In 2021, almost half of South African adults – over 25 million people – used social media. Twitter had an estimated nine million users, over 80 per cent of whom were aged between 15 and 44. And social media is widely used for accessing news and current affairs.This powerful medium influences public opinion and can promote and legitimise intolerance, distrust and hate, for example with campaigns like the xenophobic #OperationDudula. But it can also mobilise the public and build solidarity, as the 2015 #FeesMustFall campaign revealed.In a country where the femicide rate is six times the global average, social media can help prevent gender-based violence. We must also ensure that it isn’t used to further generate violence.