A few days ago, I had heard that there were riots going on in Brooklyn. I had no idea what was going on or why and didn’t feel like waiting for the evening news to tell me what was going on. I knew that people were taking pictures on Instagram and tweeting under the hashtag #brooklynriot and #brooklynprotest, so I used a new website to get the big picture in one fell swoop.
Tagboard.com is a hashtag aggregation website that searches all social media for the hashtag that you plug in. In the case of the Brooklyn riot meme, I was able to see moment to moment what was occurring.
Of course, Tagboard was not created as a site to help protestors organize, but to keep the increasingly media savvy public well organized. But one has to consider the power that a site like this can wield; across the board, from site to site, you have an eye in the sky. It may very well be that one of the unintended boons of protest culture and public awareness has come by way of sites like this. Look up your favorite hashtag to stay up to date at tagboard.com
and see what I mean.
Gabriel writes for VICE Magazine, Disinfo.com and Realitysandwich.com and is the author of three books. He is continuing his research at the University of Washington in his hometown of Tacoma, WA.