Mediated Mobilization

Mediated Mobilization is the idea of using different media platforms to mobilize social movements. The social movements often try to produce some change, rather it be social or political. Mediated mobilization is often seen through the use of social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Through these platforms, activists can spread their messages to a number of people and have them easily shared, either with photos or through the use of hashtags. However, often times we see that these messages often get diluted or even lost because they are spread through a large number of people. For example, the Stop Kony campaign.

The Stop Kony campaign had begun sometime in 2012, and was vigorously spread through social media, especially Facebook, where even I heard about it. Back then, I had no idea who Joseph Kony was or what people were fighting against. However, I still took to my Facebook and my Twitter and shared out my fair share of #StopKony tags. This campaign is an incredibly positive use of mediated mobilization because it was bringing an enormous amount of attention to an issue, and perhaps even gave many the opportunity to learn about an important issue.

I think that the Stop Kony campaign is a positive example of mediated mobilization, however I believe that a more recent example, like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge has proven to be a somewhat negative use of mediated mobilization. The ALS Ice Bucket craze took off a few months ago. YouTube was flooded with “Ice Bucket Challenge” videos. Why? Because it seemed like everyone in the world was partaking in the challenge. People will share other peoples messages, not because they truly support the cause, but because they want to jump on the bandwagon.

With the two examples listed, it is clear that Mediated Mobilization contributes to the vigorous and timely spreading of a political or social message. However, even though it is bringing attention to an issue, it sometimes does not allow for the public to take immediate action to support the cause. Unfortunately, people would rather pour water over their heads instead of donating to the cause.

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