Identity in Transmedia & Editorial Control on Twitter

The idea of transmedia revolves around the idea of social movement identity.

“…it requires co-creation and collaboration across multiple social movement groups; it provides roles and actions for movement participants to take on in their daily life; it is open to participation by the social base of the movement; and it is the key strategic media form for social movements in the current media ecology,” (Constanza-Chock, 50).

But this identity changes, shifts, and moves highlighting different aspects of a particular movement whether it be protest, personal story, or reasoning.  Social media platforms have opened up a more diversified outlet for protestors and those trying to voice their opinion.  Within the last 10 years, social media has been the practical way for getting a message across to the general public.  The way the mass public can hear about a particular issue can happen within minutes  For example, not a political movement or social issue, but nonetheless, the debate of whether the dress is blue and black or white and gold sparked large debate this weekend, and just about everyone who had a computer heard about it.  The way that transmedia is successful is understanding the way in which activists know how to intentionally circulate media.  For example, the use of the hashtag# is the best way to bring up a key word or a key issue and follow it.   However, the use of social media is not the only useful asset.  The success of the Walkouts primary came from Myspace but also broadcast networks that highlighted the details of each event.


The issue of bringing political activism to social media is nothing new, if not increasing today more so than 5 years ago.  However, does our free speech within the internet get censored?  Social Media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, show this inclination of filtering in relation to Ferguson.  While twitter blew up with Ferguson hashtags, Facebook took about a week to catch on to the Ferguson case.  Coincidental? I think not. On 20 August, Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, tweeted: “We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you … ” . His tweet linked to the news that James Foley had apparently been executed, on video, by Isis. While this was to protect viewers from seeing this particular content, it was the first time that Twitter explicitly stated that they were editing content on Twitter and had judgement in relation to what is being posted.


“News is now not just outside newspapers, it is outside newsrooms. It is impossible for humans to filter efficiently the vast numbers of images, videos, tweets and updates created and shared by humans, bots and devices. By 2020, according to consultants Gartner, there will be 20bn devices connected to the internet, and they will all have something to say for themselves,” (Bell).

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