By Brittanie Gutierrez |Staff Writer|
The use of social media during protests and marches across the U.S. after President Donald Trump was sworn into office is on the rise.
Immigration rights, women’s rights, education, LGBTQ rights and so on, hold hashtags trending all over social media accounts that are spreading awareness.
People are gathering to display their opinions with others over political issues.
“I think social media definitely has big impact with protests around the world today. People are always posting photos, tweets, and even make hashtags and such about their movements,” said student Shanna Shernaman.
According to the Pew Research Center 2016 report, seven in ten people use social media to connect to the world; last month, there were 317 million active twitter users compared to the 310 million users in 2016.
On the Women’s March Los Angeles Facebook page, 186,000 people were invited to march; 72 thousand were interested in going; and only 98 thousand checked in.
It is easy for one to just log on and see a protest that is unfolding in a nearby city or across the country, and if they’re close enough, they may join that same day.
Many of the protests occurring have Facebook pages, or some organizations have websites linking their social media accounts at the bottom of their pages.
For example, the ACLU provides not only current news regarding immigration rights but they also provide hashtags people can use on their social media accounts.
In a generation where people are constantly posting and scrolling through different accounts, social media seems like the perfect place to spread the news about upcoming or currently occurring protests.
“I think any millennial finds everything out through Facebook or Twitter,” said student Marissa del Rey.
Rebeca Loera attended the Women’s March in Los Angeles after finding out about it on Twitter.
“I typically use Twitter as a never ending newsfeed and I follow essentially every major news outlet and with the political and social climate that we’re in, it’s been the main way that I’ve remained informed about what’s going on,”said Loera.
“As far as the protests, I think it’s only made them stronger because word spreads like wildfire and people are really eager to get involved and fight for their rights,” continued Loera.
Within a very paced fast society, and politics happening while we continue to live our normal lives, social media is proving to be the best way to get informed about everything happening in the matter of minutes.
One can search hashtag across any platform, and within seconds they can see what is going on during these protests.
An example of this is the UC Berkeley protests that broke when controversial commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at the campus.
Snapchat had a story going on about the protest that broke out on Wed., Feb. 1.
Hundreds of people, even some who do not attend the school, displayed their dislike of the Yiannopoulos, using the hashtag ‘UC Berkeley’ and ‘free speech,’ sharing posts about what was unfolding right before them.
The accessibility to social media during protests unites not only people in the U.S., but around the world.
During the Women’s March, for example, people from the U.K., Mexico, Australia, and even Antarctica, were sharing pictures and taking part in the movement in sister marches.
“It can reach billions of people in a matter of seconds and with every post you can attach links that can lead people to main websites or clips that can better explain what the movement is about and by informing one person that person can share it the movement in both social media or in casual conversations that can intrigue someone else to look into it,” said student Alondra Martinez.
The fact that one can click on a hashtag and find out about what is going on is truly incredible.
“I love the fact that we can use social media and the technology we have today to bring mass audiences together with just a few clicks!” continued Alonzo.
Pictures can be shared after the protests and seen across every single platform, again in the matter of seconds.
“I had no idea there was going to be a Women’s March in LA until I saw it on Facebook and Twitter. My coworkers said they found out about it from Facebook too,” said student Corinne Alonzo.