How Protest Battles Grow Online

The Floyd protests show that Twitter is real life.”

This was a news headline from the New York Times this past week.

This same theme regarding the merger of online and offline life has become much clearer over the past decade, and certainly extends well beyond Twitter. Indeed, the global pandemic has accelerated the trend. COVID-19 has pushed more people to work from home, use more online resources to shop and even communicate with colleagues, friends and family via webcams, rather than in person.

And as the protests across the globe after George Floyd’s death grew dramatically, the online protest battles also surged exponentially.

No doubt, some of this online growth was related to people who did not want to join city protests because of the coronavirus, in the same way that Greta Thunberg urged climate protests to move online because of coronavirus outbreaks.

But that is just a small part of the story. People and organizations around the world are showing their support for peaceful protests with social media posts, hashtags and/or their disapproval online in wake of some disruptive protestors who have caused riots, looting and destruction in many cities.  

Indeed, many activists are training new supporters on how to be more effective online in helping their causes. For example, to support the protests, the article encourages readers to:

  1. Interrogate why you’re posting 
  2. Contextualize things for friends, family
  3. Take note of your emotional response when critiqued 

National Public Radio (NPR) also points out that protest websites or other social media posts can become fertile ground for online disinformation.

Other websites and online groups supporting the police held rallies for “Blue Lives Matter.”

USA Today ran this piece which urged Americans to break out of our social media bubbles.

“When online technology and partisan media (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Lohrmann on Cybersecurity authored by Lohrmann on Cybersecurity. Read the original post at: https://www.govtech.com/blogs/lohrmann-on-cybersecurity/how-protest-battles-grow-online.html