How messaging technology helps fuel global protests

How messaging technology helps fuel global protests

When Michelle Burris, who invited her to be in the protests in downtown Washington , D.C., shared a Facebook post last Saturday with a friend, she knew she had to go. So, she bought a Black Lives Matter mask from a street vendor before marching down the streets of the district with a sign “No Justice, No Peace.”

She pulled up details on Instagram for a demonstration of a caravan just a few blocks away after that march ended. “It was amazingly powerful, “Burris said,” not just for Facebook however for Instagram. It mobilized very quickly.”

Tech in Protests

Protesters use a variety of technology tools to organize rallies, record police violence and communicate after George Floyd ‘s death during the marches that sweep the US and other countries. Some of this includes secure messaging services such as WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram which can encrypt messages to thwart spies. Those applications are experiencing an increase in popularity together with others for listening to police scanners and filming videos.

But experts say simplicity is important, and scope is necessary. “The number one criterion for which platform someone is going to use is reaching as many people as possible”. Steve Jones said. He’s a media researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago who studies communication technology.

That means Twitter TWTR, +3.41 percent, Facebook FB, +1.98 percent. And Facebook-owned Instagram are the best way for people to plan mass protests and record them. Facebook’s tools remain popular after President Donald Trump posted a message suggesting protesters. They could be shot in Minneapolis despite a barrage of criticism about the platform’s inaction.

“I don’t want to support or be part of something that might support Trump and his racist, hate-filed spew”. Sarah Wildman, who was involved in three protests in Atlanta and used Instagram solely to locate and document the demonstrations she attended, said . But she said she believes, at this point, “Instagram’s benefits outweigh not using it.”

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