By Kerrian Dailey – Student of International Relations

Nowadays it is possible to observe that from the digital plane, the internet together with social media is giving the opportunity to be heard to new voices that until now have been marginalized. Although, the use of social media, like any other tool derived from current technology, not only has advantages, but also great risks. Therefore, in a new social scenario based on digital communication where minorities seek to extend their voice with the use of social networks, it is necessary for the media to report on the different conclusions that could derive from their use. Therefore, what role do social media take in the objective of including minority voices in society?

First, it is important to remember that in the past, these groups only had their own tools for oral communication that, because they were limited to the physical setting, did not always have a wide scope (Manfredi, 2021). But, in the new media scenario, its resources have been enriched so much that the greatest potential of the use of social networks is that they can provide an almost immediate means to generate protest. An example of this may be the situation related to the community of black people in the United States, the murder of George Floyd. In this case, a video published on the Facebook platform, where the murder of Floyd by the police force was recorded, initially generated strikes, both in large cities and in small towns throughout the country, turning this situation into the movement of largest mass protest in US history (Burch et al, 2021). Thus demonstrating the great reach that social networks can provide.

In the same way, minority communities in Costa Rica can take advantage of this type of reach that brings with it the use of social networks, mainly one community, the indigenous people. Like many other marginalized populations, the Costa Rican indigenous population is not exempt from abuses by those who benefit the most. The Coordinadora de Lucha Sur Sur (CLSS) recorded 86 attacks against the native peoples of the southern area of Costa Rica in 2020, including the murder of Jerhy Rivera, which to this day remains unpunished (Prensa Latina 2021). This community is basing its efforts on a report signed by 22 indigenous groups in the country, which, through the systematization and construction of hard data, seeks to achieve justice. However, despite the fact that all the events reported in the document were publicly and criminally denounced, no corresponding judicial or administrative sanctions have been established (Prensa Latina, 2021). Although a report is a very conventional medium and aimed at a very limited audience, if social media is used to attract the attention of the masses and the support of many other sectors, the story may be different.

However, the use of social networks not only generates positive aspects in the search for the inclusion of minority communities, but also presents risks. For example, the use of digital media (social networks) as a substitute for traditional methods has helped eliminate the need to have a leader as a coordinator of demonstrations, however, as Gutierrez (2020) mentions, the absence of a leader or a central figure to follow during these types of movements hurts long-term success because social media lacks deep trust among protestants. In addition, situations can occur that harm these minority groups, such as situations such as those carried out by governments such as China that use cybertroles that flood forums and social networks to drown protesters, such as the situation in Hong Kong (Salas, 2018). Thus demonstrating that, despite having a great scope that can benefit the inclusion of the voice of these communities, there are also risks that undoubtedly must be taken into account.

In conclusion, social networks can be beneficial for the empowerment of minority communities, mainly because of the reach that their voices can have. However, there are also risks that must be considered. On the other hand, it is motivated that the Costa Rican communities that are marginalized, such as the indigenous, use this medium to spread their voice, as did the “black live matters” movement and not depend on a conventional medium.


MOXIE es el Canal de ULACIT (, producido por y para los estudiantes universitarios, en alianza con el medio periodístico independiente, con el propósito de brindarles un espacio para generar y difundir sus ideas.  Se llama Moxie - que en inglés urbano significa tener la capacidad de enfrentar las dificultades con inteligencia, audacia y valentía - en honor a nuestros alumnos, cuyo “moxie” los caracteriza.

  • Burch et al. (2021). La muerte de George Floyd reavivó un movimiento; ¿qué sigue ahora?
  • Gutiérrez, W. (2020). Los cambios diarios en el campo de protesta.
  • Manfredi, J. (2021). Minorías en red.
  • Prensa Latina. (2021). Indígenas de Costa Rica contabilizaron 86 agresiones en 2020.
  • Salas, J. (2021). Así es cómo las minorías convencen a las mayorías para lograr un cambio social.