Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty
Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty

The arena of social mobilisation has changed now everyone has a smart phone: a growing number of issues are being hashed out on social media.

While the recent spat of police killings in the US which gave birth to the movement #BlackLivesMatter, and social media is crucial for organising protests and safe communication in many parts of the world.

But it also has a tendency towards slacktivism - i.e., banging out a tweet or signing an online petition and being able to think, 'job done' - or jumping on the wrong bandwagon entirely.

Which brings us onto Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi.

Messi was given a suspended 21-month sentence after he was found guilty of three counts of tax fraud on Wednesday, and given a hefty fine of £1.7 million.

The star did something illegal, and he was – you know – punished for it.

In response, FC Barcelona gave birth to #WeAreAllLeoMessi to support the player.

And the damn thing took off. It's Messi against The Establishment, apparently.

And suggestions he shouldn't pay any tax anyway, because of the 'joy' he spreads around the world.

There's even a symbol of solidarity, like the Black Power fist and the peace sign...

But not everyone is convinced Messi deserves all the support.

After all, he's worth more than some entire countries.

Maybe we can empathise a bit.

But ultimately...


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