In the United States are continuing mass protests. The events that began because of the death of George Floyd, has swept not only Minneapolis, but most of the major cities of the country. But the main platform for this was not so much the street how many social media groups.
The video with the murder of George Floyd got huge coverage on the platforms of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Started in Minneapolis in may 2020, the only American protests spilled over into the global. A few weeks after the start of the demonstrations the protesters to see you on the streets of London, Berlin, Sydney, tel Aviv, Paris and many other major cities.
In the US, social networks have become the main platform for the mobilization of a number of protest groups: radical activists advocating extreme measures to combat racial and class inequality; the moderate majority is also mostly supportive slogans BLM (Black Lives Matter), as well as a number of groups right-wing activists that have emerged in the Wake of opposition by the extreme left.
Racial discourse today is not just a question activists. Anyway, the slogan Black Lives Matter touched every American, and in a particularly difficult situation and turned business. Most major companies have publicly expressed solidarity with protest slogans (often speaking, statements in social networks or temporarily coloring your logos in black). At the same time, brands that have not reacted to the events and publicly expressed its concern about racial inequality, was accused of racism. This happened with one of the biggest platforms of video games on Steam, which because of the silence and lack of comments boycotted some developers of video games. The social network made it impossible to find away from the event — brands, influencer and celebrities to avoid public censure now literally obliged to Express their political position.
of And again fakes
Pandemic and mass quarantine has affected patterns of consumption of information and news. Most people have become less trusting of the usual resources to the authorities and traditional media, preferring to consume content from social media. The number of fakes and misinformation during a pandemic has greatly increased. Infogame created, in fact, a perfect ground for the spread of the protest, and about some conspiracy theories.
The protests, initially originated in social networks, had a very vivid emotional coloring. This style only reinforces this attitude in some groups and causes a backlash in others. On this basis, the posts are emotional and embellishment and distortion all the more obvious. As a result, in social media emerged two dominant narrative with a large number of supporters in both camps. One of them States that meetings are held with the aim to bring to justice the American justice system that “protects the life of the white above all else”. In a contrary narrative argues that the protesters only spread chaos and unrest, and this must be addressed. Anyway, fake news and fake theories are present in both camps. One of the most striking examples of distributed in the right camp, is the theory that all protests should antifa — anti-fascist political protest movement that Donald trump has promised to declare a terrorist organization. Adherents of this theory believe that antifa protesters purposefully carries the “white” urban areas with the aim of looting and robbery. In early June, Twitter was a popular hashtag #dcblackout, which published stories about how the authorities blocked access to social networks during the protests. As it spread, the theory acquires new psevdofakty that the numbers of demonstrators will be blocked, and the police will soon replace rubber bullets for real.
In addition to the bright political slogans and calls for protest, the social network for protesters have practical and tactical purposes. With the help of these activists can easily monitor the movement of police and to avoid collisions. New American protests are a way of mobilizing people and support of the movement was the service was not originally designed for this purpose, — GoogleDocs. Anonymity and the optional availability of account in social networks has made it popular among activists: they are raising funds and organizing meetings.
of What do Twitter and Facebook
The question of the necessity of content moderation by the platforms was raised repeatedly. With the beginning of the protests, the discussions got tougher and in the end turned into a political standoff between trump and giants of Silicon valley.
At the end of may 2020 Twitter considerably changed its policy for the first time in its history under the two posts trump attached the label “information potentially misleads about the process of voting.” Several days later the company concealed tweet US leader “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” (this phrase was originally used in Miami in 1960, and today it is associated with the brutal suppression of the protests), by marking the message as a “call to violence”. This approach looks very confrontational, especially given the early policy of non-interference Twitter. Later, on may 28, trump signed a Directive that may require technology companies to take responsibility for the content distributed on their platforms. Twitter in St.Oyu turn, said that the decree is politicized and threatens freedom of speech on the Internet.
At the same time, Facebook takes a more pragmatic approach. The company did not censor or in any way mark the same record trump. This has caused criticism on the part of the staff of the platform, and Democrats, who argue that Facebook contributes to the radicalization of the far right and spread fake news and incorrect information.
A long time social media was considered the mouthpiece of democracy and in General perceived positively, especially during the events of the Arab spring, but over the last few years the situation has changed significantly. There was a sense that social media can also be used malicious actors, from terrorists to authoritarian States, says RIAC expert Oleg Shakirov.
Question about moderation of the political content is likely to appear increasingly on the agenda as tech giants and the presidential administration, which, in turn, is able to exert pressure on corporations.