Social networks and digital media proved to be a vital tool in the fight for democracy for the first time in the history of Puerto Rico. The people came together to demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello and mobilized massively to express themselves creatively on the democratic crisis in the island.
In these weeks of protests, constitutional balances of the branches of government, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, freedom of peaceful demonstration and the political future of the island were fought for by the people tired of the incessant public corruption.
On 24 July 2019, Puerto Ricans claimed an unprecedented victory when the Governor announced that he would resign. Puerto Rico joined the select group of countries that managed to oust a governor peacefully without blood and violence.
In the heart of this struggle there is a catalyst of protest efforts: social media and digital networks. When the Center for Investigative Journalism revealed the contents of the chat that started the scandal, the people expressed widespread indignation through social media. Digital media platforms served as amplifiers of public opinion which adopted the hashtag "#RickyRenuncia" that became the chant of the demonstrators. These protesters were not limited to young people but also included citizens of all ages, beliefs and political ideologies.
It looks like a page taken from the book of the Arab Spring and an excellent case study for the use of the social media to mobilize resources and strengthen a social movement. In 2016, Forbes reported that 87.7% of social network users in Puerto Rico used Facebook.
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