I used to be on FaceBook, until the day I posted an excoriating comment (it really was brutal) about a police detective. A few hours after I had made my remarks, several unknown F*Book users maliciously reported my account as a “hacked” account. Since the outage, I’ve been on Twitter and Instagram. I’ve learned a few things along my journey…
Instagram enabled me to quickly reach news media for a campaign to force a city utility to restore service. With the incredible array of media options, and the length of text allowed on a post, Instagram has proven itself to be almost as good as F*Book; the only thing it is missing are the Group and Page features.
Twitter is its own animal; posts can go viral with a quickness; Twitter stats revealed to me that one of my tweets had over eleven-thousand user-views. One new feature is similar to hastags – the image tag. When a user doctors up a pic with an adorable sticker, any user who clicks on the sticker gets to see who else has posted what with the sticker.
Twitter and Instagram allow users to use the hashtag feature, which can turn a campaign into a serious contender for traditional politics and problem-resolving; I’ve helped lead direct action campaigns designed to recoup stolen wages back into the hands of the workers said such wages were filched from. I’ve helped campaign for the release of people facing injustice within the court system and have raised awareness on various campaigns.
The power of F*Book is dwindling, and with new and improved interfaces / features, Twitter is now a go-to source for news; the coolest feature of Twitter is that – instantly – fellow users can share a tweet and send the OP (Original Poster) into immediate fame; one tweet can be shared many thousands of times over, sending packs of followers and supporters after an offensive person, group, or concept / policy like one would dispatching a pack of H***-hounds after someone. Which brings us to the power of social media…
Social media is, in and of itself, a wonderful check and balance, if used properly. Political campaigns have taken on a new meaning and life, with children as young as several years old calling entire armies of adults to action for a cause. With the power of social media comes the responsibility to diversify our reach, so that one platform does not possess a monopoly on the news feed, so to speak; it is vital to the whole of society that people have multiple ways to reach out to support one another. When protesters are wrongly jailed, Twitter has frequently been used to quickly garner support, while Instagram has allowed sources to securely leak valuable news to reporters across the world. F*Book, while capable of the same, has been caught up in censorship scandals.
While F*Book has some play, it is Twitter and Instagram that are proving serious contenders in the battle against corruption and malfeasance, and I encourage a good look at Twitter and Instagram.