Over the recent years social media has somehow become a popular source of news. Contrary to popular accusation, social media does more than talking about the newest iPhone releases. With more and more people turning to social media from the traditional news sources, here are some of the trending issues that rocked 2017.
US Presidential Election
The US presidential election raised a huge storm on social media. People from all over the world waited with bated breath to see who wins the race. Memes portraying the candidates as cool grandpa, racist corn, unhip old lady etc. also surfaced, giving people some well needed laughs in difficult times.
Blue Whale Game
As the most dreaded game of the internet reached the second most populous country, India, it created a huge cry. With children and teenagers falling prey to this game, the Blue Whale threat has resurfaced in 2017. This also gave rise to quite a few hoaxes forwarded messages and unnecessary paranoia.
Mental health was a crucial topic for 2017. This year social media saw a whole lot of people, especially the millennial generation, rising up for mental health. While there was a huge demand for semicolon tattoos, there was a parallel rise of posts supporting mental health and even offering an ear to people suffering from mental health issues.
Unsurprisingly, 2017 saw quite a lot of discussion on abortion. As the Congress was presented with the bill which aimed to make abortions illegal at six weeks or later, people were enraged. The termed this bill as regressive as well as repressive as it takes away the autonomy of a woman over her body. It also threatened the existence of affordable reproductive health services such as Planned Parenthood.
United Airlines passenger assault
The American airlines came under fire for assaulting a passenger due to flight overbooking. As the video of a passenger, a Vietnamese American doctor, being brutally dragged off the plane, surfaced on the Internet, it spread like wildfire. People began sharing their experience on United flights while other airlines took the opportunity to updates their mottos and taglines to reflect the incident. The victim blaming apology issues by the airlines did not do much good either.
With countries like Germany, Austria, Finland, Taiwan, Australia etc. legalising same sex marriage, LGBT rights has been a major topic of discussion this year. As the warriors of quality fought for marriage rights, the rainbow flag also saw a change with the inclusion of black and brown stripes as an inclusive move which was faced with both positive and negative reactions.
The President of the USA has been under the fire for quite some time, be it because of his anti-Muslim stance or misogynist comments. But the internet lost it completely when one night he used the word ‘covfefe’ in one of his tweets. A regular Twitter use, Trump, has been criticised on Twitter by various celebrities including the celebrated author, Stephen King, who has been blocked by the POTUS.
This year the internet saw its netizens furious with how much money is spent on war versus education in the USA. The discussed everything from American university rankings 美国大学排名 to sky high college fees to education budget of the country. While the ones with the power are yet to act on it, there is hope that this outrage will bring some change.
The power of social media is immense. Over the years, it has forced the world to usher change and like always, it still continues to to do that.