The last few months saw several protests erupting in Ukraine, with many of these protests taking place in Euromaidan aka Kiev’s Independence Square. The protests also saw Ukrainians follow a relatively new way to communicate with each other and organize meetings; the social media.
Use of Black Image
Use of black image by thousands of profile users in various social media websites such as facebook, twitter, vk and many other, playing a great role to provide the much-needed spark to Ukraine’s protest movement. The black image is a powerful symbol to express there grave disappointment over recent political development in Ukraine.
The use of social media to increase the momentum of the protests in Ukraine has gained worldwide attention. Hence, we thought it would be interesting to note as to exactly how social media has helped Ukrainian activists in their endeavors. Use of black flag by millions of profile users in various social media websites is playing a great role to provide the much-needed spark to Ukraine’s protest movement.
Bringing People to the Streets
Reports on the matter have revealed that the initial stir that led to thousands of Ukrainians spilling out onto the streets on November 21 last year, was generated by the early tweets by both activists and journalists that flooded Twitter and Facebook. Hence, via social media, what was just a small public outcry, became a fully-fledged public movement.
Ever since then, these social media websites have become key tools for calling out to people around the country. While the news about the protest initially spread via hashtags, the creation of an official EuroMaidan page on Facebook prompted activists to use it as a tool to inform other protestors about the news, plans and future actions in real time. An official ‘Euromaidan’ page in Twitter also serves the same purpose. Websites like Euromaidan.com were also created in order to pull together important information from different social media platforms so that protestors can find out all that they want to know from one source.
As such, a survey conducted among protestors revealed that nearly 49% of the protestors found out about the protest via Facebook while an additional 35% read the news on a local social media site called Vkontakte.
As the movement started gaining momentum, the organizers started turning towards social media platforms to coordinate their actions and organize future protests in a better way. Factors like legal assistance and ideas on protest signs to even advice on how to deal with the riot police were shared on these websites in order to benefit organizers in different locations. For instance, the Facebook pages that are dedicated to medical and legal assistance during these protests actually came into existence after people started sharing instances of arrest and police brutality on the internet.
Some of the Facebook pages that are now dedicated to covering different aspects of the protests include the Євромайдан SOS (Euromaidan SOS) which is used to display reports of police brutality and arrests, the Revolution’s Legal Department which acts as a forum for people to discuss about the legal aspects of the protests and the Майдан.Медики (Maidan.Doctors) page that offers its services to organize and help volunteers.
Communicating to the World
The social media platform also plays a vital role in letting the protestors in Ukraine tell the rest of the world about the state of affairs in their country. This in turn would help generate enough buzz on international platforms to create outside observers.
It has been noted that several slogans and messages seen in the protests were actually shared via social media networks like Facebook and Twitter be protestors who heard them being voiced by others during the initial protests. This has made it clear that using social media networks has enabled these individuals to formulate their messages and demands in a better way in order to help the entire movement.
In order to let the world know about their movement, activists have also taken pains to generate the English versions of their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. All these factors reiterate the fact that the social media has played a huge favor in shaping Ukraine’s protest movement.