Sample Information System Paper on Social media and protests


In the past years, the internet has been discovered as a transforming factor in the global
social, economic, and political environment. Today, distance is not a barrier when it comes to
reaching the far ends of the world or the isolated regions. Social media platforms have allowed
communication between people and respective groups in a fast, affordable, and convenient
manner. Political issues have gained popularity over time due to the real-time information that is
spread across networks throughout the world. The use of social media has been given more
impetus by the activists and organizers of all manners who have made use of this tool to create
awareness, air their issues, insight into certain groups of people, and so forth. This means that
relevant activists have moved from the traditional means of communication like newspapers to
the forms of communication that propel the masses to take part in an instant dialogue.
According to Kreimer (2001), the number of protest movements today has multiplied
with the help of the internet which allows social media to give out information that was difficult
to transmit or share in the past. Additionally, social media has encouraged activists to mobilize
the public in protecting their causes. Furthermore, the social media has now allowed the social
movements in gaining the momentum towards being more influential and autonomous. The
emergence of platforms like Sina Weibo is now belong used to generate as well as share relevant
content that brings up protests through the strengthening of ties in different networks while
enhancing mobility. This is something that enables some mediated exchange. In comparison to
the traditional exchange which was restricted to the physical congregation, the mediated

exchange leads to collective action. This assignment is therefore focused on an analysis of how
social media spaces have contributed to protecting communication environments based on a case
study of the 2020’s #Million MAGA March# of on Sina Weibo. This will be done to prove that
social media acts in favor of spurring protests.
According to PEW research, 34 percent of Americans participate in group interaction
over the social media. These participants have some shared interest or cause. On the other hand,
a similar share of Americans (32%), confess to influencing others into participating in the cause
of their interest. The smaller shares use social media only to get information regarding the
protests that take place in a particular area. This smaller share also shows their support for a
cause by changing their profile images or make use of hashtags to express their opinions in
relation to a certain cause. In total, 53 percent of American adults have engaged in such activities
in 2017 (Anderson, 2018). Below is a demonstration of this.


The survey findings by this PEW Research Center indicates that Americans have the
belief that social media sites are significant in achieving some relevant political goal like
commanding the attention of politicians or for the creation of social movements that would bring
change(Anderson, 2018).
The rise of movements like the #Million MAGA March# has sparked discussions
regarding the effect of social media spaces on social activism coupled with political engagement.
To that effect, in the next section, there will be a discussion on the roles of social media in
activism and political engagement based on the case study examples.
Social media is uniting affordable while at the same time supporting supportive services.
Identification has been done relating to the manner that social media has encouraged protest

communication. For one there is an inward-oriented kind of communication that encourages
social media to create an inward organization. Social media is also an affordable manner of
communication that is something that ensures that recruitment and retention of information are
achieved. This is a platform for people to create membership coupled with asynchronous
participation. However, it is important to understand that even affordability is not the main
reason for greater levels of protest participation.
Social media has increased the ability of activists to organize their cause across networks
which is something that also works to overcome the time/space limitations. These are actions
that would eventually lead to protests spill-overs. When it comes to mobilization or the change of
views, social media plays a vital role. There are studies that present an overemphasis on the
internet (Gillan, et al., 2008). The use of mobile phones when it comes to political and social
protests is seen in visual images that popped up in the protests. This enables the change in
attitude and direction of supporters. Therefore, through making social media affordable coupled
with the fact that this platform increases the efficiency incoordination, as well as mobilization,
shows that social media creates some protest environment that builds protest communication.
Self-mediation is also another thing that social media brings forth with respect to
enabling the protest activists and movements. This is something that has been done over the
years. However, it is through the use of social media that this activity has increased. How it does
this is through the transmission of texts and visual discourses. With a focus on the case study,
one can note that social media appeals to the emotions of most. For instance, visual content is
noted to bring forth more protest like in the case of the support that is given to Asian supporters.
In most cases, there are those that argue that social media seeks to bring forth opportunities that
allow the public to bypass some of the set controls so as to construct some collective identities.

This is therefore a strategic tool that enables protest actors to air their cause. However, it
predominantly involves actions that take place in an informal setting when it comes to social,
economic, or even political spheres. The protests that take place on social media platforms are
also products of an unconventional realm. this is something that is further complemented by
additional decentralized coupled with informal processes that the internet offers(Geser 2001;
Krueger 2006) A good example is the case study which proved that the users of Sina Weibo
created the hashtag for #Million MAGA March# which made it ensure for the others to track the
original content that is posted. Indeed the internet tools that are provided a platform of internal
debate among various parties of protests. The forums that are present within the social media
coupled with the mailing lists encourage internal protest movements through the creation of
online debate (Gillan, et al., 2008: 157). This is something that many studies have captured in
relation to how social media enables the thought of the public.
Additionally, the activists that participate in online debates have found this platform to be
quite significant to their causes. The online tools have proven to be more constitutive rather than
being instrumental. The networks have proven to bring forth fights that strike the ideological
enemies(Jordan and Taylor, 2004). In reference to the case study of the #Million MAGA
March#, supporters changed views in accordance with the content that was produced within the
network. This made them choose between Trump and Biden. This is evidence of how social
media has been used to directly support or opposition in the political realm. Many activists or
citizens surveil different public figures or causes through pervasive cameras. This is done
through different platforms. According to Mathiesen (1997), surveillance is an outcome of what
is referred to as the synoptic viewer society which is also known as the ‘many who watch the
few’. In the current US society, it is noted that police are viewed and watched through

surveillance cameras from phones in real-time when it comes to demonstrations or public
protests so that any uncouth behaviors are noted. This is something that would expose what is
meant by police brutality. Thus the social media creates an environment that brings engagement
of the public in cases of passive-aggressive behaviors by the authority which fuels more protests.
Akin to the surveillance issue is the fact that social media provides a space whereby
archives can be made and pulled down in cases of elections or other public events. This creates
some clear memory of either text or audio-visual content that would work to tarnish or empower
a certain group. Looking at the case study, it is evident that the #Million MAGA March# is a
result of the public feelings against certain parties in relation to past activities. For instance, from
the case study, one can note the direction of support for social media users. The various
meditations of protesters and activists have come in handy when a party needs to disqualify
another when need be. There is some permanent nature that is created which act to be culturally
transmitted therefore bringing forth different protests through feeding the struggles, benefits, or
even effects of certain activates.
All the above act in favor of social movements in the transference of knowledge and
content which work to influence other future protests. This is actively referred to as movement
spill-over. In essence, it is true that social media creates a certain environment that promotes
protest communication.
In the current world, digital technology, specifically social media has brought forth an
environment where people can express themselves while also taking some position in current
affairs. This may e both negative contributions or positive. This can either reinforce or

undermine the state authority. The contribution herein is based on an assessment of the Sina
Weibo platform which covered the events of the 2020 #Million MAGA March#, which have
proven the fact that social media creates an environment that is conducive for protests. While
there is an existence of conflicting views to the respect of the role of social media in
communicative protests within the current times, the issue of Trump and Biden supporters has
brought forth a new meaning to the role of social protests. This is a contribution that brings more
knowledge to the topic at hand. However, it is in hope that more input will be brought forth in
the future in this regard. The fact remains that social media is an important tool in the creation of
awareness of the public which stands at an objective side to issues that take place in real-time.


Geser, H. (2001): On the functions and consequences of the Internet for social movements and
voluntary associations; online: /movpar/t_hgeser3.pdf
Gillan, Kevin, Pickerill, Jenny and Webster, Frank (2008) Anti-War Activism: New Media and
Protest in the Information Age. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Mathiesen, Thomas (1997) ‘The Viewer Society: Michel Foucault's “Panopticon” Revisited’,
Theoretical Criminology 1(2): 215-34.
Kreimer, S. (2001). Technologies of Protest: Insurgent Social Movements and the First
Amendment in the Era of the Internet. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 150(1),
119-171. doi:10.2307/3312914
Krueger, B. S. (2006): A comparison of conventional and Internet political mobilization, in:
American Politics Research 34 (6), 759–776
Anderson, M. 2018. Activism in the Social Media Age. Retrieved from