During this week in Taiwan, more than one hundred of students occupied the legislature because of the ruling party’s push for a trade pact with China, which they believed will hurt its economy. In addition, they considered that the process of passing the trade pact was injustice and untruthful as well. These students thought the government is lying, is faking, and is only looking out the benefit of huge corporations and ignoring those of the small ones. The vice of younger generation now is rising. However, this is not the point I would like to discuss today. I would like to focus how the social media make the impact in this event and what kind of role it plays in such situation.
The occupation started at late night around 10pm on 3/18. Immediately the students took over the legislature, they used UStream to broadcast online live to let general population know the situation inside. At 5 am in the morning, 70,000 people were online to watch and more than 1,000,000 people have already reviewed the website. The news also quickly spread out to CNN and BBC in few hours. In the following days, the social media, such as Facebook, has full of the articles and discussions from everywhere. People in Taiwan are all paying their attention in this issue.
Comparing to the old tradition media such as newspaper and news, the social media bring the live and timely news to the general population. It provides the real situations, including the photos, to build the creditability of event. Since the social media has the great advantages that it can gather the timely information quickly, the tradition media might have no choice but get the information from the internet to complete the report.
Through the live broadcast, general population will know the truth and understand what those students are fighting for. They will not easily be misleading by the presses because they have seen the truth themselves. The social media become a connection between the student organization and the general population, a channel to bring up every kind of supports and options from different fields, and a weapon to generate enough power to get everyone’s attention. The era of social media is coming and this change is unavoidable.