Social Media and Human Rights Advocacy

Authored by: Ella McPherson

The Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138665545
eBook ISBN: 9781315619835
Adobe ISBN:


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The rise of social media has seen its concomitant celebration as a ‘liberation technology,’ namely a technology that supports social, political and economic freedoms (Diamond 2010). Though most notably manifest in the media fervour around the Twitter and Facebook ‘revolutions’ of the Arab Spring, techno-optimism about social media’s potential for human rights persists in both the popular and academic consciousness. This chapter provides a framework for understanding how the use of social media intersects with the practice of human rights advocacy at NGOs. This framework is not to deny the disruptive possibility of human rights advocacy conducted over social media, but rather to ground related techno-optimism in the broad and complex terrain that influences this potential (Madianou 2013; Youmans & York 2012).

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