Power of Social Activism


Malcolm Gladwell argues in his article “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted” that the importance of the social activism can not be denied. But he also thinks that it is not enough to change or to challenge, while “traditional” activism can do, due to being called by him as a “high risk” activism. He might be right in some cases, however there are also opposing examples such as Gezi Park protests which occurred first in İstanbul because of the government’s plan of cutting trees down in order to build a barrack and then it spread out all around Turkey. Because of governmental oppression, the media was silent, so the social media took over the role of television, newspapers and journalists. People learned every detail of the protest from the messages, photos, videos that were posted on  Twitter, Facebook, Youtube etc. Without the social media no one could see what was going on in Gezi Park:  millions of people left their houses and passed their time in Taksim Square, they set up tents and they actually lived in Gezi Park during the protests, then protests started in the other cities of Turkey, people from the other countries watched the protests and they also supported it through social media. All of these happened, millions of people hear the voice of Gezi protestors, because there was social media which started the activism. When it comes to Gladwell’s opinion that the social activism is insufficient, I think that the example of Gezi Park protests contradicts with it. Besides, it is also a “high risk” activism, because people got out of their houses and showed up in the squares. They were risking their lives in front of the threats of the government, and the policemen who were using force ( gas bombs, water cannons etc. ) And unfortunately six people died during the protests. It is certain that Gladwell would consider Gezi Park protests a high risk activism. At the end, many things had changed. For the first time during the administration of the current government, people especially the youth protested for their rights and changed the government’s mentality. And it all started by a tweet.


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