#BringBackOurGirls Has Changed the Way Mainstream Media Works

Chris Dessi
Chris Dessi CEO, Author, Television Commentator , Silverback Social

Posted on May 10th 2014

#BringBackOurGirls Has Changed the Way Mainstream Media Works

Twitter campaign for kidnapped girlsMonday evening, I was running on a trail when I got a call. Panting, I answered the phone. Jonathan, a Fox News producer needed me to comment on a story that was trending on Twitter. Boko Haram had kidnapped closed to 300 15-18 year old Nigerian Schoolgirls. Over 1 million re-tweets of the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls began a global outcry to find the girls.

I wrapped up my workout, showered, and got set up to comment. Last night the story aired, but I can't stop thinking about these girls. As a father of two girls (6 & 3) this whole thing sickens me. As the CEO of a social media agency the idea that social media may help these girls thrills me. The way the story came to me, and the way Fox (not my employer, I'm an unpaid expert commentator) sourced the story is compelling as well. Let me explain:

ABC news reports that a woman named Ramaa Mosley started the hashtag.

Ramaa Mosley, a Los Angeles director and mother of two, was driving in her car when she heard the news on the radio. Nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria had been kidnapped by armed extremists.

I believe that we're at a tipping point for mainstream media, and how they determine what is news. Social media is the true voice of the people. By kicking traditional media in the shin, and calling attention to a story that needs immediate attention, this could be the largest uprising by citizens since the Arab Spring.

In 2012 I wrote on about Joseph Kony here on Social Media Today. Stating that the idea that a small documentary filmmaker could shed light on a warlord proved my manifesto which I put forth in my book that social media, while powered by technology is much of a spiritual awakening than a technological one. I believe that the global attention that this story proves my manifesto further.

When there is outrage, when there is emotion, when there are other human beings suffering, social media kicks in. We turn to the most frictionless manner in which we can communicate to the greatest number of like-minded people. This is a beautifully coordinated effort, and social media helps to facilitate the organization – we as human beings – can effect real change in the world.

Social media is the true voice of the people. Disrupting the normal mainstream media machine. Effectively flipping the news cycle, and dictating what the people what to learn more about, take part in, and shed light on.

By succeeding in turning the light to their cause – those who have coordinated #bringbackourgirls effort are changing the flow of information. This is true power to the people. There is truth here. There is emotion here, and therefore it resonates, and gains momentum. Decentralized citizen journalism allows for the highest quality stories to rise to the top of our collective conscience. No rich guys in the corner office deciding if this will air tonight on the 6 o'clock news. We're telling them what the news really is. Wow. We don't care about the tabloid drivel they try to feed us. We want to change the world for the better. We're not the murderous heathens they depict us to be in order to get us to watch their channel. We care. We love. We hurt. We want to effect positive change in the world.

Step aside mainstream media - the people have spoken.

No matter what the outcome, one woman has single handedly and quickly raised the awareness of this crime. I pray it ends well.

If you'd like to learn how you could help, please find the Facebook page, and follow the Twitter discussion.

Chris Dessi

Chris Dessi

CEO, Author, Television Commentator , Silverback Social

An award winning digital thinker, author, television & radio commentator, public speaker and educator, Chris Dessi is the CEO and Founder of Silverback Social. Silverback is the world's leading social media agency, enables top brands and advertisers, to connect with more than a billion customers through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, Youtube, and more.

Throughout his career in London and New York, Chris has worked with a wide array of businesses ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as notable personalities, products and brands.

Chris’ savvy marketing acumen combined with his passion for psychology, sociology and cultural studies, all reside at the fulcrum of his unique manifesto; he believes that social media is much more of a spiritual awakening rather than a technological one. This revolutionary perspective has propelled his personality into the national media landscape. In addition to being a regular social media expert contributor on Fox Business' Shappard Smith Show, CNBC, Fox Evening News, Good Day New York, WPIX, and Fox Business’ Varney & Co., Chris has appeared on Inside Edition, The Steve Adubato Show, One to One, and has participated in radio segments on WOR’s The John Gambling Show in Manhattan, and WBAL’s Marybeth Marsden show in Baltimore.

Chris applied his fresh and innovative outlook on social media to the pages of his first book, “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It,” which shot to #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in its first two weeks of publication.

As an educator, Chris recognizes that the manner in which we, as a culture, aggregate and disseminate information has changed, and he is devoted to sharing his effective techniques for mastering engagement in social media to the world. Chris has lectured on social media to sales executives of Fortune 200 companies and he consistently travels the country coaching college students how to leverage social media to benefit their personal brand message and their career.

In 2012, Chris was selected by the Business Council of Westchester’s 40 Under 40 for exemplifying leadership, foresight and a vision for the future of Westchester County, where he currently resides with his wife and two daughters.

Consistent with the passion he holds for his professional career is the devotion he has to his family. Having never been a runner, Chris trained to run the New York City Marathon last year to raise money for the ALS Association after his father was diagnosed with the disease. When the Marathon was cancelled after Sandy hit, Chris took it upon himself to run his own 26.2 mile marathon route in Westchester to honor his father.

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Posted on May 10th 2014 at 12:15PM

Agree with everything you say.  

Now all we'll have to do is to train the media how to follow NEWS on Twitter and Facebook; not just stories about cat videos, non-stories and various nonsense.