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The Rise of Shaun King

Shaun King, famously known for his social media influence and reports on the Daily Kos, The New York Times, and The Young Turks,  has been highlighting the behind-the-scenes coverage of the Israel and Palestine War. 

For a great amount of individuals, social media does not have a good reputation, due to its role in spreading misinformation. Since the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2016, the present activism on social media, towards gender, race, and overall equality has shifted from aimless content to organized real action. 

During his early life Shaun King served as a pastor and engaged in charitable work, funding organizations like HopeMob.org. His shift towards activism was sparked by instances of racial injustice and police brutality. Utilizing his adept skills, he mobilizes online communities, garnering attention and providing alternative perspectives that may be missed in traditional news outlets for the average person. 

King uses his platform to primarily advocate for social justice, his most known, is the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in 2014. During the Black Lives Matter Movement, King has been instrumental in bringing attention to specific cases of police brutality, racial injustice, and systemic inequality. He has been influential in bringing attention to specific cases of police misconduct and helping mobilize public support in his efforts of advocacy. His discussion and dialogue through a phone screen has awakedend a devoted fanbase of listeners from all over. This action has called for many changes within the hearts of our people and the need to speak out.

 While, his more recent coverage focuses on the terror behind the Israel and Palestine war, King's content focuses more so towards the Palestinne hardhsips over the Isrealine. The conflict between the two is a standing dispute involving historical, political, and religious factors. It has resulted in a number of deaths and ongoing tension over the terror group Hammas. The war has caused global awareness and internal efforts to look for a resolution, however this solution remains elusive. 

His Instagram handle has caused much controversy due to recent postings. Individuals feel as though King’s content may be a little too, “excessive,” in terms of the progressing war. Graphic videos and  images of Palestinian victims are posted each hour onto, and can be viewed by just about anyone. This content has evoked a range of emotions because of the continuous concern of human suffering on both sides and the loss of multiple lives. The complexities of the situation and impact on civilians make it a sensitive topic for a large number of those who come by this platform.

Despite the unsettling content, King claims that the only way people outside of the content will understand the depth of the situation, is in his efforts of posting material such as this. The “realism” behind the content, King claims, ‘will help mankind empathize with what is truly going on’ and create a space in which the media can not deceive us into thinking otherwise. The number of online discourse of the war was documented, showing 7.39 billion post were pro-israeli while 109.61 billions were pro Palestine.

Instagram has reportedly banned King for advocating for Palestinians and extensively documenting the casualties, including children, in Gaza and the West Bank. Despite the Instagram takedown, King’s followers can still stay updated through his Twitter page and various other news outlooks, including blogs and interviews. 

Many journalists and activists have used the Internet to shine light on important issues plaguing the world, but King uses it with a different appraoch. Social media has been contributing to a distorted perception that is our reality through news and events. The exposure to specific narratives will direct stereotypes and contribute to the idea of social polarization, however in terms of King, he harnesses the power of social media to inspire collective action while promoting social progress. His platform enables him to engage with a wide audience and fosters discussions around crucial topics. 

Dr. King is calling on his followers to bring justice to specific cases and using media for its primary purpose: to spread real news. 

Edited by: Chloe Mansola 

Image:'Shaun King' by Central Washington University  licensed by CC BY 4.0 DEED




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