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Digital Protest
New forms of protest in the digital age
Curated by John Postill
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Contagion Workshop on social media, reality mining and new species of contagion

Contagion Workshop on social media, reality mining and new species of contagion | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Contagion Workshop 2: Social media, reality mining and new species of contagion A Research and Knowledge Transfer research event Date 14 May 2013 Time 10:45 to 16:00 Place Institute of Arabic and I...
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Reykjavík's radical mayor blazes a trail for the revolution in digital democracy

Reykjavík's radical mayor blazes a trail for the revolution in digital democracy | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Jón Gnarr is one of Iceland's new politicians: alternative, engaged – and online. But as elections approach the country's revolutionary crowd-sourced constitution is in peril
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Southern European scientists become activists as recession bites

Southern European scientists become activists as recession bites | Digital Protest | Scoop.it

A line of people in white coat queuing in front of Valencia’s train station is quite an unusual sight. Yet, this scene was not part of a movie rehearsal. Rather, it was reported in prime time news on Spanish television, on 19th December 2012. This action was part of a scientists’ protest taking place in 20 cities in Spain. This initiative included releasing balloons at Madrid’s Complutense University and using banners to block the traffic in Barcelona’s main streets. These examples reflect how scientists are increasingly deploying activists’ techniques to fight back the effects of the recession on research. This trend is particularly developed in Southern European countries, which are among the hardest hit by austerity.

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Open content

Open content or OpenContent is a neologism coined by David Wiley in 1998[1] which describes a creative work that others can copy or modify. The term evokes open source software, which is a related concept in software.[2]

When the term OpenContent was first used by Wiley, it described works licensed under the Open Content License (a non-free share-alike license, see 'Free content' below) and perhaps other works licensed under similar terms.[2] It has since come to describe a broader class of content without conventional copyright restrictions. The openness of content can be assessed under the '4Rs Framework' based on the extent to which it can be reused, revised, remixed and redistributed by members of the public without violating copyright law.[3] Unlike open source and free content, there is no clear threshold that a work must reach to qualify as 'open content'.

Although open content has been described as a counterbalance to copyright,[4] open content licenses rely on a copyright holder's power to license their work.

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It's Not Slacktivism if it Changes Culture

It's Not Slacktivism if it Changes Culture | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
What's the effect of changing your profile image? On Tuesday the LGBT rights group Human Rights Campaign began encouraging supporters to change their Facebook avatars to a pink and red equals sign, their (temporary?

Via Clive McGoun
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Clive McGoun's curator insight, March 28, 2013 6:02 PM

It might not be slacktivism but at best it's advocacy.

John Postill's comment, April 22, 2013 8:56 PM
see also http://mediasocialchange.net/2013/02/22/the-temporalities-of-labour-history/
John Postill's comment, April 22, 2013 8:57 PM
Notes from the Chapter 9 section “The Temporalities of Labor History”, Sewell WH, Jr (2005) Logics of History: Social theory and social transformation. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

p. 273 Temporality of any historical sequence is complex, i.e. ‘combination of many different social processes with varying temporalities’. Three types of temporality:
Trends = ‘directional changes in social relations’, marked by historians as ‘rise’, ‘fall’, ‘decline’, etc.
Routines = ‘practical schemas that reproduce structures’. Institutions are ‘machines for the production and maintenance of routines’.
Events = ‘temporally concentrated sequences of actions that transform structures’
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Banned Occupy Nigeria Documentary Goes Viral · Global Voices

Banned Occupy Nigeria Documentary Goes Viral · Global Voices | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
A Nigerian documentary about the government's removal of a fuel subsidy last year, which sparked the country's Occupy Nigeria protest, has gone viral on the Nigerian blogosphere after authorities banned the film.
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luiy's curator insight, April 22, 2013 5:01 AM

A Nigerian documentary about the government's removal of a fuel subsidy last year, which sparked the country's Occupy Nigeria protest, has gone viral on the Nigerian blogosphere after authorities banned the film.

 

The 30-minute documentary “Fuelling Poverty” chronicles the protests, which took place in January 2012, as well as takes a critical stance on poverty and corruption in Nigeria. After the film premiered in December 2012 in the capital city of Abuja, director Ishaya Bako submitted it to Nigeria's National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) for approval.

 

News website Premium Times reported that not only did the board ban the documentary, it also warned Bako in an April 8, 2013 letter from attempting to release it independently:

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Unpacking the Use of Social Media for Protest Behavior: The Roles of Information, Opinion Expression, and Activism

Recent studies have shown a positive link between frequency of social media use and political participation. However, there has been no clear elaboration of how using social media translates into increased political activity. The current study examines three explanations for this relationship in the context of citizens’ protest behavior: information (social media as a source for news), opinion expression (using social media to express political opinions), and activism (joining causes and finding mobilizing information through social media). To test these relationships, the study uses survey data collected in Chile in 2011, amid massive demonstrations demanding wholesale changes in education and energy policy. Findings suggest that using social media for opinion expression and activism mediates the relationship between overall social media use and protest behavior. These findings deepen our knowledge of the uses and effects of social media and provide new evidence on the role of digital platforms as facilitators of direct political action.

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Did Twitter, Facebook really build a revolution?

Did Twitter, Facebook really build a revolution? | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Christian Science Monitor: Can a simple text message, sent by enough people, depose dictators everywhere? It depends on who's getting the message, analysts say.
John Postill's insight:

Digital activism did not spring immaculately out of Twitter and Facebook. It's been going on ever since blogs existed," says Rebecca MacKinnon, cofounder of Global Voices Online, a network of 300 volunteer bloggers writing, analyzing and translating news in more than 30 languages. She pegs the start of bloggers' networking and activism globally to 2000 or 2001. In Tunisia, she points out, it was not a known social media brand but a popular Tunisian blog and online news aggregator called Nawaat that played a key role in pushing events forward.

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John Postill's comment, April 15, 2013 7:59 AM
via Izzy Miyaki.
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Knowing, communicating, sense making, place and urban disorder: young people and the 2011 riots

Knowing, communicating, sense making, place and urban disorder: young people and the 2011 riots | Digital Protest | Scoop.it

In August 2011 rioting, or disorders, occurred in various towns and cities in England. Those events have been widely debated and analysed and a range of explanations, factors and understandings for them have been proposed. This paper reports on a small pilot research study that explored two distinctive elements. First, it focuses on the city of Milton Keynes, a place of ‘almost’ or ‘minor’ riots. Second, it is concerned with, but also seeks to extend and interrogate the view that digital technologies played a unique role in the occurrence and spread of disorders. The research drew on a focus group of 6 young people who were brought together twice to discuss their views on various aspects of events, locally and nationally. In this paper we present three main themes from the data we gathered: young people’s different ways of knowing about the riots and how they went about ‘working with’ and ‘thinking about’ their ways of knowing; the role that thrill seeking and sociality played alongside strong feelings of condemnation and ambivalence about the riots; and the impact of the policing of disorder and young people’s critical views of these approaches and of the police and rioters in general, as well as the ways in which race provides a framing for riots in Britain and elsewhere. We conclude by suggesting that despite some commonalities between our findings and those of other studies, our study is novel in highlighting the ways in which communication techniques, intra group social relations and youth-police relations are profoundly shaped by specific localities and riot geographies.

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Tweets, Crises and Behavioral Psychology: On Credibility and Information Sharing

Tweets, Crises and Behavioral Psychology: On Credibility and Information Sharing | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
How we feel about the content we read on Twitter influences whether we accept and share it—particularly during disasters. My colleague Yasuaki Sakamoto at the Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT) ...
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Disunited in mourning: police fear Thatcher funeral may turn into security nightmare

Disunited in mourning: police fear Thatcher funeral may turn into security nightmare | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Police are bracing themselves for the likelihood that Margaret Thatcher’s partially state-funded ceremonial funeral will attract protesters as anger mounts over her controversial legacy and the Government’s decision to honour her with the help of...
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El camino del Twitter al parlamento: Alcance de la Web 2.0 en la participación ciudadana y su influencia en el Estado

Los representantes políticos con excesiva autonomía y la falta de deliberación y co-legislación con sus representados provocan las protestas que desean influir ante el Estado. Los mass media tradicionales (televisión, radio, periódicos y cine) y la Web 1.0 (listas de E-mails, Web sites no interactivos) secundaron la distancia entre ambos porque redujeron al electorado a meros receptores. Pero los new media de la Web 2.0 (Blogs, Facebook, Wikis, y, en particular, los Micro-bloggins y Twitter) pretenden superar los antiguos límites. Así, los primeros suponían que tenían democracia y buscaban información, mientras los nuevos obsequian información y exigen la democracia. Aquí se expone como los new media de la Web 2.0 buscan superar los límites de la participación tradicional y disolver, más que rebasar, las fronteras fijas y estáticas del quehacer político ciudadano en Internet.

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Giants, Hackers, Trolls: Where Mythology and Online Activism Meet

Giants, Hackers, Trolls: Where Mythology and Online Activism Meet | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
The online world has much more in common with the mythological world than you might expect. A look at Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and Anonymous and their corresponding roles in mythology.
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luiy's curator insight, April 27, 2013 2:07 PM

Netizens have come to know a “troll” as ”someone who posts a deliberately provocative message” to fuel an argument online.

That these inflammatory net users were labeled as “trolls” was no accident. The original meaning of a troll is found in Scandinavian mythology, in which trolls are “creatures bent on mischief and wickedness.”

In fact, the online world has much more in common with the mythological world than you might expect. Many of the roles that have emerged in the Internet age are very similar to the structure used in traditional tales to impart some truth to listeners.

For instance, Loki, in Scandinavian folklore, is a trickster, a character set on breaking rules for ultimately positive effects. In the online world, a trickster is a whistleblower, the unconventional agent who will alert the rest of the world in order to trigger social change, such as former United States army soldier Bradley Manning, who is accused of passing on classified information to WikiLeaks.

In the same vein, blacksmiths and dwarves take material in its raw form and build objects that allow the gods to fight against their enemies. They give the raw material a shape that is useful and understandable, similar to what professional and citizen journalists do with information that is made available online by WikiLeaks.

And in Norse mythology, when Thor and the other gods fail to launch Baldr's funeral ship so that he may be resurrected in the other world, they call upon a giantess of supernatural power to propel the ship forward. In the online world, organizations of “giant” power such as Anonymous throw their weight behind information or causes to increase their awareness.

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The Porto Alegre Experiment

The Porto Alegre Experiment | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
With its experiment in participative budget-making over the past decade, Porto Alegre has institutionalized the direct democratic involvement, locality by locality, of ordinary citizens in deciding spending priorities.
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OccupyNerds

OccupyNerds | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Les dernières nouvelles de OccupyNerds TO (@OccupyNerds). Read what we're reading! Original Media/Press/PR Team from Occupy Toronto, Media Wrench as affinity group. Revolution will ensue. We are the 99% #expectus.
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Net Politics Event

Net Politics Event | Digital Protest | Scoop.it

CYBERSALON

Wed 24th April from 7pm - Net Politics

The Future: Then and Now 

This month's Cybersalon is looking at how new media have inspired new forms of activism over the past two decades and will explore the transformative possibilities of the next wave of technological innovation.

In his 1996 'Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace', John Perry Barlow announced the coming of a hi-tech utopia where rugged individualists would escape from the stifling controls and onerous taxes of national governments into a borderless and deregulated virtual world.

Over the past two decades, this seductive mix of hippie and entrepreneurial libertarianism codified in the Californian Ideology has dominated our understanding of the political impact of the Net. Left or Right, mainstream and alternative, mass connectivity is still celebrated as the technological antidote to the multiple failings of Westminster politics from voter apathy to out-of-touch MPs. While deep scepticism is required about the predictions of dotcom boosters, no one can deny that the rapid diffusion of social media has enabled much more participatory forms of campaigning, organising and mobilising.

From the Arab Spring to the Five Star Movement in Italy, citizens have bypassed the old party structures to create their own autonomous groups. As in Athens, Madrid or New York, London's anti-austerity protesters are tech-savvy and always on-line.

In Bitcoin, hackers now believe that they have discovered a way of liberating money from the clutches of the power elite.

The Net is still only a toddler, but it has already established itself as the people's forum for political debate and decision-making. With the status-quo seemingly no longer viable, the collaborative experience of social media should now inspire an emancipatory vision of what it means to be a citizen in 21st century Europe.

What are the lessons of Then and Now that we can apply confidently when we're anticipating the future of Net Politics?

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Open access

Open access (OA) is the practice of providing unrestricted access via the Internet to peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles. OA is also increasingly being provided to theses, scholarly monographs and book chapters.[2]

Open access comes in two degrees: Gratis OA is no-cost online access, while Libre OA is Gratis OA plus some additional usage rights.[3]

Open content is similar to OA, but usually includes the right to modify the work, whereas in scholarly publishing it is usual to keep an article's content intact and to associate it with a fixed author or fixed group of authors. Creative Commons licenses can be used to specify usage rights. The open access idea can also be extended to the learning objects and resources provided in e-learning.

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Reuters fires journalist accused of conspiring with Anonymous

Reuters fires journalist accused of conspiring with Anonymous | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Matthew Keys, the journalist who was accused of conspiring with Anonymous, has been fired by Reuters today. On his Twitter account, Keys tweeted, Just got off
John Postill's insight:

Another instance of the mainstreaming of nerd politics (Postill 2012)

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Internet : Criminalización vs Netdemocracy | Fcforum 2012

Internet : Criminalización vs Netdemocracy | Fcforum 2012 | Digital Protest | Scoop.it

Como ya hizo en su edición de 2010, cuando presentó el informe sobre modelos sostenibles para el sector creativo, el Free Culture Forum 2012 ha dedicado una parte de su trabajo a acelerar la reconversión del sector cultural.

La estrategia del FCF 2012 en este ámbito se centra, sobre todo, en desactivar las excusas que se amparan en la defensa del copyright para atacar Internet y obstaculizar la libre circulación del conocimiento y la información y el desarrollo de nuevas formas de economía, sostenibilidad y participación ciudadana.

Para desactivar la excusa del “copyright”, ha presentado dos propuestas. La primera está encaminada a ampliar el alcance del crowdfunding para convertirlo en una herramienta real de financiación. La segunda, el lanzamiento de la sección española de Taringa! Música, tiene por objetivo revolucionar los dispositivos de intercambio con afán de lucro.

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How Anonymous have become digital culture's protest heroes

How Anonymous have become digital culture's protest heroes | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Fruzsina Eordogh: The hacktivist collective's justice campaign following Rehtaeh Parsons' suicide shows how they've made online protest mainstream
John Postill's insight:

Another example of the mainstreaming of nerd politics.

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New report on Occupy Wall Street

Ruth Milkman, Stephanie Luce and Penny Lewis co-authored Changing the Subject: A Bottom-Up Account of Occupy Wall Street in New York City. The research team surveyed 729 protesters at a May 1, 2012 Occupy march and rally in New York City, and conducted extensive interviews with 25 people who were core activists in the movement. The survey used a methodology developed and widely deployed in Europe for the study of large protest demonstrations to obtain a representative sample of participants. This report provides the most systematic demographic snapshot available of the Occupy movement and also explores the reasons why it gained traction with the public, making the issue of economic inequality central in the nation’s political debate. The study also shows that the movement had a pre-history, with strong links to previous U.S. social movements, and a post-history, with activities continuing long after the eviction of the Park. While Occupy may have faded from daily headlines after the protesters’ eviction from Zuccotti Park, the issues it sparked and the activism it inspired remain very much alive.

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Interview with Paolo Gerbaudo, author of Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism

Interview with Paolo Gerbaudo, author of Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Paolo Gerbaudo, Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism. London and New York: Pluto Books, 2012.
Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?
Paolo Gerbaudo (PG): I have been involved in progressive social movements in ...
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luiy's curator insight, April 11, 2013 5:04 AM

FROM THE INTRODUCTION


An Emotional Choreography


In this book I argue that social media, as utilized in contemporary social movements, have been chiefly involved in the creation of an emotional choreography of assembly, understood as the mediated “scene-setting” and “scripting” (Alexander et al., 2006: 36) of the participants’ physical assembling in public space. Contrary to those authors who see social media and new media generally as creating an alternative virtual- or cyber-space (for example McCaughey and Ayers, 2003), I adopt the term “choreography of assembly” in order to stress how social media have been used to sustain new forms of physical gathering in public space, providing participants with a common sense of unity, place, and direction in the unfolding of collective action. Countering the spatial dispersion of contemporary societies, Facebook messages and activist tweets have constructed a new sense of social centrality, focused around “occupied squares,” which are thereby transformed into trending places, or venues ofmagnetic gatherings, with a great power of emotional attraction.

Despite the scepticism of techno-pessimists like Gladwell and Morozov, it is undeniable that social media have had a major impact on the unfolding of collective action, although not at all in the disembodied manner celebrated by techno-optimists like Shirky. At the same time, it is also important to highlight the risk of seclusion that the use of social media can create, when their use is not accompanied by street-work and interaction with those on the other side of the digital divide, who, for instance, “do not have a Facebook account.”

 

The adoption of the term “choreography” also serves to indicate that the process of the symbolic construction of public space, for all the participatory character and techno-libertarian claims of protest culture, has not been entirely “spontaneous” or “leaderless”—as many pundits, journalists, activists and academics alike have suggested.[1] In a theoretical frame, my main target throughout the book is the discourse of “horizontalism” (Juris, 2008) informed by notions like “networks” (Castells, 1996, 2009) and “swarms” (Negri, Hardt, 2000, 2005), which will be discussed and criticized in the following chapter. I argue that far from inaugurating a situation of absolute “leaderlessness,” social media have in fact facilitated the rise of complex and “liquid” (Bauman, 2000) forms of leadership which exploit the interactive and participatory character of the new communication technologies. Influential Facebook admins and activist tweeps have played a crucial role in setting the scene for the movements’ gatherings in public space, by constructing common identifications and accumulating or triggering an emotional impulse towards public assembly. Just like conventional choreographers in the field of dance, these core organizers are for the most invisible on the stage itself. They are reluctant leaders or “anti-leaders”: leaders who, subscribing to the ideology of horizontalism, do not want to be seen as leaders in the first place but whose scene-setting and scripting work has been decisive in bringing a degree of coherence to people’s spontaneous and creative participation in the protest movements.

Guillermo Makin's curator insight, November 12, 2013 3:30 AM

Interview in Pagina 12, shows the enormity of the task but might be useful to have insights into the reasons for the failure of the left of centre to reap any electoral dividends form the 2008 failure of Anglo-Saxon capitalism

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The day the middle class will rise up

The day the middle class will rise up | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
When the middle classes revolt, our political leaders will realise that they have been sitting on a powder keg, warns Polish philosopher Marcin Król.
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via Presseurop ‏@Presseurop 17m

The day the middle class will rise up (Wprost, Warsaw) #Society #Ideas http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/3656741-day-middle-class-will-rise ;…

 

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