Social Media and Social Change
Jan 21, 2015
Revolution in Egypt, Social change in middle east countries and north African countries, riots that occurred in England were believed widely spread by social media (see: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700109077/Egypts-social-media-revolut... for information on the impact of social media to Egypt revolution)
In my country, Indonesia, there is one prominent case that can be a good practice on how the power of social media could enforce social justice. Prita Mulyasari (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prita_Mulyasari ) is Indonesian woman who was recently acquitted of defamation charges filed by the management of a private hospital after complaining on the internet about poor treatment at a local hospital, her case provoked widespread outrage with nearly 350,000 people have joined a Facebook group to support her. After being a popular topic in social media, a lot of society elements such as human rights activists, Indonesia blogger, lawyer and even traditional mass media (Television, Newspaper, Radio, etc.) has also give high coverage on her issue . Suddenly Prita's case has become a public interest and now Prita case was not only consider as her personal case in search for justice but also it is now a public case.
Social media is one of information technology that use web 2.0 technology. The most interesting thing about web 2.0 is because of its interactive feature so that everyone disregard their distance could connect and known each other more closely. Aside of that as an audience to the media, we could choose the news by our own preference. It is make a great difference in the development of social movement.
As we may know, traditional media such as newspaper, television, radio, etc are owned by media tycoon whom has their own political or economic interest that often influence the representation of information by the media (second hand reality). One of prominent scientist of media, Herbert I. Schiller (1989), stated that the media act as if it represent the voice of the people but actually they only represent the corporate voice. Furthermore he said that ” the corporate voice” has been generalized so successfully that most of us do not even think of it as a specially corporate voice. Corporate view become ”our view”.
In this new era of technology, by the development of technology in media industry, understanding the power of media, media subjectivity, media literacy and so on. We could have more variation of media that can be used to deliver our message. As for me, as a spoke person of NGO, know how to operate and use web 2.0 as a media to advocate public and to gain support from stakeholder is very important to my work. Due the budget constrain, a lot of NGOs, like where i work, generally do not have the budget to buy airtime in traditional media. Therefore social media has helped me to design cost effective communication plan. As for stakeholders (audiences) side, by giving message in variation of channel has helped them to choose what information they want to know from their own preferred channel.