Zimbabwe’s keyboard warriors rise to the occasion
With Zimbabwe authorities’ responses to protest becoming increasingly heavy-handed, keyboards are the new weapon of choice for citizens intent on confronting a rising dictatorship
In the face of an increasingly autocratic government, Zimbabweans have turned to social media to vent their anger and shine a light on human rights abuses and misrule.On Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, keyboard warriors are furiously typing posts, creating sustained online campaigns to vent against the government.The "hashtag revolution" was arguably sparked by pastor Evan Mawarire in late 2016, when he was arrested for starting the #ThisFlag movement against then president Robert Mugabe.But social media activism against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime really took hold this August, when #ZimbabweanLivesMatter — an antigovernment protest along the lines of the #BlackLivesMatter movement — went viral. It was so successful that US celebrities such as Ice Cube, Lecrae and Tinashe took up the call, using their clout to raise awareness about human rights abuses in the country.It has created something of a template for further social media action. Late last month,...
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