The Power of a Hashtag

From petitions to posts, social media has made a significant impact on the spread of news regarding the recent Black Lives Matter movement.


Lila Heilig

The BLM movement was created with social media and relies on it to spread messages and information. More about the evolution of BLM can be found in the Adobe Spark linked at the end of the story.

Social media is being used to spread awareness and share political views. Without the production of broadcast news, a video can be shared and seen worldwide in just seconds. This leaves room for billions of voices that sometimes do not agree. While arguments can erupt, movements for change and information can be spread quickly. This has been seen prominently with the Black Lives Matter Movement, where videos of police brutality have been shared and seen nationwide just moments after an incident. 

Senior Alyssa Colpaert is a student at Antioch Community High School who uses her social media to spread information on the movement, even if it does not directly affect her. Not only does she post to use her voice, but also uses social media as a way to educate and inform herself.

“I’ve been learning a lot about news going on around the world through social media,” Colpaert said. “Something I learned was about what’s happening with Yemen, and I think more people should educate themselves as well.”

Social media does not only grow a movement through shares and hashtags, though. Users can also share links to donate or sign petitions. Popular resources such as the website “Go Fund Me” can make it easy and accessible for people to donate to a cause they support.

“There are accounts [on Instagram] that start donations and Go Fund Me’s, which by posting, can raise more money,” Colpaert said. “Technology is so important in the world we live in today because we heavily rely on it to get news across.”

According to Nonprofit Pro, 35 percent of donors use social media to raise money for a particular cause, and the Black Lives Matter Movement is no exception. There is a wide variety of causes to donate to, such as victim and bail funds for those who have been affected by police brutality. Not only can one donate, but they can sign petitions through social media as well to continue spreading awareness. In just these past few weeks alone, the news spread through social media may have impacted many people. Social media may be the main source of news for people, as it is generally quick and easy to access.

Learn more about the relationship between social media and the Black Lives Matter Movement here.