For anyone who has been living under a rock lately, the protests going on across the U.S. have been in essence propelled by social media and the ability of people to organize quickly and easily in various cities.
While the protests against corporate greed at major corporations, banks, Wall Street etc. have not escalated to the violence of some of the protests seeking regime change in a number of countries, they have sparked numerous demonstrations nonetheless.
Much like in the government protests in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere, sites like Twitter and Facebook are playing a major role in stoking the flames.
The Impact of the Message
While some individuals may disregard the digital chatter as just that, make no mistake about it, social networking sites are having an impact in distributing information and helping people to organize and rally support to their causes, be they noble or misguided.
Whether or not the information being put forth by these individuals is worthwhile or not becomes the big question for many people. With so much information to filter through, does the audience eventually tune out or do they take the time to sift through, choosing which social media messages are meaningful and which are not? It is safe to guess that the sheer volume of messages has led some companies to tune out, a decision that may or may not come back to haunt them.
What once may have been thought of us useless chatter is now reverberating nationwide to many companies.
Much like politicians trying to be on the offensive instead of the defensive, many corporations who are under attack in the Occupy protests are using social media to present their sides of the story. In fact, many more businesses are now employing individuals for the direct purpose of reviewing social media and what is being said about the company.
Along with the chatter, photos are proving to be a valuable source of transmitting material in the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and in other U.S. cities. Given the value a photo provides in conveying a message, many protesters are using their cell phones and digital cameras to provide pictures to Tumblr, flickr, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sharing sites.
Are There Negative Ramifications to All This?
Lastly, are some protesters worried about being spotted through pictures or tweets and shares by current or potential employers?
While that seems like a dumb question (why would they be there in the first place if that were the case?) some interviewed in both the print and online media have expressed their concerns.
For them, they are supporting a cause they either believe in or were curious to, but possible negative ramifications for them leave some to want to leave out their full names or faces when being interviewed.
Wherever these protests take the nation is yet to be determined. One thing is for sure; however, social media is and will continue to play a major role in how the news is distributed.
For anyone doubting that, it is time to come out from under that rock.
Photo credit: thegrio.com
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