Black Lives matter protest gives people the chance to find out the Palestinian struggle and seeing “#BlackLivesMatter” spray-painted on the Israeli border wall builds support for the cause in the Middle East. The effect that this shared interest is shown recently when the television show Homeland, that is often criticized for perpetuating racial stereotypes, asked Arab graffiti artists to tag a set to make it look more like a refugee camp in the Middle East. These artists took advantage of getting their message across and spray-painted “Homeland is racist” which isn’t surprising but as the camera pans further into the ‘refugee camp’ there is a “#BlackLivesMatter” sign in Arabic, proving the effect and power of social media not just in the words but also in the continued use of the hashtag to spread the message (Boboltz, 2015). Furthermore, after the latest attacks in Palestine, activists for the Black Lives Matter Movement were motivated by the Palestinian encouragement to visit Gaza or create videos that show their support.
Outside of political activism, social media continues to be a driving force in humanitarian causes where disaster relief companies and medical researchers are launching huge campaigns not on our television screens but on our Twitter feeds. The website whoishostingthis.com, an internet review site of websites, posted an infographic that highlights the large impact social media has had on how the public, disaster relief companies, and even victims of disaster handle natural disasters. The image highlights how social media was able to notify survivors’ families of their safety, provide those survivors with words of encouragement, and how traditional news media and disaster relief organizations used the images on social media to compile information and send help. The science based magazine, Scientific American, also posted an article about the mass effect of social media on natural disasters citing that in the 48 hours following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, 5 million dollars were raised, only 48 hours after the earthquake, by the Red Cross due to social media campaigns. The article does mention a drawback of this seemingly advantageous tool which is that scammers, posing as victims, have solicited money and bank information through social media. However companies such as Red Cross and UNICEF do regularly warn social media users to not pay to individuals outside of trusted organizations (Maron 2013).While there are some disadvantages to social media, they are not numerous or effective enough to negate all the good that social media has achieved. An interview with Dr. Raina Merchant, an assistant professor in emergency medicine, explains how social media can personally help victims of natural disasters as opposed to traditional media: “…it’s happening well in advance of when traditional media sources are providing information about victims. Family members and friends might be more likely to trust information they get in real time from these sources.” (Sherwood, 2011) In the wake of a natural disaster, traditional modes of communication may no longer be viable or may take too long. Therefore, people turn to social media, posting about their statuses, on behalf of missing people, or ways they can offer help. After the Nepal earthquake, Facebook and Google worked together to compile a list of survivors and their locations, which volunteers at different camps helped relay back to the citizens of Nepal. Skype offered free calls to landlines and mobiles into and out of Nepal, while Twitter users helped share any useful information they might have seen. Also Twitter and Facebook set up options on users’ main page that allow them to directly donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief hours within the incident. (New York Times, 2015)
Social media activism, in addition to social causes, has also helped advance research in medical and scientific fields. Nicholas Kristof, New York Times journalist, asserts the beneficial impact of social media activism and criticizes those who term the movement as “slacktivism” because it does not fall into their narrow description of what true activism is, that is direct and physical involvement with the cause. Kristof measures activism in the results obtained towards a particular cause, and while he concedes social media does not always work he states, “armchair activism is preferable to armchair passivity” (Kristof, 2015). He cites two effective social media campaigns that have often been perceived as failures in his article: the Kony 2012 campaign and the ALS ice bucket challenge. The Kony campaign in 2012 attempted to stop the mass killings and child army recruits under the militia leader, Joseph Kony, and while he is still on the run, Kristoff notes that due to the attention social media has amassed, both the United States and Africa have managed to reduce killings by his group by 90 percent. In the medical field, the money raised in the ALS ice bucket challenge for medical research for ALS (more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) has actually yielded a breakthrough. ALS is a neurological disease that results in a progressive loss of muscle control, blindness, and eventually death. During autopsies conducted on many patients who had died due to ALS, Phillip Wong, a scientist at Johns Hopkins, noticed that they all had protein clumps in their brain scans. Wong and his research team eventually found that the protein TDP-43, when clumped together, cannot prevent cells from making unwanted protein, resulting in cell death. This finding can now lead to targeted treatment research of the TDP-43 clumps and further research is being done on other protein clumps found in various other neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2015). Wong tells Kristof in the article, “The funding certainly facilitated the results we obtained.” (Quoted in Kristof, 2015) In 2014, the ALS ice bucket challenge generated 115 million dollars in just six weeks with many repeat donors, this proves that it wasn’t just a fad but a campaign that actually resonated with a lot of participants. Google reported that searches for ALS and its symptoms were the highest they have ever been over the past decade, and the president of the ALS foundation, Barbara Newhouse, recognized the aid of social media: “Across the A.L.S. community, we are probably in our highest time of hope.” (Quoted in Kristof, 2015)
Psychological studies have also supported the benefits of social media’s use of activism when people share individual stories rather than report statistics to promote change. David Ropeik, writer for Psychology Today quotes, Mother Teresa once said, “If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.”(Quoted in Ropeik, 2011) Numerous psychological experiments have confirmed humans’ bizarre apathy towards massive deaths but their amazing willingness to help a single individual. In the experiments conducted, participants were shown two scenarios, one in which an individual story is shown, usually accompanied by a picture. For example, a picture of Roka, a 7 year-old Malian girl was shown to the participant. In the second scenario, the participant was given the opportunity to help thousands of starving children in Eastern Africa. More often than not, participants were more willing to pay money to Roka. Money donations actually decreased when a third case was presented that showed both Roka and the statistic (Ropeik, 2011). This study proved that people feel overwhelmed when having to think about huge numbers and perceive any donation they make to be inconsequential, but when faced with individual stories, participants are more willing to pay because they believe they can actually help. Social media takes advantage of this phenomena where singular stories of people in suffering have amassed large donations and help. Now as the refugee crisis continues, photos of children drowning, families begging for food, and parents peddling in the cold street while holding their kids have shared thousands of times generating sympathy and action. This action has not just been from good Samaritans but foreign governments are helping as well. (Abdelaziz, 2015)
One of the biggest social media campaigns, run by Humans of New York (HONY)has capitalized on this principle by continually sharing individual stories of humans that gain a lot of attention and lead to amazing results. Brandon Stanton, creator and photographer of HONY, has helped improve the lives many people around the world by simply telling their stories. He has also not just helped the people but also challenged the controversial portrayals that the media places on countries like Pakistan and Iran, where the individual stories humanize the country and ultimately lessen tensions (Pharm, 2015). HONY stories on Pakistan’s people have gained great praise, especially Fatima’s story: “Fatima has devoted her life to ending bonded labor. She has been shot, electrocuted, and beaten numerous times for her activism. Quite literally, she places herself between the workers and their owners. The organization she leads, the Bonded Labour Liberation Front, is small but determined. It is working to set up Freedom Centers throughout rural Pakistan so that every bonded laborer has access to advocacy and legal aid.” (Quoted in Heyward, 2015) After telling Fatima’s story, Stanton formed an Indiegogo campaign to help her organization and within four days, he raised 2.2 million dollars (Heyward, 2015). A philanthropic organization that did not have a large sum of funds, now can help more people with this donation.
Another story shared by Stanton didn’t receive financial support, but a single comment helped ease tensions encouraged diplomatic negotiations between two opposing countries such as Iran and the United States. Stanton shared a story about an aspiring humanitarian in Iran who received many comments, one of which was from President Barack Obama. This comment came at a time when the two countries were working towards a Nuclear Deal and Obama felt that this story affected him personally as a parent. Obama writes, “What an inspirational story, one of the most fulfilling things that can happen to you as a parent is see the values you’ve worked to instill in your kids start to manifest themselves in their actions — and this one really resonated with me.” (Taylor, 2015) Obama’s comment, though the most impactful, was not the only one indicative of social media’s power, many people now understand Iranians more and can distinguish between the Iranian government and Iranian citizens.
One of the biggest critics of social media’s role in activism is Malcolm Gladwell, a writer and New Yorker columnist. In his article, “Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be tweeted,” he uses the civil demonstrations to stop segregation to build upon his argument that social media will not have an effect on activism. He states in the article that social media activism lacks leaders and the hierarchical organization needed to form effective social and political movements (Gladwell, 2010). However, that is not the case, as Wael Ghonim of the Egyptian revolution and Deray Mckesson of the “Black Lives Matter” movement are both established activists that have used social media to spread their message and credit social media as a huge tool to success. In an interview with McKesson, the activist explains how Twitter helped form his campaign for the Ferguson protests, “Missouri would have convinced you that we did not exist if it were not for social media. The intensity with which they responded to protesters very early—we were able to document that and share it quickly with people in a way that we never could have without social media. We were able to tell our own stories.” He further explains how through social media, a community was established that helped him develop a campaign: “There’s a democracy of feedback. I’ve had really robust conversations with people who aren’t physically in the space, but who have such great ideas. And that’s proven to be invaluable.” (Quoted in Berlatsky, 2015) Gladwell’s other main argument is that social media does not allow high-risk activism and is completely false. Gladwell’s claim is disproven by the fact that the Arab Spring is and continues to be a high-risk situation, and in many countries, simply tweeting your viewpoint poses a high risk. Gladwell seems to focus on social media’s failed campaigns and irrelevant uses and to hold them against the works of the Civil Rights Movement, but what he failed to see is that same movement has moved to social media in the form of “#BlackLivesMatter” (Scharfenberg, 2015).
One of the biggest indicators of the power of social media is how official world leaders and organizations have chosen to interact with it. Following social media’s role in the protests in the Arab Spring as well as natural disaster relief, the United Nations declared that access to the Internet is a basic human right. In fact, a report issued in early 2012 had established “…the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms.” (O’Neil, 2012) This resolution came right before Internet accessibility in Syria was shut off and panic ensued as people around the world had no idea what was going on with its citizens, their loved ones, and the journalists and human rights activists reporting there. This shutdown in Syria was seen as an attempt by the Asaad regime to stop Syrians from organizing protests and attacks against the government, as well as not reporting their war crimes to the United Nations (Chulov, 2012). Other countries have taken better approaches to the rise of social media. Royalty, presidents, ministers and other governmental officials of various countries have all joined social media in order to better interact with the public and become aware of grievances before they escalate. Using this platform, they reassure citizens should a tragic event occur and inform them of official decisions and campaigns such as #SelfieWithDaughters which is a human rights campaign to encourage female empowerment (Sharma, 2015). The official who launched the female empowerment campaign, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, greatly believes in the power of social media and is one of its most frequent users. He even advises other leaders to do the same: “…to leaders all over the world: you are not going to gain by running away from social media…The strength of social media today is that it can tell governments where they are wrong and can stop them from moving in the wrong direction… We used to have elections every five years and now we can have them every five minutes.” (Quoted in BBC news, 2015) He is now leading an effort, along with Facebook, to help connect all of India’s villages to the Internet.
Social media is also being used to fight stereotypes of racial and religious minorities at a time when news media, journalists, television shows, politicians, and even social media users perpetuate hurtful and harmful labels. The hashtag, #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou, is a Twitter campaign that dispels the image of Africa as disease-ridden and poverty-stricken by showcasing the various cultures, fashion, people and languages that exist there (Banning-Lover, 2015) Muslims have used the hashtag #MuslimRage following the controversial Newsweek headline that showed a stereotypical image of Muslims under the title “Muslim Rage” to combat stereotypes in a peaceful manner (McFadden, 2012). Online videos, as well as computer-generated memes on Twitter to make fun of the stereotypes that mainstream media maintains (White, 2014). Although these hashtags may seem to be trivial and funny distractions at best, they became worldwide trends and helped clear harmful misconceptions that perpetuate racism and ignorance. Through social media, people who feel unrepresented or treated unfairly based on superficial reasons can air their grievances online and connect with others that feel the same way, with people who can help change the perception, as well as hold those that perpetuate stereotype accountable.
In conclusion, social media activism has been and is continuously used for various political change, campaigns such as racial inclusion and diversity in media, women’s empowerment and education, LGBT rights, and solutions to the ongoing refugee crisis. The internet is a powerful tool for such campaigns that require international recognition as it connects activists of similar interest or expertise to come up with solutions to fight these injustices. Social media’s strength is that it allows increased participation in political and social issues and gives a platform for anyone to state their opinion on a specific topic. Important topics like the refugee crisis in Europe are currently being discussed on social media, where HONY shares inspiring individual inspiring stories, UNICEF launches a campaign to raise funds and accept donations, politicians are telling their constituents their views and ideas and the rest of the public on social media react to the news in their own way usually by either embracing the refugees into their country or protesting against them After these campaigns are initiated on social media sites, active participation usually occurs through actual protests, involvement in campaigns exercises, and even an increased awareness of an issue. Social media has made us aware of our own power as citizens and has turned many critical away from biased media. These overall benefits of social media activism debunk the myth of “slacktivism.” After all, without it, how far along would ALS research be? How much of an impact would the Arab Spring have caused? Would issues of racial inequality be as heavily discussed? Social media’s varied uses allow for a variety of social issues to be discussed on one platform and connections to be made among its users. Even at this very moment, different topics are arising on social media that people discuss, potentially leading to the betterment of their communities, their countries, or even the world.
Abdelaziz, Salma. “Social Media Saves a Syrian Refugee.” CNN. Cable News Network, 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015
Banco, Erin. “Despite Turkish Government’s Denial, Armenians Say Some Turks Are Supporting Genocide Commemoration.” International Business Times. 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Banning-Lover, Rachel. “The Africa the Media Never Shows You – in Pictures.” The Guardian. 30 June 2015. Web. 16 Oct. 2015.
Berlatsky, Noah. “Hashtag Activism Isn’t a Cop-Out.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 07 Jan. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Boboltz, Sarah. “Graffiti Artists’ Subversive ‘Homeland Is Racist’ And ‘Black Lives Matter’ Messages Seen In Episode.” Huffington Post. 15 Oct. 2015. Web. 16 Oct. 2015
Chappell, Bill. “‘Muslim Rage’ Explodes On Twitter, But In A Funny Way (Yes, Really).” NPR. NPR, 17 Sept. 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Chulov, Martin. “Syria Shuts off Internet Access across the Country.” The Guardian. 29 Nov. 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Freeman, Alex. “#ReadRaif Campaign Draws Social Media, Celeb Support.” The Fifth Column. N.p., 15 Aug. 2015. Web. 16 Oct. 2015
Ghonim, Wael. “Facebook Logo.” We Are All Khalid Said”. 10 Jan. 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.
Gladwell, Malcolm. “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.” The New Yorker. 4 Oct. 2010. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Gross, Terry. “Wael Ghonim: Creating a ‘Revolution 2.0’ In Egypt.” NPR. NPR, 9 Feb. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.
Heyward, Bianca. “HONY Raises $2 Million For Pakistani Bonded Labor Workers.” Refinery29. 19 Aug. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Kristof, Nicholas. “Payday for Ice Bucket Challenge’s Mocked Slacktivists.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Sept. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
Lee, Dave. “Modi Hails Social Media Power at Facebook HQ – BBC News.” BBC News. 28 Sept. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Maron, Dina F. “How Social Media Is Changing Disaster Response.” Scientific American Global RSS. 7 June 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
McFadden, Katie. “#MuslimRage Hashtag Takes Over Twitter: Hilarious Response Tweets to ‘Muslim Rage’ Newsweek Cover.” TravelersToday. 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
Michellekeilich. “100 Years Later: Recognizing the Armenian Genocide on Social Media.” ISYS6621 Social Media for Managers. 17 Apr. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Modi Hails Social Media Power at Facebook HQ.” BBC News. 28 Sept. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
Norton, Ben. ““Your Walls Will Never Cage Our Freedom”: Black-Palestinian Solidarity Video Goes Viral.” Salon. 19 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Oct. 2015
O’Neil, Lauren. “U.N. Declares Internet Freedom a Basic Human Right – Your Community.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 6 July 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Pham, Brittany. “‘Humans of New York’ Redefines Social Media Activism.” New University. University of California, Irvine, 20 Sept. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
Riley, Duncan. “Social Media Remembers The #ArmenianGenocide.” Social News Daily. 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Ropeik, David. “Statistical Numbing: Why Millions Can Die and We Don’t Care.” Psychology Today. 15 Aug. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Scharfenberg, David. “Warren Parallels Black Lives Matter, Civil Rights Movement.” The Boston Globe. 25 Sept. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
“Scientists Report Explanation for Protein Clumps in Autopsy Brain Cells of ALS Patients.” Johns Hopkins Medicine. 6 Aug. 2015. Web. 16 Oct. 2015.
Sharma, Betwa. “Send Me Your Father-Daughter Selfies, Says PM Modi.” The Huffington Post. 26 June 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015
Sherwood, Christina H. “How Social Media Impacts Disaster Response | ZDNet.” ZDNet. 4 Aug. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
Smith, Harry. “Wael Ghonim and Egypt’s New Age Revolution.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive .Web. 13 Oct. 2015.
Social Media Services for Nepal Earthquake.” The New York Times. 27 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
Stelter, Brian. “What Really Happened with NBC and Ayman Mohyeldin.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 20 July 2014. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
Taylor, Dhyana. “Obama Posts Moving Comment on Humans of New York Photo from Iran.” HuffPost Politics. Huffington Post, 3 Sept. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
“WATCH: Black Lives Matter and Pro-Palestinian Artists Team up in New Video – World.” Haaretz.com. 16 Oct. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.
White, Lori. “13 Hilarious Images Can Help You See Just How Silly Stereotypes Really Are.” Upworthy. 26 Sept. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015.