Social & Political Uses of Youtube & Facebook

The articles for this week by Antony & Thomas (2010) & Harlow (2011) explore the ways in which social media, specifically Youtube and Facebook, can be used for social activism both on & offline.

The article by Antony & Thomas (2010), ‘This is citizen journalism at its finest’: YouTube and the public sphere in the Oscar Grant shooting incident, raised the notion that the role of the media has developed with the invention of video sharing websites, such as Youtube, to being more of a “guard dog” which sets the agenda for news by acting as “a   sentry not for the community as a whole, but for groups with sufficient power & influence”. This is an important concept as it has a great implications for the credibility & ability of the media to generate political discussion in the general community.

The Harlow (2011) article, “Social media and social movements: Facebook and an online Guatemalan justice movement that moved offline” explores how Facebook  & other social media tool can impact on social movements offline. In the article Harlow raises the point that online tools are no longer used only as a complementary tool they can also be used to generate social movements offline.

In regards to how these theories and ideas can be related to sport it is mainly in relation to lower leagues & the viral sharing of highlights. For example many lower leagues get little to no coverage by mainstream media but fans are now able to easily record memorable moments from these & post them online for the world to see, as seen in the clip below


Antony, M & Thomas, R (2010), ‘This is Citizen Journalism at its Finest’: Youtube and the Oscar Grant Shooting Incident, New Media & Society, vol.12, no.8, pp.1280-1296

Harlow. S (2012), Social Media and Social Movements: Facebook and an Online Guatemalan Justice Movement that Moved Offline, New Media & Society, vol.14, no.2, pp.225-243

SamTheSkaterBoy (2012) “Left One Handed Football Catch (HD)”, accessed 21/9/2012,


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