"To draw conclusions about activism in the Internet age without reference to social media seems almost as negligent as drawing conclusions about weight gain without reference to carbohydrates. During the seven years between data collection and publication could they not have collected new data to reflect current practice? And, if such revision was impractical, could they not have couched their findings with a strong disclaimer? Publishing outdated material is a particular danger in this rapidly changing field, but downplaying or ignoring valid concerns about old data is more problematic.
What about the tactics they did choose: petitions, letter-writing campaigns, email campaigns, and boycotts? Earl and Kimport state that “most examples of relatively inexpensive activism online take the form of the e-tactics we examine in this book” (p 73), yet they offer no evidence for this claim. Did they do an earlier survey of a broad range of digital tactics and select the most popular to focus on? There is no evidence of this. Though anecdotal evidence supports the continuing popularity of email in digital campaigns, it’s hard to imagine that digital boycotts are as pervasive. After failures of high-profile e-petition sites like Number 10, the tactical value of e-petitions has also been questioned.1 In fact, Earl and Kimport acknowledge that “seven of the fifteen [warehouse sites] we studied are gone from the Web” (p 195), a fact that does not bode well for the current validity of their seven-year-old tactical data."
Via Déborah Araujo