Friday, February 20, 2015

Social Media Now Integral To Protest

We are long past the “rise” of social media as a medium for protest. Twitter and Facebook are now as integral to garnering attention for social change as the sit-in was in the 1960s. As a result, hashtag-activism won’t go away any time soon. With 140 characters or less, would-be activists can have the attention of the world with a poignant slogan. Despite the initial distaste one may have at the thought of someone capitalizing on tragedy, there may be a more legitimate reason for seeking trademark protection in these contexts — to prevent others from capitalizing on tragedy. If the “Je Suis Charlie” application truly is related to a charity, securing a trademark registration may help deter unscrupulous interlopers looking to make a quick buck. Such defensive use of a trademark may not have been intended in this case, but it does show the forethought one must have when pushing for social change in today’s digital landscape.


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