#HappensAllTheTime: 5 Examples of Twitter Creating Social Change
People tend to talk about Twitter protests as the domain of the Arab Spring; a mechanism that topples regimes abroad.
On Tuesday, Twitter activism around George Zimmerman's acquittal reminds us that the medium has the potential for real influence at home.
Here are five recent examples of tweet-based-activism creating actual social change:
1. Juror #B37
The social media sphere is buzzing today with the story of "How Juror #B37 Was Dropped From Martin Literary Management," a digital-protest-success-story that speaks to the strength of social media activism.
With less than 24 hours of concentrated campaigning, Twitter-user @MoreAndAgain managed to convince the literary agent who signed a book deal with a juror on the Zimmerman trial to drop her new—and potentially very lucrative—client.
As one blogger wrote, it's testament to the "power of Twitter and what a little bit of passion and movement can accomplish." It's also a trend that always seems to surprise the media.
Guards outside the Texas state legislature were confiscating tampons as potential "projectile" weapons during a vote on the state's new restrictive abortion legislation. A Twitter-centric uproar allowed Sen. Kirk D. Watson (D) to convince authorities to allow women carry their sanitary products into the building by that evening.
3. Turn Down the Music
Canadian sponsors of a concert series backed out when Twitter raised a fuss about the addition of Chris Brown to the line-up.
4. An Assault on Kickstarter
Feminists on Reddit and Twitter pointed out that a "How to Be Awesome With Women" book proposal containing advice like "Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances" sounded more like a "How to Sexually Assault Someone" guide. Kickstarter initially resisted, then caved to the ongoing social media pressure and took the project down.
5. Remember #SOPA and #PIPA?
Protestors against the Stop Online Piracy Act (which threatened to make online information a little too public) found that their voices were most effective, well, online. The backlash was enough to kill momentum in Congress (though then again, the bar's not high there) where it's still at a standstill.