Youth digital activism, social media and human rights education: the Fridays for Future movement
This article examines the social media activity (Twitter) of the youth-led ‘Fridays for Future’ climate movement during the transition from in-person to online strikes early in the Covid-19 pandemic. Our aim was to identify possibilities and challenges for human rights education in youth digital activism. The research question of the study was to explore whether and how the digital environment serves as an educational space for learning about, for and through human rights. Adopting a digital ethnography, we analysed over 9,400 posts in 2020 and 2022, examining the extent to which activists’ understandings of civil, political and socio-economic rights—particularly peaceful assembly, freedom of expression, the right to a healthy environment and adequate standard of living—developed. Findings reveal the responsive, inclusive, and experiential nature of peer-to-peer learning in a social movement and our discussion considers how digital activism might support future human rights-based digital learning.
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