Social Media for Social Justice

For those who don’t quite understand or embrace the reality of social media, just look at the pivotal role it’s played in driving national attention to the Casey Anthony Trial.

I certainly contributed to HLN’s sky-high ratings, spending much of the last week recording TV coverage and refreshing my Twitter feed. Networks and news anchors like Vinnie Politan whose tweets blazed with real-time updates have personified “the social media trial of the century” as named by Time Magazine.

With countless tweets, over 150 Facebook pages dedicated to the justice and remembrance of Caylee, over 50 debating Casey’s fate, and many more to the trial’s progression alone, who could doubt the power of social media?

Yes, we have an innate emotional drive to latch onto tragedy of this nature; however tens of thousands of people looked to Web platforms for continuous connection leading up to the verdict and to express the obvious majority’s bitter outrage within minutes of its revelation.

Live-stream video feeds, digital apps, and instant access to the twists and turns made social media tools the go-to for new developments. Kip Wotkyns, Metro State College assistant professor of communications, attests to the commitment 24-hour news stations have to providing compelling content – social media makes that possible.

If Facebook and Twitter can engage millions of people, generating nationwide involvement, isn’t that enough for skeptics to jump on the social bandwagon, if for no other reason than to weigh in on the very issues that shape our society’s future?

-Stephanie C.

Photo compliments of


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