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Me Too: Utilizing Social Media for Advocacy

Me Too. A powerful two word phrase that has been spreading like wildfire on social media started up on Sunday night. With the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations dominating headlines, actress Alyssa Milano took to social media asking women to post “Me Too” if they had ever been a victim of sexual assault and/or harassment. She tweeted a note that read “Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

That was all it took, for women across the nation and world to come forward and post “Me Too” to illustrate the sheer magnitude and reach of sexual assault and harassment. The goal of this movement, in my humble opinion, is to show how far-reaching and common this type of behavior is and to bring attention to it.

Utilizing social media for advocacy is nothing new and has been used by nonprofits, politicians and other groups for years.  Since 45 took office this past year, we have been experiencing an incredibly polarizing political environment. From women’s rights to Black Lives Matter to LGBTQ rights; social media is being used to advance political agendas and influence public policy.

Take the current president, 45 has used Twitter as a tool since the beginning of his campaign to incite action and spread his ‘truths.’ Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are used predominantly for advocacy. A Huffington Post article notes that Facebook and Twitter break fifty percent for advocacy use. Twitter ranks first with slightly over three-fourths using that platform. Advocacy organizations may be using Twitter to attract media as those in television, radio, and print look to Twitter for breaking news and interesting story ideas.

Social media is allowing more voices than ever to exercise their First Amendment right to impact their government at all levels. 2017 will be a historic year as we look back at the impact social media has had on influencing public policy.

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Hi, I'm Kim!
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