We are powerful than we think

Have you ever use like, share and comment features of Facebook, Youtube, or tweet a hashtag on Twitter? Why do you do that? Do you really concern about the content? Or do you just follow your friends?

Any communicating feature on social media can generate profit by the collective metadata through massive users’ contributions (Dye 2010). Although users do it for many reasons, they intentionally or randomly provide resources to creators who broadcast requests via social networks. This process is called crowdsourcing.

What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsouring is a form of Mass Collaboration which is a process of gathering information from many Cyber citizens to produce the best qualitative products, services or invisible values, according to Tapscott 2009 (cited in Tvochannels 2010)

Crowdsourcing is a combination of ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’. Howe (2006), in his magazine article ‘The rise of crowdsourcing’, creates the term of crowdsourcing which happens when a crowdsourcer posts a defined mission and open – ended problems to known or unknown network of Internet users; and then these people will reply their information, ideas and solutions to solve the required calls. Crowdsourcing includes 4 models: crowdfunding, crowdcreation, crowdvoting and crowdwisdom.




Figure 1: 4 different models of crowdsourcing

The operating system Linux and the free encyclopedia Wikipedia present how crowdsourcing was practiced. They are not owned by any private sector; they are owned by everyone around the world (Tapscott & Williams 2006). Crowdsourcing changes the flows of information; so it impacts to everything. For example, it helps companies to improve business process like P&G (Connect & develop), or find a pot of gold like Goldcorp Inc.

Video 1: Crowdsourcing is the future

Viet Tan – Successful crowdsourcing

On May 13 and 14, a riot occurred in Binh Duong province with over 700 attendees to destroy foreign factories (TuoitreNews 2014). Due to Vietnamese citizens’s concerns about Chinese aggression on East Sea, Viet Tan provoke many people to participate the riot through Facebook (Tuan Hung 2014). Their statuses posted in Facebook are liked and shared by thousands people. Their values are spread in large communities. Their success is thanks to the power of crowdsourcing in which they engage hundreds of Vietnamese citizens in the riot. But this action is considered as illegal.

KONY 2012: Crowdsourcing drives Society, not Government’s decisions.

Kony2012 is a campaign created by Invisible Children Inc. that aims save African children from Joseph Kony – a famous Ugandan war criminal who kidnaps, abuses and kills of children in Africa by pressuring the U.S government take actions (Goldberg 2012)

Kony2012 becomes popular by broadcasting a 30-minutes film on Youtube viewed by 70 million times, after it went viral 3 days (Jones 2012). Its slogan is ‘Nothing is more powerful than an idea’. The, many people share it on Facebook, or tweet its links to the documentary; that is crowdsourcing. But, there is nothing changes after the campaign.

Video 2: From crowdsourcing to Kony2012

This is because Kony2012 makes many questionable problems. For example, Kony is not in Uganda, and it reinforces the idea that the U.S has responsibility to solve this problem (Curtis & McCarthy 2012).

Kony2012 gains more attentions, but less effective! One reason is that crowdsourcing cannot be a complete replacement of policy makers.

Doing ethical crowdsourcing

These two cases show how social media make unpleasant messages more effective. This also indicates the unexpected power of social media in the age of Web2.0

The flows of bad information in the Internet are uncontrolled leading to misunderstand and providing wrong knowledge to user. This may cause illegal practices such as riot or unethical thinking like Kony2012.

We are producers in digital world. We can change everything just by what we broadcast on social media is ethical or not through the crowdsourcing power.

(605 words)


Curtis .P & McCarthy .T 2012, ‘Kony 2012: what’s the real story?’, The Guardian, 8th March, viewed 6th August 2014,  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/mar/08/kony-2012-what-s-the-story

Dye .J 2010, Facebook “like” revolution, Econtent, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 12

Goldberg .E 2012, ‘Kony 2012: Invisible Children Campaign Pressures U.S. Government To Capture Joseph Kony’, Huffingtonpost, 3rd July, viewed 6th August 2014,  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/07/joseph-kony-invisible-children_n_1326759.html

Jones .M 2012, ‘Joshep Kony 2012 campaign now most successful viral video in history’, IBTimes, 12th March, viewed 6th August 2014, http://www.ibtimes.com/joseph-kony-2012-campaign-now-most-successful-viral-video-history-423988

Tapscott .D & Williams .A.D 2006, Wikinomics : how mass collaboration changes everything, New York Portfolio, New Yorks

Tuan Hung 2014, ‘”Việt tân” với chiến dịch tận diệt trên Facebook’, Nhandan, 21st July, viewed 6th August 2014, http://www.nhandan.com.vn/mobile/_mobile_chinhtri/_mobile_binhluanphephan/item/23840302.html

TuoitreNews 2014, ‘750 people to be indicted for riots in Vietnam’s Binh Duong Province’, TuoitreNews, 20th May, viewed 6th August 2014, http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/19754/750-people-to-be-indicted-for-riots-in-vietnams-binh-duong-province

Tvochannels 2010, SOCIAL MEDIA: Crowdsourcing – The Wisdom of the Masses, video recording, viewed 6th August 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSTurPXtDAw


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