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Social media and the propagation of violence against women

Osakue Stevenson Omoera
Heri Ryanga


This article focuses on social media and the propagation of violence against women. It has been claimed that the power of the media to set an agenda, to  focus public attention on key public concerns, including gender issues, is highly significant. This implies that the media can influence what the public  thinks about. However, the foregoing is, to a large extent, in reference to the traditional or mainstream media. We live in a digital age. What about the  new media or social media? Can social media platforms (SMPs) such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook be used to set the agenda for change in  contemporary society? Can SMPs be used to focus the attention of the public on gender issues, particularly on how to address sexual and other forms of  violence against women? Can these platforms engender social change or they are just tools for leisure or entertainment? It is in reaction to these issues  that this article uses descriptive and observational methods to investigate three social media campaigns on Twitter and Facebook – He For She, Bring  Back Our Girls and My Dress My Choice – with a view to assessing their capacity to set the public’s agenda towards combating sexual violence against  women and whether social media is an effective tool to create awareness on what is at issue. While we argue that the social media is an acknowledged  change agent which is capable of mobilizing the public to stand up against incidents of sexual violence, among other gender issues, the conclusion  reached is that in the three instances we examined, the momentum is often short-lived. 

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562