Twitter hashtag: a new level of cosmopolitanism.

We are living in a world of cosmopolitanism, which can be understood as “all human beings belong to a single community, based on a shared morality” (Waldron 2000). This ideology can be reflected in many aspects of our lives, from entertainment to politics. People with different backgrounds from various geographical areas are turning into global citizens in a “global village” (McLuhan 1964) to be more aware of events happening all around the world. With the help of high technology and the Internet in particular, cosmopolitanism has developed significantly both in form and scale. This short piece of writing will explain the matter of cosmopolitanism in term of social media practices with the case of one of the most dominant social network, Twitter.


With the development of the Internet, social media are becoming a great way for people to gather information in order to stay updated to latest news and events. Furthermore, social media also function as a tool to express sympathy, advocate and support others. Twitter, a dominant social network beside Facebook, is a great platform for such activities. Each tweet (or post) is limited in 140 characters only, which makes it seem to be worthless at first sight. However, Twitter has another small function but is able to create huge influence, the hashtag. By simply attaching the keywords with the letter # in their tweets, users are able to connect with others using the same hashtags and follow the topic created in real time. Short posts allow instant information update and with a huge amount of short posts with hashtags, people are able to capture the big picture in seconds.


Thanks to Twitter and hashtag, cosmopolitanism is developing significantly by crossing many boundaries. People are allowed to connect to ones that are millions of miles apart from them by using the same hashtags. Time can be saved as one single message can be disseminated to a huge amount of people tracking those hashtags. As a result, the influence does not stop at the virtual aspect. Let’s take the example of Ukraine protest since 2014. By using Twitter and the hashtag #euromaidan, protestors are able to connect to others in a massive scale (Bohdanova 2013). People supporting the revolution from all over the world are kept informed by reading tweets posted on a secondly basis. Support from money, food, equipment to medical assistance are gathered by messages sent through Twitter. As a result, the protest exists and develops healthily in spite of government’s pressure (Bohdanova 2013).


To conclude, cosmopolitanism can be promoted through not only formal channels like conventional media but also informal ones such as social media. In the case of Twitter and the #euromaidan, it can be seen that cosmopolitanism can totally develop significantly in term of citizen journalism. What it needs is the medium, or connection, and the hashtag is a great tool to utilize it.


Bohdanova, T 2013, How Internet Tools Turned Ukraine’s #Euromaidan Protests Into a Movement, Global voices, viewed November 1st 2016, <;.

McLuhan, M 1964, Understanding media: The extensions of a man, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA.

Waldron, J 2000, ‘What is cosmopolitan?’,The Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 8, no. 2, p./pp 227-243.              




Social media: gives voice to those not heard.

It is obvious that thanks to the Internet and distributed control, many barriers have been eradicated. One important benefit of this transition is how people are able to communicate their own opinions to those sharing the same thoughts without being blocked by mainstream media. Thanks to social media, communication is now easier than ever.

This huge improvement has fueled revolutions from all over the world where people are restrained by governments which put heavy control and regulation on mainstream media. In places where “free speech” is something impractical, social media appears to be a pain reliever. Such phenomenon as the #ArabSpring or #EuroMaidan can be successful due to the communication network that people created based on online social platform such as Twitter or Facebook. Social media brings about connectivity, which was essential because ‘connectivity is power’, said our lecturer Ted.


In this post I want to mention another recent phenomena which fit in this context: Hong Kong’s 2014 protests, so called the “Umbrella revolution”. As we have already known, Chinese government has put extreme regulation on Hong Kong, which used to be politically independent from its mother country. Therefore, it was nearly impossible for Hong Kong people to raise their voice through mainstream media. However, the revolution in 2014 was significantly successful thanks to the use of social media, where tweets and posts from students were spreaded out and led to the participation of thousands of citizens who were not students. People also used social media to update about the process, the same as other protests in Tunisia or Ukraine. One of the leaders of the protest was Joshua Wong, who was only 17 at the time, empowered by social media and now elected to Hong Kong’s legislative council.


Therefore, I can conclude that social media has turned zero to hero, empowered who are not empowered, and given voice to those are not heard.