Twitter as an online community

Twitter is usually used to rant, complain and make funny statements. However in many circumstances it can be used to spread awareness and do good in this new technological world.

Last week, a young man named Macauley Campbell from my hometown Southampton, died in a car crash. Inspired by his love of festivals and music, his girlfriend Fleur began the #MACFEST in order to raise money to create a whole new festival in his honour in Southampton. Within 24hours Fleur managed to raise over £10,000 and had been in contact with celebrities such as Craig David, and Scotty T and GAZ from Geordie Shore who agreed to attend MACFEST.

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This story is  true testament to the way Twitter can be used for good and to create a sense of ‘community.’ Although Mac was loved by many in Southampton, his story has now been told across the country via Twitter.

MAC FEST” now has nearly 10,000 followers and is continuing to gain following and spread further awareness.  They are hoping for the festival to take place this summer and the line-up of acts is continuously getting bigger. His family are receiving more support than ever and Twitter has shown them how truly loved their son was by everyone.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that Twitter can be used to for such inspiring purposes, many use it as a platform to post both offensive and abusive content, and is often a main source for Cyber-bullying.

 

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4 Comments

  1. That is just one of many instances where Twitter transmits this sense of community, in a way. It is, arguably, the social media platform where important online events and movements (worldwide) have had the most attention and participants.
    I think of it as a large village where two massive (massively) dysfunctional families lives that are there to support each other when necessary. What a weird analogy but it describes Twitter whenever a something happens. You gave a brilliant example of this however we could also mention a relevant artist/celebrity death, a famous band breaking up or a selfie taken at the Oscars with many public figures on it.
    Abuse and offence will always be part of any online community as they reflect the society we live in. Once people realise that free speech/freedom of opinion doesn’t mean they get to say whatever they want, it will have the potential to be reflected online as well.

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  2. I agree that Twitter can be viewed as a form of community. The usage of hashtags has made the sense of community build across the internet and social media. There have been many movements that have been supported by hashtags, and created awareness and a sense of community. Some other examples that come to mind are #FreeKesha, #BlackLivesMatter, and #LoveYourBody. Each of these allowed people to virtually get together and bring awareness to a social concern. In Twitter, you can click on a trending hashtag and view all of the tweets that used it. This is a great way conversation can be started online, and therefore form a community.

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  3. That’s so thoughtful and cute of the girlfriend to do! Have you also seen and realised how when someone goes missing too, Twitter is used as a platform to create a online community to find the missing person. There are so many examples of this. And what’s surprising too is that a lot of the time, the online community is heightened and emphasised by having celebrities, prominent Twitter figures and online platforms like BBC or Sky create their own comments. It makes the community feel tighter and as one when something like that is done as it highlights how much of a small world this is and how everyone is willing to help everyone despite all of the negative Twitter is used for.

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  4. Twitter is a widely-accessed platform where ordinary people can speak and be listened. In Mac’s case, his story could be spread and awareness could be raised because of the celebrities who have a massive amount of followers and public attention re-tweeted the content. So it is not hard for us to see that as long as it is a good story or positive movement, no matter who it is about, the story will make a big hit as well. We should all appreciate the fair opportunity provided for especially the most ordinary but shiny persons by this online community.

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