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Research essay-Do digital social media provide ‘safe spaces’ for people, especially non-dominant people who experience marginalisation? Example

Safe Spaces in Digital Social Media for The Marginalised

Social media is a social network platform connecting people online via electronic websites. Thus, with the use of the internet, various communications channels have developed where interactions, relationships, and content sharing amongst individuals and businesses take place. The large digital communities such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Instagram, Hashtags, LinkedIn, and online games have to some point provided the marginalized individuals with safe spaces for expressing their ideologies. In modern world, social media platforms have lately been more inclusive, more accommodating and more tolerant to marginalized groups. And as a matter of fact, safe spaces amongst social communities not as before where existed exclusion of marginalized groups of people to participate and centre their oppressed voices to the world have considerably developed. Therefore, social media has offered online liberties where oppressive opinions and narrow-mindedness do not get tolerated. Such aspects give an important reason of terming social media communities as safe digital social spaces. According to Gerbaudo et al. (870), the safe areas in social media have developed controlled environments in which the non-dominant people like those oppressed with racism, sexism or trans antagonism are protected from getting common threats. This research reveals that marginalized people have been accorded safety by digital social media and hence they have acted as their safe spaces for freedom of speech and social justice.

Safe Space on Feminism

In social media sites such as Facebook, there are secret online groups which are purposefully committed to offering a safe space online for feminist community. The teams consist of female gender members who feel oppressed by the global community. They may involve members with same missions and visions towards campaigning against their non-domination through Facebook as a preferred online platform. However, Carroll et al. (100) claim that these groups formed by feminist virtually act as a family whose aim are to discuss various matters with one another seeking and seeking separate solutions from other members of the group.

such platforms not only exist in India but also in various countries globally. Through safe spaces online, such feminist groups have remained in a position of acquiring freedom of expression and identification of their sexuality without any common threats and judgments.Gerbaudo and Paolo 24)Facebook groups have remained to be the important resource for solving feminism as a gender minority problem across the world. For example, various countries across the world like India are commonly known by Secret Facebook groups such as Harmless Hugs emerging as a useful resource for feminist groups advocating for gender and sexual minorities issues in India. However, according to (

Even though opinions on social media sites such as Facebook are at times contrary, this comes because of a clear view that users lack real friends. Lately, the idea has turned to be opposite, and in the case of female gender marginalization, Facebook may not offer the real empathy, but with further agreements of physical meetings through online spaces, more information sharing stay developed. It has therefore extended the rate at which women share their stories and the growth of social network support (Juris and Jaffrey 270). Thus, the formation of feminist movements allies on social media platforms has advocated for gender discrimination matters at an exponential rate on a yearly basis. And according to a research especially for women done by Brady and Martha (49), sharing personal stories whether on social sites or through other are likely to lower stress.

Facebook as a social media safe space has seen female gender inequality reduce and has also meant a lot also to those people at the periphery. Facebook has widely offered the empathy a real world can give to any woman. So, social media effect has acted as a system of providing support and have become the largest support system to marginalized women after meeting those with similar situations (Reilly et al. 420). Women at the periphery, studies show that they are more tolerant on Facebook online interactions. Such tolerance results to changing lifestyles and their values. Thus, such experience leads o formation of new virtual empathy. Such understanding gets facilitated through natural interactions such as frequent discussions via comments and chats.

Twitter (Power of Hashtag)

in the case of female gender marginalization, it has created a safe online space for women right activists to raise awareness and promote the cause of sex inequality. On Twitter, mobilization of followers becomes the primary tactics used to gather those with the same agenda. Through various successful campaigns on Twitter, thousands of numbers of members have been collected across the world engaging the public in pushing for the course of action against women marginalization (Juris and Jaffrey 270). Therefore, women activists have used Twitter as a platform for content sharing and relevant stories.Gerbaudo, Paolo, and Emiliano (862) study reveals that Twitter is currently the most popular and reliable social networking site in the world with first-hand information on women leadership ideas. It has been reliable when it comes to sharing stories on certain topics. Thus,

Twitter has remained a most efficient social network when considering the exchange of information because of the hashtag. Hashtags since the beginning have remained the real power behind Twitter. According to Brady and Martha (50), various feminist movements have notably invented hashtags to gather related stories about particular activities. It has been a tool for women to develop force towards making the change and sharing their different stories to the whole world. Also, hashtags are necessarily used to facilitate content searching and also to enable one to follow conversations. Women movements have particularly used trending hashtag to spread the campaign before launching the drives to the streets.

Women who fight for feminism across the world through Twitter have reduced violence towards women. Recently, great campaigns get triggered with female groups initializing campaigns as the events develop. For example, in Nigeria Africa, Boko Haram attack and kidnapped schoolgirls were made aware to the public when activists took the matter to Twitter. The developed hashtag #BringBackOurGirls directed to terrorists went viral on Twitter, and every individual from world leaders to ordinary people took the affirmative course of action. Eventually, through sharing of stories to the world have discouraged the act of silencing women and other marginalized groups to gain some control over violence.

Safe Space on Racism

social media has provided a platform to racial allies and racial injustice advocate a safe space for confronting sensitivity of elusive ways people of color get side-lined.Gerbaudo and Paolo (22) are concerned,Since time immemorial, the issue of race has been growing to uncontrollable levels. Thus, conversations surrounding the matter have developed to more complex and deeper problems that are yet to be in a position of resolution. Therefore, social media on people experiencing color marginalization, it has played a greater role in providing the community with safe space online to equally air their views. As far as

Online space such as Facebook has prioritized the partners supporting racial justices to increase their voices in fighting for communities of color. Some Facebook groups fighting for color truths have remained distinctive, and they have gathered the confidence to speak despite the situation (Harris and Fredrick 37). The majority of groups in Facebook prefer the online space since it is more comfortable than other environments. Thus, it creates an easier platform for the allies advocating for racial matters to write down some issues as compared to when speaking to people directly. Also, Facebook guarantees safe space regarding choosing the kind of personal information to share. It has significantly boosted the feeling of self-expression and safety.

Alternatively, Facebook has created close security and connection of color communities. The relationship majorly gets developed when people facing similar racial injustices remain discovered through identities. Identification and grouping of all races to one group generalize discussions about race either online or offline and substitutes social injustices on communities of color face discrimination (Carroll et al. 87). Also, online identity often reduces the assumptions of stereotyping cases. Therefore, generalized social communities on Facebook, create a positive perception towards determining a person’s ethnicity based on skin color. As a matter of fact, safe space provided by Facebook has ensured there is no existence of marginalization towards any racial identities.

Twitter has currently been a modern platform for activists to fight for unacceptable cases of racial injustices. Compared to Facebook, various ethnic communities have mounted some important civil rights activism, hence pushing for democratic practices from federal governments to assist in addressing the issues of racial marginalization. Through Twitter as a modern means of driving for color protest movements, the support of advocating for uprooting unequal racial treatment have been successful (Harris and Fredrick 37). Policy proposal from the federal government has worked positively on the side of marginalized color communities. Thus, Twitter has seen racial injustices reduce amongst communities who grapple in oppression.

On the other hand, Twitter has also been a platform for spreading hate from civil right activists on matters of race. For instance, the issue of racial killings in the United States which prompted the development of hashtag #BlackLivesMatter became an advantageous space for spreading unnecessary speech through the use of racial identification. Also, even though racial hate gets promoted via Twitter, it has purposefully served as a source of live, raw information on the same matter. The Black Lives Matter Movement used the safety of Twitter as a space for summoning people to the streets and organize their movement accordingly. And the number of retweets swiftly determined the stand of individuals on color marginalization.

As a matter of fact, Facebook is a wider platform till those marginalized people at the periphery get access. Unlike Twitter which has not yet developed to diversity where the entire world can get access. Furthermore, not all these social networks provide a suitable platform for real life conversation. They greatly depend on digital means of controlling both important and less important information because of weak dependence on direct personal involvement. (Carroll, William and Robert, 100). Technology on both sides have remained resourceful and also unimaginative when dealing with issues of marginalization in the society. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have to some extent involved their practices contrary to each other

Digital social networks provide the sufficient base to individuals for excusing their behaviours to marginalized people. It acts as a space of defence to persons with uncertain motives who often minimizes the value of marginalized people. Justifying their actions to the public provides some levels of sufficient empathy the oppressed communities may need. Gerbaudo (44) states that with the safety that digital social networks offer to people, social communities have gathered supportive relationships and have improved positivity towards social norms. The cases of victimizing color identities and women, in general, have developed an absolute desire from these communities never to give up and not accept their challenges as inevitable. Rather, they still use the safe spaces of advocating for their lives.

As far as Moghadam and Valentine (10) are concerned, many online discussions on safe areas challenging the courses of feminism, racism and any other form of oppression have evolved within various institutions and societies as a whole. Safe spaces on social media platforms have developed an understanding of different ideas and aims of extensive discussions that develop to reduce the cases of marginalization. Rather, the purpose of these debates transpires to recognizable and respectful experiences in the humanity. Therefore, safe spaces in digital social networks have created exchange of knowledge amongst individuals leading to similar lines of confrontation against harassment.

Worlds for Marginalized People (MMORPGs).Virtual

Elements of technology introduced in this dynamic world include virtual worlds which are part of online gaming activities. Purposefully, the virtual world such as MMORPGs has seen different forms of interactions exist amongst the marginalized individuals. As far as Quandt et al. (113) is concerned, the use of MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) has helped to connect different people from dominant individuals to non-dominant individuals through providing safe spaces for interaction. For example, marginalized players get to connect with a broad and open world of other players of the same status through the internet (Reilly et al., 432) In this kind of safe space, there exist thousands or even million marginalized players who are after changing their social lives through MMORPGs.

. Thus, such social safe spaces offered by MMORPGs to the sidelined groups have connected them with other players to complete their quests. (Lee, Kwan, Peng, and Namkee, 559)Though critics term MMORPGs players as individuals with no public lives, but rather the reality is completely the reverse. And to the sidelined communities due to forced interactions during the games, they have used this platform for creating astonishing long term friendship connections, partnerships, and relationships. Therefore, in the physical world, the marginalized people have been able to break the monotony in their daily lives. MMORPGs assist the side-lined communities such as youths and women not to stay in contained social roles but to engage in other extra commitments

The research done by Lee et al. (561) explains that MMORPG allow marginalized communities who engage themselves in playing the games through the internet to assume a newer role other than the ones they stand for in the real world. For instance, the invented features in MMORPGs assist a marginalized gamer in applying creative quests like summoning creatures and bringing the dead to life. As a result, the experience gained by the marginalized communities through these activities help them gather a creative mind and can also shift their day to day roles. Also, since MMORPGs is referred to as sub-genre of gaming, multiple marginalized individuals can connect with different players with different developed characters.

a peaceful protest via virtual world for the reason of teenagers changing their social lives have significantly remained experienced in more interactive gaming ways.Reilly et al. (434) claim that The present state of virtual existence of the MMORPGs industry has seen various modifications designed to fit the technological quest of marginalized groups (Quandt et al., 117). These new safer spaces provide the players with a movement that can help them advance in different innovations technologically. Hence more interactions with the virtual environment have given them another full side of technology reality. Similarly, the glimpse of advanced technological experience emerging from virtual worlds, have seen marginalized groups such as youths use them in their struggles against marginalization. Therefore,

According to research done by Lee et al. (563), women participating in MMORPGs have remained less exposed to marginalization as compared to when they engage in offline gaming. Women who participate in online gaming, they facilitate greater socialization skills with various women hence forming women activism. Such developments are necessarily for engaging diverse internet populations with one agenda. Besides, since virtual worlds such as MMORPGs require more creative minds, it offers marginalized women with creative thinking when dealing with their social obligations.

Quandt et al. (117) argue that marginalized groups such as youths, online gaming has provided them with safe spaces of social reforms. Social changes have improved young people’s experience through instilling self-discipline in them and keeping them off malicious practices such as drugs and crime. The rehabilitated social behaviors amongst the marginalized youthful generation through social safety offered by MMORPGs give the youth gamers busy online time in their lives.


.As per the research, digital social networks such as Facebook, Twitter (Power of Hashtag), online gaming MMORPGs and have equally provided safe spaces to nondominant people in the society. Access to social media by marginalized communities have lately been easy as many groups have formed various movements with the aim laying their voices on equality matters. Development of social media groups has transpired to the development of similar communities with the same agenda hence sharing ideas and information. On the other hand, online gaming such as MMORPGs has eliminated any oppression felt by youths through transforming their whole social lives. The achievement of social media networks safe spaces might not follow a progressive experience amongst all marginalized individuals, but the entire process must start with a step at a time

Works Cited

Brady, Martha. «Creating safe spaces and building social assets for young women in the developing world: A new role for sports.» Women’s Studies Quarterly 33.1/2 (2005): 35-49.

Carroll, William K., and Robert A. Hackett. «Democratic media activism through the lens of social movement theory.» Media, culture & society 28.1 (2006): 83-104.

Gerbaudo, Paolo, and Emiliano Treré. «In search of the ‘we’of social media activism: introduction to the special issue on social media and protest identities.» (2015): 865-871.

Gerbaudo, Paolo. Tweets and the streets: Social media and contemporary activism. Pluto Press, 2012.

Harris, Fredrick C. «The Next Civil Rights Movement?.» Dissent 62.3 (2015): 34-40.

Juris, Jeffrey S. «Reflections on# Occupy Everywhere: Social media, public space, and emerging logics of aggregation.» American Ethnologist 39.2 (2012): 259-279.

Lee, Kwan Min, Wei Peng, and Namkee Park. «Effects of computer/video games and beyond.» Media effects: Advances in theory and research (2009): 551-566.

Moghadam, Valentine M. Globalization and social movements: Islamism, feminism, and the global justice movement. Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.

Quandt, Thorsten, and Sonja Kröger. Multiplayer: The social aspects of digital gaming. Vol. 3. Routledge, 2013.

Reilly, Paul, and Filippo Trevisan. «Researching protest on Facebook: developing an ethical stance for the study of Northern Irish flag protest pages.» Information, Communication & Society 19.3 (2016): 419-435.