Social Media Activism – What’s the Deal?

My very first Podcast! Woohoo!

In this podcast I addressed the possibilities and limitations associated with social media activism, and whether or not activists online have a legitimate chance at provoking social change. I utilised a commentary Youtuber, Mr Atheist, as an example throughout. I started by posing a question to the audience; ‘how effective can you really be in trying to drive social change online?’ I then explained that I will use Jimmy, the man behind Mr Atheist, to help me analyse this question. I started with an introduction to him, his channel and his motivation as an activist. I then proceeded to explain some of his successes in online activism (drawing people out of dangerous religious mindsets/communities) and then progressed into discussing risks associated with it that he has had to deal with – such as harassment and scandals. I then used all of this information to conclude that online activism is effective, despite its pitfalls.

I started by selecting an online activist by looking at my Youtube feed and thinking about the issue in relevance to him. I wrote up a script to ensure that I stay on track and had the right amount of content to equate to 4-6 minutes of mp3. I was also sure to find an academic source that was relevant to what I was saying and got the citation for a Soundcloud description later. I then jumped straight into recording using OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) on my friend’s computer. I recorded the entire thing in one take, and then went through and re-recorded specific parts that I didn’t like. I then transferred the files to my computer with a USB and put them onto Audacity, editing out the errors and pasting together the various recordings. I looked up “Creative Commons Music” on Youtube and found a song I liked, proceeding to cut it up, place it in my podcast at the beginning and end and add fades. This made my podcast seem more complete and polished to the ear and set a particular mood around my audio. I referenced this in the Soundcloud description (and on this blog post) in the format that was requested by the creator. After listening to it from beginning to end, I exported it and uploaded it to Soundcloud.

My strategy with this assignment was to keep it casual and fun; treat it more like a video or story that I’d make on my own time rather than an assignment (while still following assignment guidelines). This allowed me to put more passion into the project and create an end result that I was more proud of. It also meant that my voice and overall presentation was more relaxed and organic; and less monotone and bored. It also helped me work through issues with learning Audacity and I understand the program much better now because of it.

My primary source for this podcast was Mr Atheist’s content, although I also used Bart Cammaerts’ piece to elevate my point that social media is becoming a critical tool in social activism and change. Going back to my main source, I’ve followed Mr Atheist for quite some time and have therefore gotten a grander scope of his background, his character, his values and his influence in relation to other online activists. I came to realise that he is similar to most other online activists in his motivation, dedication and results – therefore, using him as an example was simple.

Music:

Up In My Jam (All Of A Sudden) by – Kubbi @kubbi
Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported— CC BY-SA 3.0 
creativecommons.org/licenses/b
Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/tDexBj46oNI

References:

Cammaerts, B 2015, ‘Social media and activism’, In: Mansell, Robin and Hwa, Peng, The International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society, date retrieved: 25/05/2019, <http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/62090/1/Social_media_and.pdf>

Snow J 2019, ‘Girl Defined… I Am Sorry! (I Really Messed Up)’, Mr Atheist, Youtube, 16 May, retrieved 25 May 2019, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrgrhAcVxCI&t=115s>

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