“In the most traditional sense, social media is premised on the animating of social and political networks. The Greensboro Sit-In of February 1, 1960 and the subsequent “viral” explosion of sit-ins as a political strategy throughout the 1960s is a great example of how such networks can work. However, contemporary social media is unmatched in the speed in which those networks can be energized and in its ability to counter “official” narratives.
“The recent shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is only the latest illustration of the ways that social media can literally raise a nation of hood-wearing citizens to consciousness. Despite criticisms that social media represents a form of “armchair activism” that can not replace traditional on-the-ground organizing, the Trayvon Martin case set in motion a series of political activities that not only raised awareness about the social profiling of men and boys of color, but also the increasing popularity of “Shoot First” laws (aka “Stand Your Ground”) around the country…”
– Mark Anthony Neal (2012)