20 Dec 2014
Phil Howard was featured in a New York Times story about online activism.
The cyber social-justice movement is always brewing on Tumblr, and it picks up steam when shocking news hits the country or when protests take place offline. On Dec. 4, when a jury decided not to indict in the Eric Garner case, Tumblr experienced what Liba Rubenstein, director of social impact and public policy at Tumblr, called “extreme peaks” in the use of the “social justice” and “black lives matter” tags.
“Tumblr is kind of like a gateway drug for activism,” said Philip Howard, 44, the principal investigator at the Digital Activism Research Project at the University of Washington. “Once you connect to other people who feel strongly about race or crime or gay marriage, you stay engaged on that one issue area.”