Since the horrific death of George Floyd 25th  may this year, there has been a visible uprising around the world and most notably on social media. When opening apps such as Instagram, Tik tok and snapchat we are greeted by “the next thing”- as usual. Only this time ,“the next thing” is deeply rooted in politics, societal values, protests, and civil unrest around the world.  

Recently, the end-SARs movement (a movement involving the dissolvement of a corrupt Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Nigeria) has taken social media by storm. Images of police brutality, civilians being shot at, heartbreaking interviews and huge crowds of people coming together to fight for what they believe in, have been all over apps such as Instagram. This helped to bring coverage and awareness about the issues happening in Nigeria that many people including myself may never have been conscious of. It is important to note that not all information from social media is completely valid or even true and we must make sure that we are cautious of fake news and misleading information. With that being said, thousands took to the app to voice their outrage after finding out that October 22 marked a death toll of 56 protestors after just over 3 weeks of protesting. The exposure social media has created has enabled people in countries outside of Nigeria to partake in signing petitions and activism helping the cause and protecting people. On 11th October, SARS was disbanded by the Nigerian government however protests continued and went on to look at deeper issues within the Nigerian Government. This is a notable example of how social media can be used for good. 

Around 6,000 miles away in Thailand, pro-democracy protests have been ongoing since early 2020. Over 167 protestors have been arrested and there is a lot of controversy revolving around whether the arrests were legitimate or instigated by corrupt police forces and government figures. These demonstrations were originally motivated by the desire to remove the current government and prime minster Prayut Chan-o-cha and has recently advanced to include the reformation of Thailand’s monarchy. This is an incredibly risky operation as resistance against their monarchy could result in imprisonment from 3-15 years for a civilian.  

Finally, the death of George Floyd and many other victims of police brutality in America and around the world have sparked fierce activism and a call for action throughout this year. Thanks to social media and passionate educators a plethora of information is out there for people to get involved and become less ignorant to issues around the world. I believe everyone has a right to access information and learn about the things that are happening on OUR planet. Society is flawed. The government is flawed. Humans are flawed. But the only way to make things better for ourselves and others is to learn about the things we think are wrong and voice our opinions. 2020 has seen so many horrific, inspiring, dangerous and incredible things – and it is evidence that everyone needs to be involved in the world that we live in.