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Clicktivism is ruining leftist activism

Clicktivism is ruining leftist activism
A battle is raging for the soul of activism. It is a struggle between digital activists, who have adopted the logic of the marketplace, and those organisers who vehemently oppose the marketisation of social change. At stake is the possibility of an emancipatory revolution in our lifetimes. The conflict can be traced back to 1997 when a quirky Berkeley, California-based software company known for its iconic flying toaster screensaver was purchased for $13.8m (£8.8m). The sale financially liberated the founders, a left-leaning husband-and-wife team. The trouble is that this model of activism uncritically embraces the ideology of marketing. Clicktivists utilise sophisticated email marketing software that brags of its "extensive tracking" including "opens, clicks, actions, sign-ups, unsubscribes, bounces and referrals, in total and by source". Gone is faith in the power of ideas, or the poetry of deeds, to enact social change. Related:  New Media

Dissertation Click here for full list of Publications Do “Liberation Technologies” Change the Balance of Power Between Repressive StateS AND CIVIL SOCIETY? Dissertation Committee:Dan Drezner, Larry Diamond, Clay Shirky, Carolyn Gideon Do new information and communication technologies (ICTs) empower repressive regimes at the expense of civil society, or vice versa? The first half of this doctoral study comprises a large-N econometric analysis to test whether “liberation technologies” are a statistically significant predictor of anti-government protests in countries with repressive regimes. My dissertation is available for download here in PDF. Main Contributions and Highlights: * New dataset on protests, ICTs, political and economic variables over 18 years. * New econometric analysis and contribution to quantitative political science. * New conceptual framework to assess impact of ICTs on social, political change. * New operational application of conceptual framework to assess impact of ICTs. Like this:

Twitter, Facebook, and social activism At four-thirty in the afternoon on Monday, February 1, 1960, four college students sat down at the lunch counter at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. They were freshmen at North Carolina A. & T., a black college a mile or so away. “I’d like a cup of coffee, please,” one of the four, Ezell Blair, said to the waitress. “We don’t serve Negroes here,” she replied. The Woolworth’s lunch counter was a long L-shaped bar that could seat sixty-six people, with a standup snack bar at one end. By next morning, the protest had grown to twenty-seven men and four women, most from the same dormitory as the original four. By the following Monday, sit-ins had spread to Winston-Salem, twenty-five miles away, and Durham, fifty miles away. The world, we are told, is in the midst of a revolution. These are strong, and puzzling, claims. Some of this grandiosity is to be expected. What makes people capable of this kind of activism? This pattern shows up again and again.

Do Something: Helping Humanity With a Click of the Mouse Googling Africa - By Dayo Olopade The Google office in South Africa is no different from the Google office in Washington -- from the outside. Tucked into a sprawling, high-tech office park in Johannesburg, Google's hip, young Africa team has taken the company's beanbag-chairs-and-jeans culture global. But in practice, their mission is different -- and far more difficult. They're out to prove that Google can be an African verb. Since 2007, the American search giant has entered the African market head first, establishing offices in Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Dakar, and Kampala, with its largest presence in Nairobi. It has placed a premium on improving access to the Internet and importing its well-known suite of applications (Maps, Gmail, Books, Chat) to African users. Just as other multinational companies have discovered in recent years, Google knows that there is a lot of money to be made in urbanizing, newly wired African markets. When it comes to Western tech companies, Google is unmistakably ahead of the curve.

Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop About Pepper Spray Cop (also known as “Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop”) is a photoshop meme based on a photograph of a police officer offhandedly pepper spraying a group of Occupy protesters at the University of California Davis in November 2011. Origin UC Davis Occupy Protest On November 18th, 2011, a group of students at the University of California Davis gathered on campus for an Occupy protest, during which they formed a human chain by linking their arms together. A photo of Lieutenant John Pike pepper spraying seated students at the UC Davis protest was taken by Louise Macabitas and posted to Reddit on November 19th, 2011. Photoshop Meme Two photoshopped versions of Macabitas’ photo surfaced on Reddit on November 20th. Spread Compilations of the images began appearing on Facebook community Occupy Lulz and BoingBoing on November 20th. Over the next month, Pepper Spray Cop images were shared and discussed on CBS News, CNet, The Week and Scientific American. Notable Examples

Is Slacktivism Good? « Enabling Healthy Decisions I guess it’s kind of like being an “arm-chair quarterback” or a “back seat driver”. Slacktivism (Slacker + Activism) refers to doing good without doing much. Donating thru a text message. Clicking on a link to generate donations. Is this bad? I don’t think so. In today’s social media world and connected world, donating and supporting causes should be easier. But, the article in Fast Company that got me on this topic talks about a few great case studies: – For every correct answer you get to the questions they ask, 10 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Program. So, how do we tap into this with healthcare? Lose weight without diet or exercise. Social pressure certainly plays a role here. BTW – Did you click thru on the link yet? Like this: Like Loading...

The Digital Disruption The advent and power of connection technologies -- tools that connect people to vast amounts of information and to one another -- will make the twenty-first century all about surprises. Governments will be caught off-guard when large numbers of their citizens, armed with virtually nothing but cell phones, take part in mini-rebellions that challenge their authority. For the media, reporting will increasingly become a collaborative enterprise between traditional news organizations and the quickly growing number of citizen journalists. And technology companies will find themselves outsmarted by their competition and surprised by consumers who have little loyalty and no patience. Today, more than 50 percent of the world's population has access to some combination of cell phones (five billion users) and the Internet (two billion). These people communicate within and across borders, forming virtual communities that empower citizens at the expense of governments. Don't have an account?

crystal cox, $25 million libel A few days ago, I posted a piece about the Pepper Spray incident at UC Davis. When people saw the original video clip, they overwhelmingly supported students and felt the police had acted harshly and without justification. When I posted a longer video clip, those who commented on my blog, on Twitter and Facebook were about evenly divided on whether police actions were justified or not. The point of my post seems to have gotten a little lost. Yesterday, an Oregon Judge ruled that Crystal L. Social media and traditional media is all media. So while I think Cox deserves to be called a journalist, protected by Shield Laws, I don’t think she is a very good one. In reading the Cox blog post, I am unsure whether or not what she wrote is true, and truth is the ultimate defense of libel. In short, while I absolutely defend Cox’s right to be a journalist, I do not defend a blogger’s right to slander someone. To me this case and the Pepper Spray Videos are two closely related issues.