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“Let’s keep it about Kony, not Kony 2012” Exploring the shifts in language around a user generated hashtag during the Kony 2012 movement

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posted on 23.05.2021, 16:44 by Liane Coulahan
Social media has become more than a platform for social engagement and connectivity. Users have tapped into the power of social media‟s reach to connect with like-minded individuals around the world. Protests, revolutions and global movements are taking shape as a result of what the Internet affords us as users – immediate connectivity. This paper aims to explore Twitter as a platform for activist movements. Specifically, I look at the language used within the Kony 2012 movement and aim to understand how the language within tweets changed overtime by following a user-generated hashtag (#Kony2012). For this study, I analyzed 325 tweets from the Kony 2012 campaign. These tweets were collected from March 5th 2012 to March 17th 2012. My findings indicate that Twitter‟s hashtag function was always used in the three following ways: (1) Sharing Information, (2) Passive Calls to Action, (3) Strong Calls to Action. Overall, the tweets I studied surrounding #Kony2012 hashtag suggest that this movement was weak in mobilizing change but strong in raising awareness





Master of Professional Communication


Professional Communication

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type