Jon Steinberg, The Information: “The world has watched armed conflicts unfold through social media before—the civil war in Syria, to name one, produced indelible images that rocketed around the internet. But there’s never been anything like what’s transpired this week in Ukraine.
For every devastating account of Ukrainian civilians fleeing the Russian invasion, for every chilling video of Russian gunships raining fire on Ukrainian targets, there were uplifting signs of solidarity amongst the citizens of the free world, who could do little but lend heart and song to the fight.
In Latvia, a crowd belted out the Ukrainian national anthem in front of the Russian embassy. In Poland, rival football fanbases locked arms, for once, in a profane chant against Putin. In New York, the Empire State Building glowed blue and yellow, as did landmarks in Rome, London, Berlin—and even Cleveland.
None of these actions could do much to alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people. But they are reminders of why we turn to social media at times like this. For all their countless faults—including their vulnerabilities to government propaganda and misinformation—tech’s largest platforms can amplify powerful acts of resistance. They can promote truth-tellers over lies. And they can reinforce our common humanity at even the bleakest of times.”