It’s safe to say that 2020 has definitely been a tumultuous year that has changed the lives of thousands of people all around the world, black lives being one of them. Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a social movement that advocates for the violence aimed at African Americans by police officers. BLM advocates use their voice and power to encourage others to vote out politicians and bring justice to the lives lost from police brutality. Social media has helped many advocates find their voice.
Social media platforms have played a crucial role in both spreading information and resources to those seeking information and news about the BLM movement. According to J. Clement of Statista, as of 2020, “there is an estimated 3.6 billion people using social media and is predicted to increase by a couple billion as the years go on.”
All social media platforms are different and have their own individual features that have been used by all types of users such as celebrities, influencers, activists and many more.
Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms and is known for sharing photos of your individual life with your followers. Instagram is no longer just an outlet to post about your life, but now is a hotspot for all people, groups and organizations to share anything they want as long as their content does not violate Instagram guidelines.
With specific features only available on the Instagram app, activists have taken steps to use these features to support their cause. Through the feature of sharing another users Instagram post, it makes it easily accessible for your followers and viewers to access information about small businesses, news stories, and ways to get involved.
Those with bigger platforms include celebrities, influencers, activists and even politicians. The news isn’t the only place to hear from politicians, as many prominent figures in politics have begun to embrace social media and are also posting information and resources on their pages themselves.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses her Instagram to answer questions from her constituents in both photo and livestream form to engage and connect with those supporting her.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has had livestreams of up to 1.2 million viewers.
Spreading information does not just include current news, but also history and facts for those who want to educate themselves on the subject at hand. Social Media has become a new form of receiving educational and background information that you may not see in traditional media.
Cypress College student Natalie Pantoja states, “I do repost a lot of other accounts’ timeline posts and stories about things that someone could do to help advocate for BLM, whether it be signing petitions, how to prepare for a protest, bail funds and mutual aid funds to donate to.”
For protests such as BLM, information can be quickly shared with instructions of how to properly protest, spreading awareness on different police brutality cases, as well as how to address anti-black in your households and communities.