Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

How social media shaped – and shamed – SA in 2015

It’s that time of the year when we start introspecting about the highs and lows of 2015, and where better to do that than on social media?

From student protests to celebrity tiffs, Twitter made sure South Africans got their bite-sized outrage, rants and reflections trending.

Under the hashtag #ThingsTo-BeLeftIn2015 this week, we were reminded of the events that had us hammering away at the keyboards of our phones or laptops.

On a serious note, there was:

#FeesMustFall
The nationwide protests against fee increases and the outsourcing of cleaning staff in higher education institutions is undoubtedly the year’s biggest talking point.

Students used social media, particularly Twitter, to express their views and galvanise support for the protests. They also exposed barbaric acts of police ­violence and intimidation.

In the end, their demands for a ­no-fee increase and an end to outsourcing were met by some institutions, but the fight for access to affordable education is far from over.

#DianneKohlerBarnard
In a humiliating lesson on how not to use social media, Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard shared a Facebook post that called for the return of former apartheid- era president PW “Groot Krokodil” Botha. Cue Twitter outrage, and punishment – she was expelled for bringing the party into disrepute.

See what happens when you press “share” or “tweet” without reading? Here’s hoping Kohler Barnard and others have learned their lesson – tweeting without thinking must fall!

#Load-shedding
Eskom chief Brian Molefe announced that there will likely be no load-shedding until at least April 30 2016. Well, that’s frankly not good enough – we’d like our lights on. Give us a break, Eskom. We demand lasting solutions.

#ZumaNumbers
Hopefully Number 1 will take time during the December holidays to practice how to read numbers out loud and accurately. I still don’t understand why it’s called a “prepared speech for delivery” if the person who delivers the speech didn’t even practise reading the numbers before addressing the nation. Mr President, take us seriously.

#CassperNyovestvsAKA
The feud between AKA and Cassper Nyovest, whose “diss tracks” of each other have divided hip-hop fans, must end. Their fans continue to trade blows on Twitter, but others are long over the drama. Gents, please stop acting like schoolboys.

Now on to the more entertaining tweets that came out of #ThingsToBeLeftIn2015.

As for me, the things I’d like to see the back of this year are trolls, skinny jeans, black tax, stolen tweets, nyaope and snake pastors.

Sthembiso Sithole is the Mail & Guardian’s social media editor.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Sthembiso Sithole
Sthembiso Sithole is a social media specialist. He recently studied BA Honours in Journalism and Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2014, he obtained his journalism qualification at Tshwane University of Technology. He has achieved so much, and there are tons more he dreams of accomplishing. He has written for The Star, was a blogger for JournTau, worked at SABC as a Digital News Producer and was formerly the Mail & Guardians social media editor.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Basic web lessons for South Africa: Government hacks point to...

Recent cyberattacks at the department of justice and the space agency highlight the extent of our naïveté

If the inflation-driving supply strain in the US lasts, it...

In South Africa, a strong trade surplus, buoyed by robust commodity prices, will cushion our economy against pressure arising from US policy

More top stories

Almost two million voters register for local elections

Young people make use of online portal and women account for more than half of the total registered

Free State regions cry foul after dissolution by interim provincial...

Regional ANC leaders have asked Duarte to intervene after the interim provincial committee resolved to dissolve their branches ahead of local government elections

ANC unlikely to replace Joburg mayor Matongo before 1 Nov

A party source said the ANC in Johannesburg would most likely call on one of the mayoral committee members to stand in as mayor until the local elections

Ramaphosa hits the right notes as he urges Cosatu to...

Cosatu meets to deliberate on its support for the governing party in the upcoming local government elections
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×