A week or so ago, there was an article in the local newspaper about my local council rejecting an application by The Big Issue (TBI) to allow vendors to sell the magazine in our area, and in particular near the Burnside Shopping Centre. By the end of the day in which I had heard about it, I too invested myself in social media had simply swarmed our council, causing even an adjoining council Mayor to speak up against the decision on local radio, and ultimately for the Council to do a backflip. The loud and incessant buzz by many resulted in press about the issue in state and national print media, something the organisation had been trying to get for years!!
Now we await the next steps, which are slowly taking shape. TBI applies for a pitch site including times and days, and then we get to see if the Burnside Council will walk the talk. As a local resident, I feel thrilled to have been part of the buzz, and these last few years have most definitely seen an ever developing sense of social justice amongst the wider community.
It is fabulous to see social media winning, and being used for positive change, and also to see more people joining in advocacy because of it. An online petition, or a social media campaign is definitely easier, cheaper and less time consuming than a physical campaign, and often much more effective.