The activist organisation that will
be reviewed in the essay is “Save
Beeliar Wetlands”. This article supports the essay by acknowledging that
people to people relationships are critical in activism. “Save Beeliar Wetlands” deploys both traditional and contemporary
social activism to push for social change.
Traditional activism compliments contemporary social
activism, but both approaches are critical to bring about social changes.
Gladwell (2010) believes that social activism through social
media is based on “weak ties”. Social media like Facebook and Twitter
demonstrate their strengths and effectiveness in social activism. The author emphasises
social media as a “critical organizing tool” whereby people can cooperate,
organize and voice out their issues collectively. However, social activism lacks
central leadership, authority control, discipline and strategic thinking.
Gladwell asserts social activism as “low-risk activism.”
In contrast, traditional activism is associated with leadership
and authority operating effectively with clear goals and strategic planning. In
Gladwell’s view, traditional activism endorses “resilience and adaptability”.
However, the risks can be high. For example, the Montgomery Bus Boycott where
hierarchy leadership and strategic planning enabled African Americans to overcome
segregation barriers in the midst of racial tensions.
The author concludes by speculating that future digital
protesters on social media have “weak ties” that set it apart from high risk
Gladwell’s argument spells the merits of the internet as a
social network connecting people. Some critics may challenge his views that
social activism has limited appeal. For example: “seem to believe that a
Facebook friend is the same as a real friend” is subjective as some internet
users know their own social circles. However, social activism has evolved
through the arrival of the internet. The author views online social networks as
‘weak’ because ‘discipline and strategy’ are not included unlike traditional
M. 2010. “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted.” The New