Media is constantly spreading news about wars and strikes caused by political disagreements around the world, could you imagine how many of these have been evoked or feed through social media and internet itself? During my bachelor’s studies, I personally lived a student movement expanded and developed thanks to these resources.

It was a normal day at the uni back on may 2012 the highlight of it was crucial though: the presidential candidate for the most important Mexican party (PRI) was making a visit to the institution to give a speech about his proposals and projects for young people across the country (+18 years old).

It is important to mention the uni where all took place is private and also one the most highly ranked in the country, therefore no one ever imagined something like this could happen. Earlier that day, the presidential candidate walked inside the campus with the hope to encourage and persuade young Mexican students to vote for a party that had been ruling the country for over 70 years.



I perfectly remember the time when I saw this bunch of people crossing the campus towards one of the principle building and hearing at the same time people screaming all over the place. By the time I got closer, I won’t forget the image of the presidential candidate standing outside a toilet entrance defended by his guards where they surrounded by a mass of angry warm-blooded students.

You could see hundreds of students wearing masks of a controversial ex president of PRI, with red painted body parts in memory of the deaths in the war between the Mexican force and unarmed students taken place in the state where the presidential candidate was governor 6 years before.



By the next day the news were already spread national and worldwide, and people who had already chose to support the movement, helped it by spreading their messages even more. They posted countless videos, messages and photos through YouTube, Twitter and Facebook expressing their emotions and encouraging people to follow their beliefs and ideology against the government, and specially its new candidate.

The movement went viral and it became a world trending topic with the hashtag: “#YoSoy132” (“#IAm132”), making a reference to the people supporting the 131 students that uploaded a personal video declaring they took part of the event at the university days before and defending that they were actual and formal students and not paid rebels like some newspapers were declaring through their articles.

Mexico has never seen this kind of event in its entire history, supported by social media and important influencers across the country and worldwide, “YoSoy132” will eternally be reminded as an authentic born student movement that not only confronted the government directly, but also helped students and citizens from all social classes across the country to unite for the same objectives: to express their political beliefs and disagreements, to fight for more local media tolerance and defend their human rights.

10 comentarios en “United by a #Hashtag

  1. Yeah I remember that movement. I also remember that a couple of founders of that movement started working for Televisa starring a program in ForoTV that is still on air. For me this is an excelent example of how a movement can be pacified by both goverment and corporations using alternative means (not killing or incarceration).

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    1. Hi Fernando! Actually the main founder turned out to be working for Televisa in ForoTV specifically… that’s when we realized that a little power inside mexican society makes you corruptible in front of the big ones (Televisa). I’m not sure if the guys are still on the show right now but I doubt it though. I hope we can see more examples of this movement, specially if there is young people involved and of course social media and the internet itself.

      Thanks for reading!

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      1. That I didn’t know. I saw a bit of that program a month before I came here and he was still there. I guess he’s a great employee!
        Personally I see the 43’s movement stronger although it has its own setbacks.For example; the “teachers” in the south employ the 43’s movement in order to continue their affront with the government by not allowing basic education in spite of the children.

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      2. If he’s still there he sure quitted the leadership of the movement by now. I understand your point, the thing is that people tend to distort this kind of activism to benefit their own interest, the teachers from the south reutilize the ideology to defend their own goods. Education in Mexico is quite a polemic matter.

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  2. Yes, I agree hashtag can really bring people together especially when such important incident occurred.
    In Thailand, we had a horrible bombing incident in the middle of capital city; #strongertogehterbkk was used by many people. I believe somehow this hashtag can help us uplifting our spirit after the incident.

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    1. Hi Jananun! Thank you for sharing your experience. Yes, I’ve heard and read about many examples about people being joined by a HT, people unite for the same objective specially after a tragedy occurs, I guess human beings reaction is to stick together after something like this crashes their daily lives, they want to be empathic with each other.

      Thanks for reading!

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  3. I had the similar experience in my country. Two years ago, when our ex-president declined signing the association agreement with the European Union. As a result, one of the Ukrainian journalist wrote in facebook that he was going to the central square of the capital to protest against the president. After his post, million of people joined him. It caused the revolution in my country. Also during the movement people created groups in facebook to announce each other the current information about the revolution. Sometimes our ex-goverment blocked mobile connection so as to stop people spread the information and meet each other on the “revolution square”. But of course it made no sense because everybody used facebook to keep in touch. I can confidently state that facebook extremely helped us during the hard times. A lot of people were lost but by dint of social networks they were found.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Ukraine’s experience in this type of movements Lilia, just as you mention here, social media networks like Facebook represent a very useful tool to spread ideas and actions worldwide. Unfortunately, some governments are trying to restrict these channels due to fear for masses’ freedom of expression. I consider the most valuable fact here is the intention to gather through all the possible means, the more the better they say.

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  4. This reminds me of the attack “Charlie Hebdo” in France almost a year ago now. All people who were dismayed by this act wanted to support the victims by putting a profile photo on Facebook “I’m Charlie.” Social networks connect us to each other allow us to send a strong message around the world.

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    1. Alix, this is a very important example on how people may become united for a single cause using other means in social media. Updating profile pictures with an image referencing empathy for an specific event that becomes worldwide news is a way to emotionally connect with people around you.

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