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Does Social Media Help or Hurt Minority Groups?

March 3, 2011

Social media can be both a positive and negative for any user. This is no different for diverse groups who can both benefit and be hurt by social media.  Do you think social media benefits diverse minority groups or hurts them?

Here are the positive and negatives I see.

Positives

  • Social media can bring together people from all walks of life that would have never connected otherwise. As social media is evolving it is becoming more niche oriented.  So, diverse groups can use their niche to let them connect with exactly who they want to.
  • Once these diverse groups have connected they can then discuss the issues they are encountering via social media. This gives the group chances to bounce ideas off their peers and come up with solutions to problems.
  • The last advantage is a single individual belonging to a diverse group may be the only member of their group in that area. This can leave the individual very feeling isolated and thinking they don’t fit in. With social media they can find comfort and safety with people like them.

Negatives

  • Social Media for the most part is an open forum. So, just because diverse groups, for example homosexuals, are connecting via a facebook page doesn’t mean someone with hate for homosexuals can’t write hate speech all over the advocacy page.
  • There are also groups that come together over social media who create their own pages with the sole purpose of spreading hate for groups they do not like. These people sometimes are even more blatant in their hate when using the social media platform because they can hide behind the screen and feel protected that way.
  • Lastly, just like one of the advantages diverse groups have are they connect with people in their niche worldwide so can hate advocates. Since the internet is such a global thing today it makes it a lot easier for hate groups to spread their message and reach a large number of people.

Are there any other positives you see as social media users?

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