The Occupy Wall Street movement that has stormed across America is infamous for its use of modern technology to spread its movement and engage more protestors. According to Malcolm Gladwell, activism linked to social media, such as Twitter, Tumbler, and Facebook, is weaker than protests in the past. These technologies create only weak ties that distance those involved in the movement. It’s easy to follow a group on Twitter or Facebook and say that you are involved with the cause. However, past movements didn’t have the same luxury as is afforded to us now. Those involved with a cause had strong relationships with other protestors as well as an ever-present fear for the consequences of their actions (i.e. Civil Rights Movement).
Gladwell’s view, however, is flawed. While it is easier now to get involved in a movement it doesn’t make it weak or any less effective. Social media as used with OWS spread word faster than before and brought out more support than past protests. OWS initially used Tumbler to blog about their endeavor and gain supporters. Although it is arguable that these ties aren’t as personal, it still has the effect of bringing people together and making a cause known.