Would social media have helped Nelson Mandela fight apartheid?

Today is Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday. There are various conversations and events happening online and offline celebrating his life and impact. What stood out to me is the above video which chronicles Nelson Mandela’s life via social media.

According to Mashable,

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Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela

“To commemorate the occasion, Prezence Digital Production created an information-packed but easily digestible video detailing the events of Mandela’s life. The four-minute video is a quick tour of Mandela’s timeline, told through a combination of hypothetical Facebook status updates, tweets, Instagram photos and Foursquare check-ins. It contains archival photos and actual quotes from Mandela, relatives, friends, political figures and media outlets.

The video, backed by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, runs on the premise that Mandela may not have spent 27 years in captivity if social media platforms were available back then.”

While the video is meant to be a fun way to explore the life and impact of Nelson Mandela, it also made me wonder: what role does social media play in moving social movements forward?

Do you have examples or thoughts on this? Share them below.

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