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10 Times The Power Of Social Media United Us And Changed The World


Social media is a term which has a very vast definition.
It is not only used for sharing, chatting or finding out new friends, but it’s also used for creating campaigns and raising voice against injustice and violence. As a society, social media impacts our daily lives in ways that we could have never imagined 5 years ago.
These days social media are breaking the news first, touching our lives and eventually shaping our memories. Basically, it has been offering the unprecedented possibility of amplifying voices that were simply not heard in the past.
Now, everyone is a reporter and that’s an empowering feeling when the pen is mightier than the sword. Sometimes the chatter is just noise, but there are examples when a large group of users united for a common cause and made world news. Sometimes, it even changed the world itself.
Here are 10 instances when social media changed India.

1. When people become hashtags – #Nirbhaya

The Delhi gang rape case was such a heinous crime that it utterly shook the entire nation and the world. Videos, twitter hashtag campaigns, facebook pages all set out to take up every incident and statement which threatened the security of women. People from every section of society participated in this movement. The political class in India were shaken deeply by the speed and efficiency with which the protests were coordinated.
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2. Save ‘dying’ Friendicoes

Started in 1979 as a kindness club by a group of school children in Delhi, Friendicoes grew beyond everyone’s expectations in the last 36 years and has emerged as one of India’s biggest and well-known animal shelter with more than 2000 animals under care. But, many animal lovers were left dismayed when they learnt about its closure as they were left debt-ridden. Within hours, an online campaign to collect funds was initiated. Facebook, Twitter, fundraising campaigns, Soha Ali Khan, Randeep Hooda and Ayushhmann Khurana all came out in support and prevented the animal shelter from shutting down.
Fact Source

3. Rice and not ice – #RiceBucketChallenge

Taking a cue from the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’, a woman from Hyderabad in India came up with the noble idea of donating rice to the poor and the needy. This generous activity became popular as the Rice Bucket Challenge. Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar was one of the several participants, who donated buckets full of grains to the poor.
Fact Source

4. Social media aid flood victims in Kashmir – #KashmirFloods

As flood-ravaged Kashmir faced a communication blackout, Facebook played a huge role in tracing people stranded in the region. #KashmirFloods hit Twitter within hours of the flood. However what started initially as a series of chaotic Twitter messages soon turned into a platform which not only helped individuals but also rescue agencies, NGOs and relief organisations in managing this disaster. The Indian Army also began using this medium to put out images and information regarding rescue operations and evacuated citizens on its ‘ADGPI- Indian Army’ page.
Fact Source

5. Stop using Hindustan Unilever products – #Unileverpollutes

Unilever dumped toxic mercury in Kodaikanal, poisoning its workers and the forest. In the past 14 years, they have done nothing to clean up the contamination and compensate its workers and their families. But Unilever started feeling the heat after an eye-catching YouTube video called “Kodaikanal Won’t”, starring a spirited, 28-year-old sari-wearing Indian rapper, Sofia Ashraf, went viral. Viewed more than 3m worldwide since it was uploaded, the video has helped draw roughly 60,000 signatures to a petition urging Hindustan Unilever to clean the site and compensate workers affected by mercury exposure. It had also prompted calls on social media for boycotts of Unilever products.
Fact Source

6. Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao – #BetiBachao

A long-standing issue was getting rid of the girl child by way of female foeticide. This was prevalent mostly among the rural population but was also going silently in the metros. This practice was finally brought to public awareness via the social media and this campaign explained the power of the social media.
Fact Source

7. Sushma Swaraj rescues Indian woman kept as hostage in UAE

Dev Tamboli sent a tweet to the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

Soon after, she tweeted about the girl being rescued and that she was being moved to a shelter run by the Indian embassy.

No FIR was registered in the case and just one tweet helped in saving her life.
Fact Source

8. The hashtag that shook India – #Hokkolorob

‘Hokkolorob’ or ‘Let there be noise’ is a revolution that started in Jadavpur University and spread like wildfire across the world. It all began when a female student was molested and assaulted on campus. The trucks of Rapid Action Forces armed with lathis and tactical gear attacked the peaceful students who were armed with just words. 40 students were injured in the brutal attack while 38 were arrested. The mini revolution mobilized thousands of people on the social media forcing them to think and decide what’s right. A rally on September 20, 2014, had more than one hundred thousand participants – students, teachers, people from different walks of life expressing their support for those students.
Fact Source

9. Raising funds for a 9-year-old girl who was raped

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A daily wage labourer in Jharkhand everyday walks for 4 km to the nearest hospital so that her minor daughter gets proper treatment. Few months back, her 9-year-old daughter was brutally raped by a local driver, leaving her intestines badly ruptured. A lot of our readers had reached out to us to help the father-daughter duo. Hence, we teamed up with Ketto and raised a modest amount of Rs. 2 lacs through contributions from people across the globe.

10. Cop smashes 65-year old man’s typewriter. Social media helps him get a new one.

Krishna Kumar, a 65-year-old typist who sits outside the General Post Office in Lucknow for the last 35 years was asked to vacate the spot by a certain sub-inspector, Pradeep Kumar. When Krishna protested, the cop abused him and kicked his typewriter until it was broken into pieces. Soon, photos of the incident spread on the social media. and there were outrage regarding the insensitivity of the sub-inspector on Twitter and Facebook. Not only did the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, order Pradeep Kumar’s suspension, but also on his instruction, the DSP and SSP later visited Krishna Kumar and handed over a new typewriter.
Fact Source
This is the beauty of the internet!
Of course, I look forward to the day when Indians won’t need to use social media in order to secure justice, but till then, social media will continue to impact society. :)
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