Media Lies, People Believe

I find that American media have provided and sent the wrong message about what been part of a mobilization means. Young Americans often find embarrassing to say they are activists or invested in a social cause related to mediated mobilization. I find that, as Professor Proctor noted in class, there are some “bastardized sons” of this genre that are more acclaimed and socially acceptable- for example, flash mobs. I consider, from what I’ve seen in the media, that entertaining art expressions are most likely to make it to the mainstream media and be covered in a positive way. In the other hand, legitimate mediated mobilization efforts such as Occupy Wall Street, the protests in Brazil before the World Cup,The Arab Spring, and student protests in Venezuela, are not covered in a positive way. I particularly became aware of this when I was living in Sao Paulo last semester and I passed by in the middle of one of the protests while I was walking through Avenida Paulista. I remember my parents called me and said that I had to be careful, because they had seen in the news that there was fire and tear gas been used. One of my friends who was living in Rio de Janeiro, also texted me and said to be careful. They had seen one minute images of a violent protest that was not the ones that were happening- the protests that were going on in Brazil were generally pacific.  I believe that this is why less people in the United States get involved in such protests and are willing to mobilize people via new forms of media.

Also, I found really interesting the question that was posed during class: Is the message that wants to be sent in a protest or the cause diluted as more people take part in the mobilization? I believe this is true. In one way, in order to produce more social impact and to be noted by institutions, a mobilization has to be large. However, as the cause gets increasingly popular- as it has happened lately with the power of social media, causes tend to lose their original purpose. One great example of this phenomenon is what happened to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The campaign got a massive response, especially from young people, but the message and main purpose of raising awareness about Lou Gehrig’s disease was slowly lost as more people wanted to take part in the challenge because everyone else was doing it.

Brazil Protests During World Cup- What The Media Showed

Brazil Protests During World Cup- What The Media Showed

Activists demonstrate in front of riot police outside the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia

Brazil Protests During World Cup- What Was Really Happening

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