The Role of Social Media in Norms Shifting

Social media is increasingly used in social and behavioural change (SBC) and norms-shifting interventions (Norms-shifting on Social Media, Abstract). Young people’s engagement in digital spaces is rapidly growing, and their active participation in these spaces is essential to achieve sustainable, inclusive, and stable societies.  

Georgetown University research, conducted under the Passages Project, tackles “Norms-shifting on Social Media: A landscaping of programming.” The report contributes to a growing discussion on how norms are formed and shifted through social media programming. As one of the forerunners on this topic, RNW Media was invited to share its expertise in using digital media for social change. 

The study explains that norms-shifting interventions are rarely used in isolation; programmes often combine approaches and strategies. There are several ways by which social media can be leveraged to enhance and complement norms shifting. The research outlines RNW Media’s contribution to norms shifting through contributions such as confronting power imbalances, community-based approaches for organized diffusion, creating positive new norms, and more. 

In partnership with changemakers, RNW Media works to unleash young people’s potential to drive social change. We apply both communication and community-based intervention approaches in programmes to bring about social change, as demonstrated in the study.