Post by @AlanaGolob
The strength of social media is that it gives everyone and anyone the platform to have a voice and make it heard. It’s scalable, it’s impressionable and it’s impactful. Social media doesn’t discriminate, you don’t have to be a celebrity or a congressman to be heard. We all have the ability to own our voice if we chose to do so.
For those of you not aware of the recent controversy in Arizona, the SB 1062 Bill was proposed that would have allowed individuals/business owners to refuse to serve customers based on religious grounds, i.e. the right to discriminate based on sexual preference or marriage views.
What did the people do when they heard about the new bill? They turned to the internet to express their opinions on the bill. Floods of tweets and Facebook posts poured in and people updated their avatars with statements expressing support for equality. I think we can all agree that Arizona took a slight PR hit this week.
Amongst those posts included official statements from the MLB and the NFL even went as far as to threaten to pull the Super Bowl out of Arizona next year.
Influencer and regular activist, Sophia Bush rallied her more than 1.5 million combined followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to help spread the message of equality.
Corporate America also stood up to Arizona lawmakers and joined the fight against the bill via statements including Apple, Delta, Petsmart and others – which also sparked conversation on Twitter and was covered on several major media outlets.
Gov. Jan Brewer also turned to Twitter to share the outcome of the bill minutes after she publicly announced the veto through a televised press conference.
When the veto was announced, what did the people do again? They turned to social media and this time around their posts had a slightly different sentiment.
We’ve seen this time and time again with social communication channels. When controversy arises, people turn to the internet to express their opinions, whether to spark a revolution in Egypt or lobby to bring back their favorite latte.
What does this new way of communicating suggest? That perhaps the government should evolve it’s procedures and practices. Yes, I realize it’s not a new concept to suggest that the government is operating with an outdated model – but what if the government turned to the internet (the people) to crowdsource bills and collect votes vs. the senate? It seems to be an effective practice for the people and brands around the world that are turning to the social space to improve their value offering and build lasting relationships.
Power to the people!