I was reading the newest edition of The Economist today. While reading through the America’s section I came across an article titled, “Facing Down the FARC“. Firstly I found the article moving. I have read about the stories of the kidnapped hostages that have been held by FARC, in some cases for 10 years or more.
Recently FARC released some hostages along with stories and photographs of those still being held. The stories sounded horid!! There is no other way to describe it.
However this article was far more uplifting and exciting. The article spoke of a turning tide in the public opinion against FARC (though not necessarily for the Colombian government).
The part that made me really want to blog about this article was the fact that The Economist mentioned the role of a Facebook group that was created after the release of 2 hostages by FARC in November. The group known as “One Million Voices Against FARC” was founded by a young Facebook member.
This Facebook group helped get over 1 million people onto the streets both in Colombia and around the world to march against FARC’s continued detention of the kidnap victims.
It is true that the sucess of these marches can not be solely placed on the arrival of a Facebook group, in fact the groups only show around 700 members (there are 3 groups with the members). However, the Facebook group caught the attention of the media and certainly helped in promoting an effort that was been made in a very public way. The 1/10/100 rule pulls through.
Once again the power of social networking is shown – the ability to get one’s feelings and thoughts into the public realm. Enabling others to support you and for the conversation to filter upwards and outwards. Social Media and the role of Conversational PR are powerful tools. People are learning this value and I am excited to see how we are all able to improve our relations and talk about issues that so many of us hold dear.
I hope to see all of the kidnap victims walk free some time soon. And, never forget, there are many many eyes reading your thoughts. How powerful that can be!!