|Application: Persuading for Social Change|
|Social media has played a significant role in national and international politics. On March 5, 2012, a short film by Jason Russell titled Kony 2012 spread virally on social media channels. It documents the push for the arrest of Joseph Kony, the leader of a rebel militia group known as Lord’s Resistance Army. Kony is depicted as a brutal warlord who abducts children in the regions of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan, and trains them to carry out his guerrilla warfare. The film calls for individuals to take action and create awareness of Kony’s atrocities.
Along with praise for Russell’s positive social change impact came a lot of criticism for his film. Critics describe the film to be overly propagandist because he did not provide information necessary for the viewer to make an informed decision. Also challenging the credibility of the film’s content, journalists argued that Russell manipulated facts and exaggerated the scale of Kony’s abductions and murders in order to increase hype.
Kony 2012 is an example of using persuasion in social media to enact social change. Russell’s message reached and persuaded millions of people to act. Was his attempt to enact positive social change a success? How would you use social media to persuade others to enact social change?
For this week’s Assignment, you evaluate the impact of social media in persuasion and apply ethical standards to social media.
To prepare for this Assignment:
¥ Review the Learning Resources for this week.
¥ Think about what you have learned in the previous weeks about persuasion analysis models as well as the use of symbols, cultural myths and patterns, and propaganda as tools of persuasion. How are these used in persuasion through social media?
¥ Consider how you use social media. What applications of persuasion might be used in social media to create social change? How would it benefit today’s society?
¥ Think about a social change you would like to enact using social media. How might you go about using the persuasion skills you have developed throughout this course? What specific symbols, cultural myths and patterns, or propaganda could you use through social media?
Compose a 2- to 3-page paper in which you evaluate the impact of social media in persuasion. Include responses to the following:
¥ Identify a social change effort you wish to work towards and the specific strategies, including any symbols, cultural myths and patterns, or propaganda that you would employ using social media to persuade others to help you enact this social change.
¥ Explain the benefits and limitations of using social media to persuade your audience to enact social change.
¥ Explain which of the persuasion analysis models is evident in your approach to social change.
¥ Explain whether your persuasion strategies are ethical and why.
Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, and something you have read, heard, seen, and/or experienced.
Submit your Assignment by Day 7. In order to receive full credit, all Assignments must be submitted on time. Should you encounter an unanticipated and uncontrollable life event that may prevent you from meeting an Assignment deadline, contact the Instructor immediately to request an extension. Your Instructor’s contact information is in the Contact the Instructor area. For a full description of the late policy, please refer to the “Policies on Late Assignments” section of your Syllabus.
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