Role of Social Media in Network Revolutions

I’m sure you have all heard of the controversial Sydney alcohol and lock out laws. No entry to venues after 1.30am, last drinks at 3am, numerous closure of businesses and an absence of nightlife in Sydney streets.

Quite obviously, people were disappointed and outraged at Mike Baird’s decision to shut down a once world wide reputable night life city. And I don’t blame them. The introduction of these laws came about just in time for my 18th and mandatory right of passage night clubbing debut. I can safely say that I’ve never been able to hop from club to club in the CBD. And this is something I feel like I should have experienced as a fresh 18 year old (I am no longer 18, and have come to the terms of Baird’s policy). I feel like this isnt a true and authentic experience of Sydney nightclubbing and bar hopping. Instead, a night out consists of “get to this venue by x time, then if it’s sh*t, be prepared to leave by 12.45am so we can still enter this other venue prior 1.30am”. I’m sorry, but in order to enjoy myself, I should not need this much advanced planning. I should be able to experience the city for what it truly was. Unfortunately, this is something I will never get to see. Oh wait, I can still enter The Star at any time in the night! That seems like a fun, thrilling and safe venue….


My rant aside, a myriad of social network platforms have been used by citizens and newly formed activists to fight Baird’s laws. The role of social media platforms has amplified affected individuals views, as well as coordinating and distributing networked protest movements.

Lets start with Twitter.


Need I say more? The official account and according hashtag fight for no lock outs, encouraging safe and vibrant late-night culture in a global city. The hashtag is a huge platform for spreading the word for future protests and shared opinions and insights.


This is three, upon hundreds and hundreds of tweets. I now have another example of an open letter from an actual victim of violence in the Sydney CBD.


“Mr Baird, you’re killing Sydney’s economy, you’re killing small business, you’re killing Sydney’s music scene, you’re killing Sydney’s reputation, you’re killing the youth’s relationship with the government and you’re killing fun”.

Powerful words, especially from some one who has experienced the violence that Baird is trying to prevent through lock out laws. Meme upon meme, post after post, and youtube video after video, angry citizens are making sure that their voices are heard.



This goes to show that extensions from virtual spaces can be made into physical reality. I’m going to wrap up this post here with a quick mention on the reaction of authorities. A review has finally be published and you can read it here.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Let me know in the comments below…




12 Replies to “Role of Social Media in Network Revolutions”

  1. Hey Mia, great post and really goog aggregation of sources to support your rant 😉
    I really enjoyed reading this. Even though I hardly ever go out its interesting to see that alot of people arent happy with the lock out laws. I can see it ruining a good night but I can also see that certain zones are subjected to violence over others because of their lock out times. I


  2. This is such a great curation of thoughts on so many people who have taken to social media to express their concern about the lock out laws. I go out often and its crazy to see how may clubs have actually closed down–especially in Kings Cross. I hear stories about Kings Cross being the hug of nightlife where there would still be lots of people around the streets at 5am! Now, we walk out of World Bar in Kings Cross at 2:30am and it’s dead. There are a few people sitting on the side of the road waiting for their rides but no one’s out still partying. This isn’t just impacting party-goes but also DJ’s too. I found this article this week ( that explains that all of the acts that we love today were first shown to us on stages that no longer exist. What does this mean for the future of our music and entertainment industry? We no longer have smaller clubs and bar where emerging artists like Flume can play and get discovered, because bigger clubs like IVY wont support DJ’s that haven’t made some sort of a name for themselves or had some experience. A lot of DJ’s that I know have taken to Facebook to advocate for the KeepSydneyOpen campaign ad have supported the rallys that have taken place. Who knows if all the rallies that they are doing are going to impact a decision to change the law, but they are creating an awareness to show those of higher power the destruction they have already caused.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your take on the idea that twitter can revolutionise a ‘problem’ in society is quite good, however I would’ve liked to have known if the #keepsydneyopen notion has actually accomplished anything, in your post. Other than that this is a great remediation of this weeks topic and explores the way in which a first world country with access to social media sites at the flick of a finger can rally together, express their opinions and make dank memes to fight against their ‘oppressors’. I believe the example you used was extremely relevant to those teens who haven’t actually experienced the night life of Sydney. These teenagers would feel oppressed, disappointed and stripped of freedom as they have to plan ahead in their endeavours for the night instead of having the freedom of roaming the streets, hoping from club to club and bar to bar. This almost makes the notion of a pub crawl in the city useless. It is also extremely unfair to those individuals who started their careers in Sydney’s bars and clubs, to be stripped of the ability to hop from bar to bar. Peking Duk to name a few have joined the fight for freedom on the streets in Sydney (, using twitter to express their outrage. The fact that so many influencial people can also get behind a movement all through social media allows the connection between Sydney-siders to remain stronger and unify in their opinions, wants and demands. An example of how people use twitter against the lockout laws can be seen here ( as individuals have taken to twitter and Facebook to vent their frustration. In the end, its just a stupid law and conspiracy theory to get money to the casinos in Sydney.

    Great post 🙂

    ~ krisesandchrosses ~

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sweet blog, great sources and classic youtube clip. I have only been out in Sydney once and the lockout laws made the biggest difference, and not in a good way. It is important to maintain this nightlife not just for us but for Australia as a country. I agree that drunken violence and general drunk behaviour is not great but clearly these lockout laws aren’t working. The whole situation is an abuse of power.
    But it is interesting to see the movement progressing at such a rapid rate. It’s flooding my fb and twitter feed which can only mean that something big is going to happen very soon. I find it hard to believe how fast political and social movements can manifest into revolutions. Social Media has given people a voice to which they can make a stand to people who abuse the system. Here is an article on lockout laws that I thought you might find interesting


  5. The number of sources you used is a credit to your research and dedication on this weeks topic. Its refreshing to read someone else’s perspective on the lockout laws, especially the timing in conjunction with your age. You have cleverly structured your blog, starting with the issue first and working your way through the social media activism to tackle Baird’s policy. Its interesting to note that since the lockout laws have been introduced, assaults in the Sydney CBD night life district alone has dropped by 42.2%. So that in its self is a positive – something that surely has to be prioritised over social practices for certain age groups? However, on the other hand, so many employers that rely on the night life crowd (Taxi’s, Bars, Tourism Trade) have no doubt felt the full brunt of Baird’s law.
    Here is a interesting source discussing the pro’s and con’s:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. #KeepSydneyOpen resulted in 10,000 individuals protesting through the Sydney CBD. Additionally we have #ReclaimTheStreets which resulted in 2000 individuals gathering in relation to the same social movement.

    While digital activism has the capacity to produce radical social change, such as the Arab Spring. Considering that 50,000 individuals ‘like’ the Keep Sydney Open Facebook page and 10,000 showing up the protest the lockout laws in Australia are an example of how detached Millennials are becoming with the political environment. This can be explained more here:

    In my opinion, as an individual who has taken part in the Reclaim the Streets protests, digital activism is a significant framework for promoting conversation on an issue. But radical change will not happen unless individuals occupy the physical environment and drive that change.


  7. Your blog is a thorough and informative source of information on social revolutions and the power of social media. I think you explain things well and provide good examples. In relation to your question about readers thoughts, I agree with you for the majority of things expressed in your blog however I do not think that social media is as important to revolutions as you describe. I think that they’re ability to mobilise is undeniable however there must be actual action taken by groups and individuals in order to affect change that goes beyond the reach of social media. This link also expands on how social media isn’t the be all and end all of revolutions in the 21st century

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very well structure post, I like that you have many sources support as an example of the use of social media. The lock out law was a great example choice I can recount on that. Would be good to know what do you think about the impact that social media movement having. Love your work…


  9. Hi Mia! Really good post, it was good to read something a bit different. I love how you used the lock out laws as your social media revolution example. Lockout laws are pretty annoying, if you’re going out, you obviously now have to plan what you’re doing. You don’t want to be stuck in the city with no where to go and be denied entry to all clubs and pubs because of this new law.

    Now I totally understand the reasoning for this law but it has literally shut Sydney’s Nightlife down. So many clubs and pubs have had to permanently shut their doors because of this and I think that is ridiculous! I’ve experienced the lock out laws while on a night out and not only was it very frustrating, it was totally boring. So you’re locked out of basically every place in the city, the last train came about an hour prior and the night rider buses don’t start for another hour, your only choice? Fork out a large amount of cash (depending on your destination) for an Uber or Taxi. Not only has the lockout laws caused larger crowds to be hanging around the city because everyone is in the same boat and don’t have anywhere to go or are waiting for a cheaper lift home, it probably makes the city more dangerous. But anyways, your blog post was really good and was very relevant, and explained social media revolutions in a way many students can relate to.


  10. I love how you used a local issue to highlight the use of social media in activism. Platforms such as Twitter (and to a lesser extent Facebook) really allow us to speak our minds, talk with others who feel the same, and launch a stand against an issue. Sydney’s lockout laws are frustrating and detrimental, and Twitter is the perfect platform to speak out on – it’s full of young uni students like ourselves who understand, sympathise and support those who lose business. After all we are their biggest customers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s