Social Media and Occupy Wall Street

If you’ve seen the Occupy Wall Street protest on television or smelled it first hand—it’s hard to miss the amount of protestors on laptops and people using their smart phones to take pictures and video.  Additionally, you may have noticed the movements Facebook page that has roughly half a millions followers—pretty impressive.

Craig Kanalley, from, reaches out to Jeremy Heimans, co-founder of as well as founder Ben Rattray, who reinforced two themes: social change is not about the tools but rather their application, and that it is the content, not number of followers, that builds a movement.

The best way to get people away from their computer is through the computer; you can’t organize thousands of people in New York City without the web,” according to Rattray.  It was the content which included pictures, videos and stories that drew the attention of the mainstream media—newspapers and television.

Looking at the following ad, you will notice two things—the absence of a date, time and location as well as the inclusion of two “#” hash tags.  A hash tag is simply the # sign followed by a topic—in this example: #OCCUPYWALLSTREET.  This allows people to easily search all tweets on twitter regarding that topic.  As a result, users and people intrigued by this ad are forced to turn to social media to get the even details.

The article, Occupy Wall Street: Social Media’s Role in Social Change, By Craig Kanalley can be read here:


2 thoughts on “Social Media and Occupy Wall Street

  1. I was waiting for someone to comment on Occupy Wall Street. Just today Mayor Bloomberg said the protestors could stay as long as they wanted. Clearly, there was no real choice for Bloomberg, but the sheer size of the protests have grown so substantially that it can’t just be ignored anymore. Social Media has become the perfect outlet for protestors relaying their message to friends and the general public. While standard media is obliged to cover the protests, and gives a broad overview of protestors sentiments, it doesn’t go into details of what is on individual protestors minds.

    Social Media has enabled not only the New York ‘occupation’ to grow in number but for dozens of other cities to make their own protests and show a national unity of the working class. I walked by the protest just the other day and they literally had designated area of the park set aside for social media posts. While the protest is comprised of a racially and economically diverse group, it is still laregly a ‘youth movement’. The unemployment rate for those in their early and mid twenties is even higher than the general unemployment rate. These digital natives are incredibly powerful now that they have both the know how, the time, and the dedication to devote themselves to the cause with the help of social media.

  2. The event of Occupy Wall Street shows us again the power of social media and reminds us that the role of social media is changing.

    Actually, the social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter have become the platforms of news sharing and transmitting. Especially with the popularization of smartphone that equip camera and apps of social media tools, everyone can be the news reporter or creator. Social media is not only the platform for people to chatting and sharing gossip, but also the publisher of first-hand news.

    As the dead of, co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs some days ago, a lot of people knew this news from Facebook or Twitter and then they checked the news website to confirm that news.

    Moreover, with the increased demands on timeliness of news for mass, traditional news industry is facing bigger pressures. The traditional way that sending reporters to gather news has not been able to meet the requirements of public and fewer people still choose reading the hard-copy newspaper encourage news industry to make change. Corporation with social media is a good way to face this challenge.

    As we know, a lot of news channels have set up their own account on Facebook and Twitter, with the function of hash tag #, the news channels can get the first-hand news at first time from followers in the event.

    In short, not only the social media is changing its role, but also the traditional news industry should keep pace with the times.

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