Welcome to our interactive PushBack Timeline, a chronicle of how young people themselves have used networked communications to push back against discrimination. These campaigns not only highlight the ability of youth to use the online environment for positive change, but they also show how young people can – and do – support other youth and marginalized communities throughout the world.

When you’re done, check out these links to learn:
What Are Your Rights Online?
What Concerns Surround Youth’s Online Lives?
What Positive Things Can Youth Use the Online Environment For?

We have also co-created a lesson plan with out partner MediaSmarts, which can be found here.

eQuality Pushback Timeline

Southern Poverty Law Center

November 22, 1971

Founded in 1971, the Southern Poverty Law Center was conceived as a legal advocacy organization that specialized in civil rights cases, and supported victims of hate groups. Since their foundation, the SPLC has expanded their mandate to monitor and expose the activities of hate groups in the United States. They have since moved online, and feature online tools such as interactive “Hate Maps” that pinpoint the locations of hate groups throughout the United States.

Lotus Marketplace

April 10, 1990

One of the earliest documented uses of the Internet as a tool for change occurred in 1990. Lotus Marketplace had recently announced a direct-mail marketing database that contained personal information such as name, address, and spending information on 120 million Americans. Despite the fact that much of this information was already available, the fact that it was included on a single database – available on a CD-ROM caused the creation of a mass e-mail and e-bulletin-board campaign to combat the sale.

The Nizkor Project

May 1, 1991

In response to the derailment of online discussion boards by Neo-Nazi groups, the Nizkor Project was founded in 1991 in order to nonviolently combat and address anti-Semitic, racist, and anti-democratic propaganda spread online. Their website is a wealth of information concerning the events leading to, the course of, and aftermath of the Holocaust, combined with a series of pages that address Holocaust denier arguments.

Zapatista Movement

January 1, 1994

Founded by the EZLN Party in Mexico, the Zapatista movement was undertaken to aid the indigenous people of the Chiapas state benefit from the collection of natural resources in the region. Utilizing non-violent tactics, including online methods such as e-mail, usenet groups, and, DDoS (Denial of Service) attacks to shut down government websites, they gathered attention and support for their cause. The movement is still active, and has expanded its role to help other marginalized groups including women and LGBT groups.

Guy Fawkes Day, 1994

November 5, 1994

In another early example of mass e-mailing in order to achieve a DDoS (Denial of Service) was on Guy Fawkes Day 1994, when the Intervention of the UK launched an “e-mail bombardment” of then Prime Minister John Major’s cabinet and UK Parliamentary servers against changes to the Criminal Justice Bill, which aimed to ban outdoor rave festivals, and music with a “repetitive beat.”

Canadian Federation of Students: No Means No

November 14, 1994

The Canadian Federation of Students organized the “No Means No” campaign on university campuses in order to raise awareness and reduce the occurrence of sexual assault, rape, and dating violence. The campaign makes use of a variety of physical resources such as posters, postcards, etc., but also maintains an online presence as well as contributing to research on sexual violence in Canada.


September 18, 1998

In response to the campaign calling for the impeachment of then President Bill Clinton, the “Censure and Move On” online campaign implored Congress to censure the president and move on to more pressing matters of governance. After receiving over 500,000 signatures, the website later changed its name to MoveOn.org, becoming a well established organization dedicated to “nonpartisan education and advocacy on important national issues.”

Bi-Visibility Day

September 1, 1999

The creation of “Bi-Visibility Day” in September 1999 was envisioned not to usurp LGBT Pride events and create an event for a smaller group, but the creation of a unique day for a unique community.

Take Back the Night

January 1, 2001

In 2001, the Take Back the Night Foundation was founded with the purpose of supporting “Take Back the Night” events throughout the United States as well as in over 30 countries internationally. These typically include marches, rallies, and vigils intended as a protest against rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Net Literacy

January 1, 2003

Founded in 2003, Net Literacy was founded by a group of middle school students, and still maintains 50% of the board for student members. They’ve also developed a series of digital literacy programs, which consist of: Senior Connects, Safe Connects, Computer Connects, Community Connects, the Net Literacy Alliance, Financial Connects, and the Digital Literacy “best practices” website.

Jer’s Vision

April 8, 2005

The story of Jer’s Vision began in 2000, when founder Jeremy Dias took the Algoma District School Board to the Ontario Human Rights Commission because he was not allowed to created a gay social club. Three years later, the Ontario Human Rights Commission ruled in favour of Dias, who along with six friends, used the settlement to found first a scholarship fund, and later, Jer’s Vision. It has since expanded to offer workshops, conduct research, and organize the International Day of Pink.  

Mass-Classroom Walkouts

March 28, 2006

In March 2006, high school students in the Los Angeles area organized and staged a mass classroom walkout in opposition to proposed changes in the United State’s immigration Law. The original walkout, which was organized via text messaging, spread to other schools in California through MySpace, which resulted in a total estimated 40,000 students walking out of class in Southern and Central California.


February 7, 2007

The influential online petition site Change.org was founded, and led several online campaigns, with the most successful targeting the “corrective rape” of lesbians in South Africa entitled: “South Africa: Declare ‘Corrective Rape’ a hate Crime.”

Man-Up Campaign

September 1, 2009

In September 2009, the Clinton Global Initiative and the Vital Voices Global Partnership launched the “Man Up Campaign.” This campaign looks to engage youth by challenging them to “Man Up” and declares that violence against girls and women is unacceptable and must end.

Another Perspective

January 1, 2010

First launched in 2010 by Minus18 (a group of young LGBT Australians), the “Another Perspective” campaign is made up of a series of five posters, each challenging casual transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia by turning “casual” intolerance on its head. Posters feature such phrases as: “Gross! Being straight is totally just a phase,” and “When are you going to tell your parents you’re straight?”

Enough is Enough

May 14, 2010

Sir Ian McKellen and Anthony Cotton featured in the LGBT Foundation’s “Enough is Enough” campaign. The campaign was comprised of a series of videos uploaded to the LGBT Foundation’s YouTube channel that highlighted on the fight to end violence related to homophobia.

It Gets Better

September 21, 2010

The “It Gets Better Project” was founded in 2010, and focuses on communicating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth worldwide that “It Gets Better,” and to lead and inspire the change to make life easier for LGBT youth.

Love is Louder

October 5, 2010

In September 2010, the Jed Foundation began the “Love is Louder Campaign” with the actress Brittany Snow, which was designed to support anyone “feeling mistreated, misunderstood, or alone.” This movement seeks to engage with a large range of people, and highlight the fact that messages of love and support can be louder than any negative voice.

Arab Spring

December 17, 2010

In December 2010, a series of uprisings and revolutions surged through the Middle East, and came to be known as the Arab Spring. Much of the organization of these events was disseminated through online platforms such as blogs, Facebook groups, and Twitter. Not only were these platforms used for the organization of the events themselves, but also helped inform the rest of the world on what was happening in the region. Some Twitter hashtags such as #Jan25 (the date of the Egyptian revolution) are still somewhat active on Twitter.

Adopt a Revolution

January 1, 2011

“Adopt a Revolution” was a campaign that allowed individuals and groups outside Syria to “adopt” a Syrian activist group of their choice to aid them in the Syrian uprising, which started in 2011. Donations are used by a Local Coordination Committee – a network that organize protests, documented and disseminated information regarding the uprising, and assist activists in Syria.

Fearlessly GIRL & Fearlessly KIND

March 25, 2011

Kate Whitfield founded both FearlesslyGIRL and FearlesslyKIND campaigns in 2011, which seek to aid girls to transition fearlessly into the high school environment. These include a national anti-bullying movement and school program to create kinder schools and a kinder world for girls.

Hollaback! Ottawa

April 14, 2011

The Ottawa-based chapter of Hollaback! was founded in 2011 by Julie Lalonde (who is currently an eQuality Project partner) in order to counter antisocial behaviour, and aggressive behaviour that she had witnessed in the Ottawa area. The original site was incorporated into the Hollaback! network, as have many international startups.

Recognise This

May 18, 2011

Founded in 2011, the “Recognise This” campaign has developed into a youth-led campaign to recognize Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.

Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women

July 29, 2011

The Association for Progressive Communications built on the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affair’s “Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women” to end violence against women, and encourage the protection of women’s rights and safety online. Partner countries include: Bosnia and Herzegovina (OneWorldsee), Colombia (Colnodo), Democratic Republic of the Congo (Si Jeunesse Savait), Kenya (KICTAnet and the International Association of Women in Radio and Television), Mexico, Philippines (Foundation for Media Alternatives), and Pakistan (Bytes for All).

Occupy Movement

September 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street spawned an international branch that is simply referred to as “Occupy,” which protests against social and economic inequality around the world. While local groups often focus on different issues, the movement’s prime concerns remain the issues surrounding the influence that larger corporations have over economics, politics, etc. Activists have used several social media platforms such as Facebook, Meetup, and Twitter to coordinate events.

Planned Parenthood

January 31, 2012

In January 2012, when the Susan G. Komen foundation decided to remove all its grants to Planned Parenthood, there was an immediate online backlash. MoveOn.org crated a petition drawing more than 800,000 signatures in support of Planned Parenthood, and feminists engaged in discussions through several online platforms. The resulting furor caused a 22% drop in revenue, and the withdrawal of support for the Komen Foundation from several major sponsors.

Party With Consent

February 10, 2012

Founded in 2012, “Party With Consent” was founded by Jonathan Kalin and Omari Matthew in order to educate college and university students about consent. Seeing their lectures as “pre-intro courses”, they lecture students on the nature of consent, often confronting stereotypical representations of consent in the media, and opening a larger gateway for discussion.

Stand Up! LGBT Awareness Week

March 1, 2012

In March 2012, “Stand Up! LGBT Awareness Week” was a campaign targeting school and youth groups to foster positive understanding of LGBT youth, and the issues that they face.

Trayvon Martin (Change.org)

March 8, 2012

Between March and April 2012, over 2.8 million Twitter users sent out tweets mentioning Trayvon Martin, and as a result, Change.org began an online petition calling for the arrest of Martin’s shooter. This online campaign eventually attracted the attention of American President Barack Obama.

Israel Loves Iran

March 14, 2012

The “Israel Loves Iran” campaign was founded by an Israeli graphic designer when he posted a photograph of himself and his daughter on Facebook with a caption that read: “Iranians, we love you, we will never bomb your country.” The photograph went viral, sparking a responding “Iran Loves Israel,” and has resulted in Israeli and Iranian citizens organizing meetings in third-party countries and sharing a photograph to promote peace.

Everyday Sexism Project

April 1, 2012

In April 2012, Laura Bates created the “Everyday Sexism Project” in order to highlight the kinds of sexism that is experienced in everyday situations by women around the world, and is now present in 19 countries.

Julia Bluhm

July 5, 2012

14-year-old Julia Bluhm was tired of seeing photoshopped images in Seventeen Magazine, and took to Change.org to try to make a positive change. She has since rallied 7,000 signatures by women around the world calling on Seventeen Magazine to print one unaltered photo spread in each of its monthly issues.

No More Page 3

August 23, 2012

In August 2012, the “No More Page 3 Campaign” was started to pressure The Sun to cease the inclusion of topless glamour models on the third page of its newspaper publications. By January 2015, it had reached over 200,000 signatures, and succeeded with the end of The Sun’s “Page 3” photo spread.


November 29, 2012

The #1ReasonWhy hashtag campaign developed out of a relatively innocuous tweet concerning why so few women hold leadership positions in the gaming industry. As reported by the Huffington Post, within 24 hours, thousands of women responded using the #1ReasonWhy hashtag. A diverse cross-section of female game developers, writers, critics, and journalists shared personal stories of sexism and exclusion, and their “one reason why” so few women are leaders in the gaming industry.

Lauren Wolfe – Tracking Sexual Assault

March 24, 2013

In March 2013, Lauren Wolfe undertook a journalism project, which highlighted and tracked locations of cases of sexual assault in Syria. Utilizing crowd-sourced map and tracking technology, Wolfe’s project aims to plot where cases of sexual assault against men, women and children occur, as well as to utilize this data for future legal action.

Dove Beauty Sketches

April 14, 2013

Dove Beauty Sketches advertising campaign was designed as a “social experiment” in order to determine the differences between how women see themselves, and how others do. Using the skills of a sketch artist, the campaign highlights the differences and perceptions of beauty as a woman describes herself to the sketch artist, followed by another woman describing her to the same artist later that day. The final two sketches are revealed to show how the differences in perception.

Anti-Hate Spray

May 1, 2013

The Human Rights Commission launched the “Anti-Hate Spray” poster campaign, with printable posters, notes, and material available from their website. The campaign was aligned with the National Anti-Racism Strategy, and the No To Homphobia Campaign. The Australian campaign also had the support of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Multicultural Arts Victoria, as well as the Victorian Government.


May 30, 2013

In May 2013, Facebook was forced to review and change its guidelines for hate speech online after a weeklong campaign featuring over 100 gender equality groups. The #FBrape hashtag encouraged individuals worldwide to tweet and e-mail Facebook as well as the corporations whose ads were featured on Facebook pages that promoted rape and violence against women.

Black Lives Matter

July 18, 2013

#BlackLivesMatter was created in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted at trial in the killing of black teen Trayvon Martin. While maintaining a presence on Twitter, the campaign is a “call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society.”

UN: Free and Equal Campaign

July 26, 2013

In July 2013, the United Nations started its “Free and Equal” campaign for LGBT communities, and to stimulate discussion as well as change laws surrounding LGBT rights. The goals of the project are threefold: “Human Rights are universal,” “LGBT people are just that: people,” and, “Things are getting better.”

Defined Lines

August 30, 2013

In August 2013, in response to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video and its objectification of women, a New Zealand study group created a response. By reversing the gender roles of the Robin Thicke video, and rewriting the lyrics, they created “Defined Lines,” which was released online and made the rounds on various social media platforms.

Lululemon’s ‘Fat Shaming’

October 1, 2013

When the cofounder of Lululemon Chip Wilson suggested that their products only work for certain female bodies in November 2013, there was an immediate online backlash. Critics inundated the company’s social media accounts, and eventually forced Wilson to step down due to his fat-shaming comments.

Project Slut

October 9, 2013

The “Project Slut” campaign, launched in 2013 by students Erin Dixon, Kerin John, and Andrea Villanueva, focuses on school dress codes that unfairly punished students of colour, queer and trans students, and students with more developed and larger bodies. According to Buzzfeed, they have since begun work with the Toronto District School Board to develop more inclusive and regulated codes.

UN: Google Autocomplete

October 21, 2013

In October 2013, The United Nations followed up the “Free and Equal” campain with the “Google Auto-Complete” campaign. This featured illustrations of women from various backgrounds behind a Google search bar with “Women Should . . .” and several autocomplete phrase-suggestions such as “Stay in the house,” and “Stay silent.”

#effyourbeauty standards

November 12, 2013

Plus-sized model Tess Holiday created the #effyourbeautystandards hashtag in order to promote a more body-positive movement in the media. She continues to pursue this avenue in order to encourage and empower “people from all walks of life to embrace the body they are in right now.”

#NotYourAsian Sidekick

December 17, 2013

In December 2013, freelance writer Suey Park created the hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick in support of Asian-American feminism. In one of her tweets, she states that she started the movement (which is still present in Twitter), because she was “tired of the patriarchy in Asian-American spaces and sick of the racism in white feminism.”

Young Minds VS.

January 1, 2014

Launched in January 2014, the “YoungMinds vs.” campaign was launched by YoungMinds, which consults with youth and seeks to encourage and promote better mental health amongst youth. Topics include YoungMinds vs.: Sexed Up, Bullying, No Work, School Stress, and, No Help.

Oppressed Majority

February 5, 2014

“Oppressed Majority,” a short film by French director Eleonore Pourriat reverses gender roles, and focuses on a “houseman” during a normal day in Paris. With these reversed roles, the man is subjected to verbal and physical harassment, prejudice, and abuse.


February 21, 2014

The “Representation Project” was developed as part of the #AskHerMore hashtag campaign that appeared on social media sites in regards to the often sexist questions fielded to female celebrities in Hollywood. The hashtag was designed to send suggested questions to reporters in real time in order to spark a deeper discussion in front a national television audience, and not simply focusing on female celebrity’s clothing or appearance.


March 25, 2014

Similarly to #SurvivorPriviledge, the hashtag #RapeCultureIsWhen created a space online for survivors to share their stories and experiences that ranged from victim blaming, slut-shaming, and cyber-bullying.

99% Campaign

May 1, 2014

In May 2014, the 99% Campaign was launched by IARS, featuring a youth-led platform that allowed youth to share their daily experiences, with the intention of kick-starting social change, and influencing government policy.


May 24, 2014

The #YesAllWomen campaign started as a direct response to the #NotAllMen campaign that surfaced after the murder of six people in Santa Barbara, and the discovery of a 150-page misogynistic manifesto left by the killer. #YesAllWomen was used to share experiences of misogyny and violence against women.

#IAmMoreThanA Distraction

May 31, 2014

The #IAmMoreThanADistraction hashtag was launched in order to protest the dress codes that unfairly punish girls for being “a distraction” to boys in high school classes. Discipline for “inappropriate” attire routinely results in the interruption of the school day, loss of classroom time, and ultimately a loss of educational quality for girls.


June 1, 2014

The #YouOKSis hashtag first appeared on Twitter in June 2014, and highlighted issues surrounding street harassment, and the harassment of women of colour between two writers and activists @BlackGirlDanger and @FeministaJones. While not as well known as Hollaback’s video on street harassment, #YouOKSis has remained in the discussion online as it confronts the ways in which women of colour experience street harassment.


June 4, 2014

Although many men became involved in the #YesAllWomen campaign, the #AllMenCan campaign was developed for men to have a voice, and confront the “Men’s Rights Activists” who loudly defended the shooter in the Santa Barbara murders. The aim of the campaign was to highlight the fact that men can have respect for women without becoming “less of a man.”


June 9, 2014

Wagatwe Wnjuki, an advocate and rape survivor created the #SurvivorPrivilege hastag after conservative columnist George Will suggested that rape victims were “privileged.” The hashtag allowed survivors of rape and sexual assault to speak out in solidarity online.


June 30, 2014

After five male conservative justices ruled that corporations could have a religious personhood – and that mandating that corporations provide birth control to their employees as part of their insurance packages would be a violation of their religious freedoms – the #HobbyLobby hashtag was born. Twitter users on both sides of the debate used the #HobbyLobby hashtag to discuss what this decision meant for the future of the United States, as well as discussions around the decision itself.


July 21, 2014

Over the summer of 2014, the #RenishaMcBride hashtag had been changed to #RememberRenisha and spread widely by the social justice organization Colour of Change. The alteration in the hashtag reflected developments in the story of Renisha McBride’s death, and highlighted the way that the lives of black women and girls are often downplayed, or altogether ignored in the mainstream media.

Creepers on the Bridge

August 30, 2014

“Creepers on the Bridge,” by directors Colette Ghunim and Tinne Van Loon, highlighted what its like to walk across one of Egypt’s busiest bridges as a woman in response to a UN Report that 99.3% of Egyptian Women have reported some sort of sexual harassment.


September 9, 2014

After the disturbing video depicting Ray Rice’s assault on his partner Janay Rice surfaced, there was a distinct backlash to her continued support of Ray Rice. The #WhyIStayed hashtag appeared on Twitter to show support for all domestic abuse victims, and was started by survivor Beverly Gooden. The oftentimes-heartbreaking hashtag provided a powerful voice to survivors of abuse from a variety of backgrounds.

UN: HeforShe

September 20, 2014

The United Nations continued its run of positive online campaigns with the HeforShe campaign in 2014, which seeks to recruit men in the fight for equal rights for women. HeforShe is described as a “solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all.”

This is What a Feminist Looks Like

September 24, 2014

The Fawcett society started the “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” t-shirt campaign in 2014, and photographs of various celebrities wearing the Feminist shirts quickly made the rounds of social media platforms. A famous denial by David Cameron caused a further uproar through online social media platforms.


October 1, 2014

The Youth Empowerment Project launched #CyberLove campaign, running online from October to November 2014, in memory of Amanda Todd. The main goal of the campaign was to fight cyberbullying by sending and sharing messages of love over social media platforms.

10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman

October 28, 2014

One of the most well known films of 2014 was Hollaback’s “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman.” This film focused on the number of catcalls, harassment, and unwanted attention that is garnered by a woman who is simply walking down the street in New York City. While the film has recently dealt with some controversy, it sparked a vibrant discussion online, and throughout social media.

#DudesGreeting Dudes

November 5, 2014

The #DudesGreetingDudes hashtag was created by Elon James White of “This Week in Blackness,” and was designed to satirically address the misconception that catcalls were not a “friendly greeting” from “dudes,” but more often than not, a form of verbal and sexual assault. The hashtag questioned what would happen if heterosexual men used the same offensive catcalls used on women on other heterosexual men. The result was a commentary on modern masculinity, as well as gender norms.

#HowMediaWrites WOC

November 14, 2014

The #HowMediaWritesWOC hashtag is one that explores the ways in which the mass media covers reports of violence against girls and women of colour. Engaging with educators, activists, and feminists, the #HowMediaWritesWOC is not only an online campaign that focuses on how the media represents certain events, but also a tool for educators, students, and the public to engage in discussions online.


December 3, 2014

The hashtag #ICantBreathe was the Internet’s response to the grand jury’s decision not to indict white police officer Daniel Pantaleo over the death of Eric Garner. Garner died due to a chokehold that officer Pantaleo inflicted on him during his arrest. The hashtag was based on Garner’s final words, which were caught of video, and became a cry for justice as nation-wide protests were staged across the United States against police brutality.


December 15, 2014

After the siege of the Lindt Chocolate Café in Australia, and in reaction to the increase in Islamaphobia, the #IllRideWithYou hashtag was created to show support for Australian Muslims who were afraid of racist retribution.


December 16, 2014

While India and Pakistan have had a relatively volatile relationship at times, as a result of a heartbreaking school massacre in Pakistan, the #IndiaWithPakistan hashtag was created. The goal was to unite the two countries in a time of need, despite their social and political differences.

Because I’m a Girl

January 1, 2015

Plan International kicked off the “Because I’m a Girl” campaign, designed to highlight the issues of gender inequality that are still present throughout the world. It is a global initiative that seeks to end gender inequality and promote women’s rights worldwide. While there are many physical portions of this campaign such as posters and advertisements, a large portion is also online.

Not There Campaign

March 8, 2015

The Clinton Foundation launched the “Not There” campaign in March 2015 in order to highlight the fact that women “aren’t there” on issues of gender equality. For a full day, the media landscape was devoid of women in advertisements, posters, etc.


April 8, 2015

Ten years after its foundation, Jer’s Vision transitioned into the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD). The change came about as a result of the National reach that Jer’s Vision had developed over the years, as well as a refinement of the group’s mission and mandate.


April 10, 2015

Amnesty International and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa launched the #AfricaNot4Sale campaign in 2015 in order to encourage politicians and corporations to “stop selling the future of the continent’s youth and start promoting alternative growth models rooted in youth empowerment, human development and human rights.” Part of the campaign includes a roundtable dialog featuring 20 young human rights campaigners from Kenya, Mauritius, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt and elsewhere.


April 13, 2015

MathAndCoding is an organization founded on the philosophy that youth should be taught computer coding through a series of hands-on classes taught by other youth. Started by Vineet Kosaraju and Nikhil Cheerla have taught 1,100 youth to code in California over the past year and half, and their students have since created more than 1,600 projects.

Distractingly Sexy

June 11, 2015

After Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt explained his views on the “trouble with girls” at a science conference, which included: “Three things happen when they are in the lab . . . you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry.” As a direct rebuttal, female scientists immediately began sharing photos of themselves in the lab, or at work being “distractingly sexy,” and otherwise a “problem” based on Tim Hunt’s comments.

Every Single Word

June 17, 2015

Dylan Marron created “Every Single Word,” a series of Tumblr and YouTube posts hat take famous films from the history of Hollywood, from the earliest “talkies” to the present day, and cuts out everything apart from lines spoken by characters played by people of colour. Films can usually be edited down to several minutes from their entire running time.

#IfAnythingSchool TaughtMe

August 3, 2015

In August 2015, the #IfAnythingSchoolTaughtMe hashtag began trending on Twitter. While there was a large proportion of comments and jokes about homework, etc., a significant number of women took to Twitter to highlight the their frustration at how dress codes would routinely take precedence over their education.

#NotADistraction SOA

October 3, 2015

Students at Charleston County School of the Arts in North Charleston, South Carolina began a “Scarlet Letter” campaign in order to protest the sexist dress code (or the sexist enforcement of said dress code). One of the organizers of the protest, Reese Fischer, also launched the #NotADistractionSOA on Instagram in September which resulted in over 100 students donning scarlet letters in support.

Equality Act

October 15, 2015

The Human Rights Campaign – which has significant online campaign power – endorsed the “Equality Act,” which was described as a landmark federal bill that would ensure that LGBT Americans possessed the rights and freedoms from discrimination that they deserved.

We Got This

October 28, 2015

The European Year for Development launched the “We Got This” online campaign that aims to get youth to engage with the major problems of the day. Target audiences include: “politically aware school leavers and university freshers with above average social media reach. They’re not activists yet, but we know they have a strong moral compass and they’re inspired by a sense of fairness.”

Gender Neutral Bathrooms

December 1, 2015

Milo Spearman launched an online petition to create gender-neutral bathrooms at San Dieguito Academy for transgender and questioning students. As of December 14, 2015, the petition had 27,798 signatures. According to a post on the petition page, the bathrooms have since been installed.


March 24, 2016

After a judge acquitted Jian Ghomeshi of four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking, there was an immediate backlash on social media. While there was much focus on the verdict, the majority of the controversy was aimed at the way in which the women who took the stand against Ghomeshi were treated, mainly with attacks against their credibility. The controversy took the form of #IBelieveSurvivors to highlight the uphill battle that victims of sexual assault have to endure.

Stop Funding Hate

August 16, 2016

This social media campaign was created to stop companies from advertising in certain British newspapers. The central argument of the campaign was that by advertising in these newspapers, the companies were funding, and therefore, supporting publications that spread hate and division.

The Women’s March

January 21, 2017

The Women’s March was a worldwide protest that was held shortly after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Regarded as the largest single-day protest in American history, millions of people joined together to challenge the sexist and offensive claims that had been made by the newly elected president. The March on Washington was one of the largest marches. However, through meetings and discussion on social media, women were able to coordinate internationally and organized marches throughout many parts of the world.


February 3, 2017

In response to the claim that Donald Trump encouraged a stereotypically feminine dress code in the White House because he wanted his female staff to “dress like women,” Twitter users began sharing images along with the hashtag #dresslikeawoman. The tweets and pictures shared showed women in various jobs and in all sorts of attire, which rejected the idea that women should be restricted to a narrow social category.


September 5, 2017

Al-Masirah TV urged their audience to use the hashtag #YemenInquiryNow to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Due to land, sea and air blockade led by Saudi Arabia, the people of Yemen are facing a drastic shortage of food, medicine, and aid. The use of the hashtag spread awareness about the dire situation of Yemen, and many people voiced criticism of Saudi Arabia.


September 23, 2017

To protest police brutality and racial discrimination, former NFL player Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem of football games. The President of the United States condemned Kaepernick’s actions, and the hashtag #TakeAKnee was established in support of Kaepernick and his protest.

The #MeToo Movement

October 15, 2017

The #MeToo Movement sought to spread awareness about sexual harassment and sexual assault. Using what would become a viral hashtag, #MeToo, women were able to share stories of sexual assault and harassment. The overwhelming amount of tweets and stories helped to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment both in the workplace and in society more broadly.

National Student Walkout

February 14, 2018

In response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, students organized a national walkout to advocate for stronger gun control legislation in the United States. Using the hashtag #NeverAgain, students across the country left school and shared images and comments in support of gun control.

We the Students Do Not Consent

September 21, 2018

Across Ontario, student-led protests were held in response to changes made to the health curriculum and cuts to the Truth and Reconciliation actions made by the Doug Ford government. Organizers coordinated via social media and shared the event widely on Facebook. Students were encouraged to share the hashtag #WeTheStudentsDoNotConsent.