LGBT activists have been pressuring large corporations and individuals to show their disapproval of Russia’s anti LGBT laws. Individuals have been using different forms of new media, such as Twitter, to get Olympic Sponsors to note their support for Russia’s LGBT community. Olympic Athletes have been utilizing different means of communication to show their disapproval with Russia’s laws even though propaganda in favor of homosexuality in Russia is currently illegal. Individuals from all over use different social media such as blogs to show support for Russian equality. The Russian government has pressed charges against several LGBT blogs.
In terms of sponsors, so far AT&T is on board. Sponsors of the Internationally Olympic Committee have been primarily targeted, and though AT&T is not a part of this committee, they are a part of the United States Olympic Committee which is a huge step.
AT&T’s statement from their company blog reads:
“AT&T has a long and proud history of support for the L.G.B.T. community in the United States and everywhere around the world where we do business. We support L.G.B.T. equality globally and we condemn violence, discrimination and harassment targeted against L.G.B.T. individuals everywhere.”
AT&T could be the first step in urging the major sponsors of the Olympic International Committee, which includes Visa, McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Samsung, to show outright support for Russia’s LGBT community and the disapproval of Russian Laws. In the near future, demonstrations will be held in McDonalds restaurants in New York against Russia’s law to pressure McDonalds into showing support.
This issue is an example of how important social media can be when utilized correctly. Without social media, it would be difficult to encourage major sponsors to show support for equality in Russia. The issue is extremely public due to social media which also puts a lot of pressure on Russia. Social media is a means for the people to exercise their beliefs and human rights to make a change towards improvement. The point of all of this is for equality for all over the world. Right now, Russia is the main target because of all its publicity with the Winter Olympics being held in Sochi. With the voices from all over the world on social media trying to make a change in Russia, a major world goal could be met.
by Bridget Devine
Elliot, S. (2014, February 4). AT&T Becomes First Major Advertiser to Protest Russia’s Antigay Law. New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/business/media/att-becomes-first-major-advertiser-to-protest-russias-antigay-law.html?ref=media&_r=0