We all know how powerful social media has become in influencing public opinion over a variety of subjects and across the political spectrum. In this article we take a look at three campaigns which are making waves.
Stop Funding Hate
Stop Funding Hate is a London-based organisation. The group, who recently crowdfunded over £100,000 to support their campaign, is leveraging an ingenious method for tackling the crippling right-wing media bias which exists in the UK. Press regulation is a notoriously thorny issue, and simply getting people to “stop buying” the biggest sellers is practically impossible.
Stop Funding Hate’s approach is to circumvent both of these methods by gathering enough public support to stop brands from advertising in the mainstream press. In particular, brands who’s supposed values are clearly at odds with that of, for example, The Daily Express; a paper that regularly demonise refugees.
This approach is creative, non-violent and does not threaten freedom of speech. It simply allows concerned members of the public to collectively say to an advertiser “if you keep funding this newspaper, we’ll take our business elsewhere”.
In November 2016 pressure from Stop Funding Hate campaigners resulted in Lego pulling their advertising with The Daily Mail.
@StopFundingHate We have finished the agreement with The Daily Mail and are not planning any future promotional activity with the newspaper
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) November 12, 2016
And in February 2017, The Body Shop announced it too would cut ties with the same paper:
@StopFundingHate We do not have a partnership with the Daily Mail and there are no plans for The Body Shop to advertise. (2/2)
— The Body Shop UK (@TheBodyShopUK) February 15, 2017
When asked for the reason behind pulling their advertising from the Daily Mail, The Body Shop responded that the paper appeared to “go against” the company’s commitment to human rights.
Extinction Symbol is a guerrilla campaign which promotes the usage of a distinctive and simple logo to raise awareness of extinction and endangered species. The circle represents the planet and the hourglass inside represents the passing of time running out for endangered species.
This is not so much a campaign with a clear measurable impact, but the team behind Extinction Symbol make excellent use of social media to raise awareness and educate. Their Twitter feed is a useful resource for your daily dose of endangered-species-misery, and at time of writing nearly 43,000 people are listening.
What’s more, you’ll find the Extinction Symbol printed, painted, scratched and even tattooed across surfaces all over the world.
Black Lives Matter is a movement spurred on by equality activists across the globe. It began in 2013 after a man was acquitted of second-degree murder for the shooting of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin. The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, in response to this decision, began trending on Twitter and received worldwide coverage. At time of writing, the hashtag still sees constant activity.
This hashtag and its popularity shone a spotlight on the issue of police violence within black communities and has enabled the organisation to expand into a more holistic, ideological movement, as outlined on the website’s guiding principles page.
This campaign, which began and persists, on social media has a number of success stories under it’s belt, from successfully removing the Confederate flag in South Carolina to inspiring offline action such as a “die-in” protest in 2015. The website also hosts an art section, encouraging artist-activists to use their creativity to express how they feel and influence public opinion.
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