Social media enhance cultural activism


Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old Muslim, was handcuffed and arrested on Monday for taking his homemade alarm clock to school in Dallas.

Claiming that “it wasn’t immediately evident that Ahmed’s clock was a class experiment”, police officers and Ahmed’s English teacher accused him of terrorism for creating what they thought was a fake bomb.

Besides revealing the evident Islamophobia that prevails in many people’s judgments of Muslims in America, this incident also reveals how social media are used as a powerful platform geared towards social chance and activism.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 4.58.12 PM

Within one day after the incident, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg and thousands of others immediately showed support for Ahmed and expressed their indignation towards the negative stereotypes and racism that greatly occur in our contemporary society.

More than 100,000 tweets and the hash tags #IStandWithAhmed and #engineersforahmed were trending worldwide by Tuesday morning as well as the school’s Facebook page was filled with criticism.

Seeing this, not only in Ahmed’s case but also in many others related to racism, social media have proven to be one of the greatest platforms to promote justice and equality. And, despite the negative aspects and controversial ideas that may also rise among its users, social media can and have been used for a greater good.

As controversial as it may seem, one can’t deny that in many current cases social media has been crucial in promoting social equality and bringing people together.