The Ambiguous Power of Social Media: Hegemony or Resistance?

Aborisade Philip Olubunmi


Recent developments have demonstrated the efficacy and effectiveness of social media as a veritable tool for mobilization and networking. Ordinary citizens rely on the power of social media to mobilize against sit-tight leaders. Oppressed citizens use social media to protest against bad government and anti-people’s policies. Based on the findings of a recent research, this article discusses recent protests across the world and how citizens use the new media and social media during the protests to stay connected, plot strategies and circulate news to the rest of the world. The article concluded that; with the new media, citizen-reporters and social media, there is no hiding place or safe haven for sit-tight leaders and anti-people policies as citizens are better empowered than ever by emerging technologies to challenge the status quo. The paper therefore hypothesizes that the ambiguous power of social media has become a tool for resistance movements as well as hegemony as demonstrated at the protest sites around the world such as the 2014 Burkinabé Uprising, Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, the chilean students’ protest, the Los Indignados movement, the Québec student’s strike and Idle no more in Canada etc., The ambiguous power of the  social media has become a major issue in recent years in view of the use of the social media by protester to stay connected during protest to resist authoritarian regimes around the world. The use of the social media as a tool for resistance or hegemony in recent years has brought the issue to the Ambiguous power of the social media to the forefront of academic debate. It therefore becomes imperative to explore the double edge sword nature of the social media to determine its full impact on the society. This will add to our knowledge of social media as a veritable tool for resistance and hegemony.    

Keywords: Social Media, New Technology, New media, Citizen Reporters, Democracy, Networking, Hegemony, Resistance.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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