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Explore how technology empowers citizen-led movements worldwide, from Kenya's #RejectFinanceBill2024 to #EndSARS in Nigeria and #BlackLivesMatter in USA. This article looks at digital activism, organising strategies, and the role technology plays in amplifying voices and driving social change.

Today, citizen-led movements across the globe have turned to technology as a powerful ally. From Kenya’s #RejectFinanceBill2024 to the global waves made by #EndSARS in Nigeria, #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements, technology has played a central role in organising, mobilising, and amplifying the voices of the unheard. We look at some of the ways the use of technology in these movements is providing a blueprint for effective digital activism.

Digital activism: the new frontier

Digital activism has become a fundamental part of modern protests, allowing for quick dissemination of information and wide-reaching impact. Kenya’s #RejectFinanceBill2024, which emerged in opposition to contentious tax legislation, exemplifies how digital platforms can drive awareness and prompt citizen engagement. Ordinary citizens used social media to spread awareness, share legal documents, and organise protests, turning a local issue into a national conversation.

Similarly, the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria utilised Twitter and Instagram to highlight police brutality, drawing international attention to this problem. Hashtags served not just as rallying cries but as hubs of information and solidarity, demonstrating the power of digital tools in shaping public discourse.

Organising and mobilising

Technology’s role in organising cannot be overstated. For #MeToo, digital platforms provided safe spaces for survivors to share their stories, documenting diverse voices and experiences that underscored the ubiquity of sexual harassment and assault. These narratives, once isolated, merged into a powerful force demanding systemic change.

In the case of #BlackLivesMatter, technology facilitated the coordination of protests across various locations. Organisers used encrypted messaging apps to plan gatherings, ensuring safety and efficiency. Live streaming and real-time updates kept participants informed, engaged, and prepared for rapid changes in protest dynamics.

Analysis and reporting: keeping the movement informed

Technology also serves as a critical tool for analysis and reporting. During the #RejectFinanceBill2024 protests, activists used online platforms to analyse the implications of proposed taxes, creating easy-to-understand content that educated the public. Infographics and video explainers helped distil complex legislation into actionable insights, empowering citizens with knowledge.

This analytical approach was mirrored in movements like #BlackLivesMatter, where data-driven reports on racial disparities in policing were widely shared, adding a layer of empirical evidence to the emotional appeals of the movement.

Live updates: the pulse of the protest

Live updates keep a movement’s momentum alive. During #EndSARS, activists and bystanders tweeted live from protest sites, providing a real-time look at the unfolding events. This kept not only global audiences informed but also held local authorities accountable as the world watched the government’s response unfold in real-time.

Conclusion

As #RejectFinanceBill2024 and other global movements have demonstrated, technology is not just a tool but a catalyst for change. When activists and citizens understand and leverage digital tools, they can expand their impact, reach broader audiences, and drive significant social transformations. It is worth noting that today’s movements are not only speaking truth to power but doing so in an innovative, inclusive, and immensely powerful way.

For more information on how technology is reshaping the sector, contact us.

 

Editor’s note:

Following the wave of protests in Kenya, we are closely monitoring the situation and working closely with relevant partners to ensure the safety of our team and partners. 

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