Last January 26 this video was made to promote the idea that Australia should move the date of national celebration to one that its indigenous population does not find abhorrent. Personally I agree with the movement, why should Australians continue to use this day when a part of our community – the part that did not migrate here – does not agree with it. A strong political leader should be able to stand up and alter things or the betterment of the country, and besides after a few years no one will care anyway – does anyone remember the introduction of the GST and the fears that rolled with it? Nope? Exactly.

With the changing media landscape is it possible to enact change using social media platforms? This is the essence of social media – no one person controls it; issues are put forward and discussed by the people. This should make it easier to govern for the people, not harder. There are over seven million views on the video, is that not a show that people care about the subject matter? The way that people communicate ideas and share their narrative is changing and social media is an important part of this. Take for example the recent marches in the United States:

The next night, with some help from friends online, the retired attorney and grandmother living in Hawaii created a Facebook event page calling for a march on Washington after Trump’s inauguration. Before she went to bed, she had about 40 responses. When she woke up, she had more than 10,000.(Agrawal 2017)

From this one post an estimated 3 million protesters rallied across the globe (ABC 2017). Previously this would have been impossible before the invention of social media. Facebook was the starting point for the movement, it collected the individuals and got them in touch with each other, and form there a snowball effect takes over gathering individuals the world over. All of these people collected and connected using one collaborating platform can have amazing results:

‘One of the most powerful aspects of social media is that it provides an environment and a medium for people to express themselves independently, and yet find community.’ (Sharma 2014)

Social media can draw people together that have a similar goal and ideals. It provides the medium for the growth of ideas. it gives them momentum and it can move incredibly fast, so much more so than traditional media. While the women’s march may not flush out the White House; it made worldwide headlines and pushed their argument in front of many who might not have known of the issues. It may have changed minds and possibly, just possibly made the current president take note to be more mindful when deciding on policy that affects women – even though he may deny it, 3 million people protesting you is hard to ignore.

What I love about the ‘Maaaate’ video, is how it uses humor and facts to deliver it’s message. It hits the target audience squarely in the stubbies. While I don’t believe the goal of the video is to get people out protesting, as this has been happening since 1938 (Indigenousx n.d.), it is about raising awareness. To get the public up to speed on an issue. Australia in general has a poor relationship with its indigenous population with many atrocities being swept under the colonial rug. It is due to this that many issues go largely unnoticed, however with social media as a part of the driving force behind movements such as these change can be enacted.

Social media gives a voice to those that may otherwise be ignored. It can showcase what is important to your friends and family and therefore become important to you. This can continue until change is enacted. It is a platform for speaking, a way to educate others and to bring about change and in a much faster way then previously done.

References

ABC 2017, ‘Donald Trump: Women’s March rallies bring millions together worldwide to protest against new US President‘ ABC News, retrieved 8/5/17.

Agrawal N 2017, ‘How the women’s march came into being‘, Los Angeles Times, retrieved 8/5/17.

Indigenousx n.d., ‘Why we need to change the date of Australia Day‘, Indigenousx, retrieved 8/5/17.

Sharma R 2014, ‘Social Media as a Formidable Force for Change‘, Huffpost, retrieved 8/5/17.

 

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