One of the best things to come out of 2020 was how people have shown support for social problems at a greater rate than ever before, especially through social media. Social media is a great way for influencers to spread awareness about current events in the world; it gives a space for activists and allies to be able to organize events, participate in discussions, and engage the world in ways we cannot do in real life. Social media also exposes people to different opinions, ideas, and beliefs which allows others to learn more about different perspectives.
The Black Lives Matter Movement has taken an uprise in 2020 as the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and unfortunately many more have been heartbreaking for the country. These deaths sparked controversy and outrage as they happened in the hands of police under questionable circumstances. During the spring, marches and rallies all around America were happening to stand against police brutality. On Instagram, there was a #blackouttuesday trend in which allies posted a black square to support the movement, but it became controversial since some celebrities received backlash about how one post was not enough. However, besides posting a black square some celebrities did show more of their support for the movement in different ways.
Halsey, a singer-songwriter, attended multiple of the rallies and marches, and she helped those who were injured at the events. Hasley is seen through pictures giving protestors and marchers water to drink and attending to injuries that they sustained. The marches and rallies were getting dangerous, and many thought Hasley was extremely selfless and brave during those days.
Selena Gomez, a singer and actress, took time off of posting her usual pictures to let other influencers who had smaller platforms use her Instagram so they could reach out to more Instagram users. These influencers were allowed to use her platform to post Instagram stories, videos and pictures about the importance of the movement. Selena is one of the most followed people on Instagram thus this was a very effective way to spread the message of the movement.
Jeremy Zucker, a singer-songwriter, posted an Instagram story, stating if anyone wanted to talk about what is going on in the country to direct message him. He was not only referring to the Black Lives Matter movement but about all the social problems going on in this world. He was willing to help educate fans or just engage with his fans in conversation, which could have benefited an individual.
Shawn Mendes, a singer-songwriter, has a charity called the Shawn Mendes Foundation. Recently, he partnered up with Google to aid five individuals with grants and provide them help with expanding their platform. The first participant was Fanta who has been noted on Instagram for her amazing poetry about being black and her social advocacy. Now, being one of the first recipients she receives a cash prize and is able to grow her platform with the support and exposure Shawn is providing her.
Keke Palmer, an actress and singer, has used her social media platform to speak about the movement and why she supports it. At a rally, she gave a speech that went viral; not only was her speech articulate and moving but it was able to be seen by people who were not there.
The Black Lives Matter movement would not have been possible without social media. Allies and activists were able to organize and have these rallies because of the connections that were made on social media; people were able to attend the rallies because the information about them was provided through social media. Some even got inspired because of the advocacy they saw influencers provide through social media platforms. Others would have not been able to be educated without influencers providing the materials to learn. Social media has provided a huge advantage to helping movements in 2020 like nothing that has ever been seen before online.