Snowden, never forgotten…or almost never forgotten

Facebook is so famous because people feel like they can communicate by sharing posts, articles, photos, and videos. Many other social media do not offer that much of options. For instance, Instagram is a social media platform where users can share their lives through pictures and videos. By quick comparison, Facebook, which has almost 1, 6 billion users, is designated as the most popular social network while Instagram and Twitter are at the 8th and 9th position with respectively 400 and 320 million followers. Just like on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is used to advocate for many causes. There are approximately 50,700 posts on Instagram with the hashtag #Snowden. One thing that is very obvious is that Snowden supporters are not as active as they are on Facebook or Twitter. Many of the posts with #Snowden were associated with pictures that were not directly concerning Snowden. However, the “war” Between Hilary’s and Trump’s supporters is very prominent on this platform. The hashtag #Snowden is mainly associated with other hashtags such as #Trump and #Hilary. Just like of Facebook and Twitter, users that support Trump tend to support Snowden as well, but the way they express it on Instagram is very different. Trump’s supporters tend to use very pejorative words and pictures toward Clinton to emphasize the idea that Trump should be elected because Clinton is a traitor.  Hillary.killed.harambe identifies himself/herself as a young Republican and a Trump’s supporter. This user does not have any post related to Snowden by all his posts uses Snowden hashtag:

This strategy consists of directing people that will look up for Snowden to also find out why they should vote for Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton. Contrary to Hillary.killed.harambe , kennedys_mommi does not support Trump but is totally against the idea of Clinton as the President of the US. She defines herself as a wife, mom, and politic activism as well. She is a supporter of Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate. She posted a screenshot of a tweet from the American Press the day Trump won the elections:


On the Hashtag list, she commented on Trump’s words by saying that America can be great again by pardoning Snowden.  Her post got 152 likes, which is pretty good compared to others posts that barely hit the 100 likes. It is also important to mention that most people are using #snowden to attract followers toward their profile. Users from Brazil, France, and even Germany also used #snowden. Unlike American users, #snowden is used overseas to promote media that talk about Edward Snowden’s story, such as citizen four or Snowden, the movie:

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Unlike on Facebook or Twitter were users that support Snowden would put comments such as “you’re a hero” or “ free Snowden”, people on Instagram whom had watched the movies just comment on how great both movies are and suggest people watch it as well.  Some users set themselves apart from the rest of the Instagram community. These people are the ones that on the Election Day, apparently expressed that they will vote for Edward Snowden as the President of the US:


As the two pictures above show, r_robinette and whereisclay decided to vote for Snowden. Whereisclay brought his thoughts to a higher level by typing the actual name of EDWARD JOSEPH SNOWDEN in the voting machine. Feelin_krazy is the only user that post something directly showing support to Snowden, and she had one of her followers made one of the best comments that demonstrated support for Snowden:


By taking a look back at the Snowden topic on either Facebook or Twitter, it is evident that advocacy is inefficient on Instagram. In fact, Facebook and Twitter are more useful for advocacy for Snowden’s cause because there is the unique possibility to share somebody’s else post. This option allows more people to be aware of the issue unlike Instagram were people that do not follow a supporter of Snowden, in particular, is less likely to be aware of the posts concerning Edward Snowden. Another con of Instagram over Facebook or Twitter is that there is no possibility to perform an advanced search. For instance, #snowden search only shows 9 top results and the rest were sorted based on the most recent posts:


An important thing that Facebook and Twitter had thought is that the most recent is not obligatory the most influential. It is possible that Snowden supporters do not feel like they advocacy would have an impact on people like on Facebook, and this is why they are not as present as they are on other social media. Overall, people that support Edward Snowden on Instagram are more likely to be those who have very high political interests just like Facebook or Twitter users that follow pages with political affiliations. It is evident that Snowden is not a trending topic on Instagram because it was impossible to find a page that has something related to Snowden and at least 500 likes. Snowden may have been trending on Instagram but this was a long way before, and unfortunately, this social network is more focus on the present, letting Snowden and his supporters’ way behind in the past.



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