Social networking has been the pivotal influence that has allowed the Occupy Wall Street movement (search #OWS on Twitter) to gain momentum and go global. Social-media platforms helped the first organizers, and these platforms have allowed millions around the world both to watch developments in New York City and to organize their own protests in their own cities in support of the founding occupation.
In the month since the movement began, we have seen a single, lonely, Twitter hashtag become the spark of worldwide protest, and we have endured media indifference that has become a . We have also seen numerous arrests and efforts to drive away protestors – some of them posted on videos showing police using pepper spray.
Social media, protestors’ ambitions, and police intervention have all been drawn together in a new app for Android phones: ‘.’
The app was inspired as a way to store a text message with a number of phone numbers so that if one were arrested, one could quickly send out a ‘canned’ message to numerous people. Indeed, the screenshots provided by its developer, Quadrant 2, envision just such a scenario.
Nevertheless, as CNet reviewer Jaymar Cabebe nicely pointed out, the app could be handy for all kinds of situations – even those less fraught with legal or physical ramifications. “It can also be used for messages that you send regularly. For instance, do you send the same text to your carpool partner every day? Well, with I’m Getting Arrested, you can just program it in, and long-press the bull’s-eye instead of typing out your message every time.”
Surprisingly, the app does not tap into either one’s Twitter account or one’s Facebook page, which would spread the word faster and to more people. It would also likely inspire others to follow (whether vicariously or physically) events at these ‘occupations.’ Which would further spread the movement beyond the initial group –of the powerful impact social media can have on political change.
My personal favorite part of the app? Once your message is sent to the numbers you pre-program in and you await your turn to hop into the wagon, the screen admonishes the phones owner to “Be Polite.”
If you have been a part of any of the Occupy… activities, we would love to hear how you/your group are using social media to get the word out! Please contact us via the comments below with your experiences.