FlippED is An ED Original Style wherein two bloggers come together to share their opposing or orthogonal perspectives on an interesting subject.
A bit of background
If stats are anything to go by, over 40% of the world population uses social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are powerhouses of social sites. According to Twitter’s reports, a million men and women from about 85 countries used the #MeToo hashtag within hours. On Facebook, the comments and reactions totaled more than 12m in 24 hours.
#Metoo posts bombarded Twitter as actor Alyssa Milano encouraged women to share their personal stories of sexual harassment and as a result, more women accused US producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment.
But the question is can a viral hashtag bring any change in society?
We have our two bloggers fighting over whether social media campaigns like #metoo bring any difference.
#Metoo is not just a viral hashtag, it has set to become a movement
A number of big shots have come under the scrutiny for sexual abuse after #Metoo became a massive hit. After Harvey Weinstein, there were allegations against Hollywood producer James Toback, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K and even former President George H.W Bush.
There should be no undermining then whatsoever of how big a simple hashtag became.
My personal experience includes seeing so many #Metoo posts on my facebook wall only hours after it became a rage. Actually giving me the magnitude of the problem and exactly doing what it aimed at.
This goes on to show how prevalent the problem of sexual abuse has been.
While you’re here, why not read this? Metro Vs Cars: Which Transportation To Take? Our Bloggers Fight It Out In This Week’s FlippED
That social media campaigns like #Metoo bring a difference lies in the fact that #Metoo did not remain just a woman thing and it gave rise to the male community to think what they can do instead and how can they stop the prevalence of sexual abuse among women.
And many men supported and responded through #IWillSpeakUp and #SupportSurvivors where men have pledged to be at better behavior toward women.
Not only this, if you thought how could a hashtag bring any difference consider this: Uber sued over alleged rapes as #MeToo web rally reveals more sex assault claims.
In a statement provided to The Register, Wigdor LLP attorney Jeanne M. Christensen, representing the plaintiffs, said the recent #MeToo campaign on Twitter has revealed: “the heinous acts” that female riders have endured during Uber rides.
There is no doubt left to how social media campaigns can be powerfully used to address issues of importance to us, the society and the world.
#MeToo will go the way Harambe went. Nonexistent
Forgive my cynicism, but it is well founded. Being a millennial and a moderate to heavy social media user, I have seen many campaigns pop up over the years. They range from environment to animal rights, to women rights, to the condition of some persecuted group in some country. But there is one commonality among them all, they have all died away.
And not only has the actual campaign died away, so has its impact. And it is inevitable considering
- how goldfish like the internet’s attention span is
- how the internet is an echo chamber
Now I am the first one to admit that the #MeToo campaign has gathered more steam than others. In the sense that the sheer number of people who have come out and the truth which they have brought out is baffling, to say the least.
But at the end of the day, what was the purpose of the campaign? To create awareness about the deep-rooted misogyny and to change mindsets. But that doesn’t happen. Because no matter how large the social media sphere is, at the end of the day it is an echo chamber. Voiced are heard only by those who speak, the target audience is nowhere to be found.
The self-styled keyboard warriors type and share away in their isolated spaces while the other sects of the same platform breed the very thing they are trying to fight against. Such deep-rooted issues do not simply disappear so easily.
Just by sharing in a confined space, the death of the effort is injectable. And that is visible even right now, with the campaign already disappearing from people’s minds.
Image Credits: Google Images
You would also like to read: