Does Social Media Movements pertain to people of Privilege?

The Atlantic of October 2, 2014, says a lot of people are hiding behind the face of social media on outlets like Facebook. Which stands the question does social media movements pertain to people of privilege? The article highlights that often when people are on social media they are required to put up their name and a picture of some sort. But, does this platform give the users grounds to be someone else who hides behind a screen. When talking about social justices movements online such as #blacklivesmatter, #icantbreathe or #handsup do these social movements lend itself to people hiding online and not doing things in person for actual justice? Or once you have all races together online and off can they fight for the same things when they act like different people or have different privileges online.

In a recent episode of Grown-ish a spin-off of the hit show Blackish the show begs the questions can you be safe and sound if you share a perspective that doesn’t align with what you look like in person on social media? Through the episode, they discuss one student who is fighting for black students lives that matter and having a safe space for a community of people who have the same beliefs. On the flipside of the that there was another student who is latina who shares conservative views who also asked for a safe space for share her views but was shut down because she was on the right side of the spectrum. ┬áBecause you can be a different person or show a different side this creates a series of problems like discrimination increasing, misinformation, bias, unfair democracy, hate, reduce in regulation, increased surveillance which puts miro groups under a scope and being online prohibits security.

While conducting the interviews I asked the simple questions and all from different backgrounds using social media different perspectives on what privilege means. Many use the term to be the same as white privilege. Some said that some have the certain privilege, the privilege needs to acknowledge and they have the ability to be an ally to help others in need. Social movements themselves as a white male there is no need for that but a female of color there is a need for that. Spaces like that should be limited to the privileges they do not have. Meanwhile, another said handling movement online is not the way to do it and they should be handling them face to face. The message can get lost in translation with tone, personality and lends an opportunity to hide behind a computer screen and plays into people feeling more at power when it’s not as the person. Meaning people behind screen lose the ability to say things when it’s a person in your face. People of privilege, however, feel more able to do so because they have that standing and their not taking the head for it. Lastly, one person said privilege has nothing to do with the social media movement online. Color has nothing to do with it, if you believe in something fight for that and truth of the matter is that you can’t please everybody and no everyone is going to like what you’re doing anyway. All in all social media is a powerful tool and unfortunately, it causes a lot of issues when people don’t do stuff in face to face.


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