When a Tweet isn’t Enough

In-depth Social Media Activism

In-Depth Social Media Activism

From Arab Spring to Crimea, social media has empowered political activism.  But what if the goal is not to overthrow, but to enlighten?  Are 140 characters sufficient?

Today, Hungary went to the polls to reelect Fidesz.  Most of my Hungarian friends worry about Fidesz’s increasing conservatism and abuse of its supermajority power over last four years.  From draconian redistricting to ousting the Supreme Court’s chief justice to a plethora of freedom-restricting constitutional amendments, Fidesz has enacted its agenda without oversight.  Still, none of these friends would say that Fidesz should be overthrown.  Nor were they overly concerned about the party’s imminent reelection today.  But they do consistently complain about the government’s lack of transparency.

Take the reconstruction of Budapest’s Városliget park.  Few understand the reasoning for this expensive and disruptive decision.  But how does an activist who takes the time to do the investigative legwork educate the public on the complexities of the issue?  Before rallying the troops with a Facebook page or Twitter feed, one needs to enlighten a social network that is accustomed to sound bites, selfies, and cat videos.

Here is a blog post that embeds a prezi to engage a visually minded audience, exposing the plan and suggesting an alternative.  I don’t read Hungarian but have been told by my colleagues that the post, though biased toward the author’s recommended changes, is comprehensive.

Who knows whether it will influence changes to the plan, but this post is a good example of using in-depth social media for early-stage activism.

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