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Digital Protest
New forms of protest in the digital age
Curated by John Postill
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The State of the Arab Transitions: A Timeline

The State of the Arab Transitions: A Timeline | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Since its founding, the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East has closely followed the Arab transitioning countries as they faced their respective social, political, and economic challenges. In an effort to help map the twists and turns, the...
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The Unintended Consequences of Internet Diffusion: Evidence from Malaysia - Program on Liberation Technology

The Unintended Consequences of Internet Diffusion: Evidence from Malaysia - Program on Liberation Technology | Digital Protest | Scoop.it

Can the introduction of the Internet undermine incumbent power in a semi-authoritarian regime? I examine this question using evidence from Malaysia, where the incumbent coalition lost its 40-year monopoly on power in 2008. I develop a novel methodology for measuring Internet penetration, matching IP addresses with physical locations, and apply it to the 2004 to 2008 period in Malaysia. Using distance to the backbone to instrument for endogenous Internet penetration, I find that areas with higher Internet penetration experience higher voter turnout and higher candidate turnover, with the Internet accounting for one-third of the 11% swing against the incumbent party in 2008. The results suggest that, in the absence of the Internet, the opposition would not have achieved its historic upset in the 2008 elections.

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Cyber activism scores victories behind the Great Firewall

Cyber activism scores victories behind the Great Firewall | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
A surge of cyber activism in China targeting corruption and elite impunity over the last few years has often produced surprisingly powerful results.
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Fligstein and McAdam on Strategic Action Fields

Fligstein and McAdam on Strategic Action Fields | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
The most recent issue of Sociological Theory features an article by Fligstein and McAdam entitled "Towards a General Theory of Strategic Action Fields."  In this paper F & M, attempt a "grand" ...
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Increasing Anti-Surveillance Momentum and the Necessary and Proportionate Principles

Increasing Anti-Surveillance Momentum and the Necessary and Proportionate Principles | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Last Monday, eight of the largest Internet companies took the unprecedented step of publicly calling for an end to bulk collection of communications data.
John Postill's insight:

dan mcquillan ‏@danmcquillan 23s

@JohnPostill @liberationtech the eff proposals still boil down to law & regulation. has this been an effective route up to now?

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Training the Journalists of Tomorrow: The Data Journalism MA at Tilburg University

Training the Journalists of Tomorrow: The Data Journalism MA at Tilburg University | Digital Protest | Scoop.it

“There is something about not just being able to think and act like a programmer but also to be able to think and act like a journalist, which is quite demanding. It’s an unusual skill set. Newsrooms are crying out for these skills."

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Edward Snowden, Time’s Person of the Year runner-up, renewed debate over whistleblowers, "activist" journalism

Edward Snowden, Time’s Person of the Year runner-up, renewed debate over whistleblowers, "activist" journalism | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Last week, Edward Snowden, the computer specialist who leaked in June thousands of documents related to the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, was named runner-up for Time Magazine
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Twitter, politics and the public: research roundup (June 2013)

Twitter, politics and the public: research roundup (June 2013) | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Updated June 2013: A review of scholarly studies that examine Twitter use by politicians, policymakers and the public.
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An NSA Coworker Remembers The Real Edward Snowden: 'A Genius Among Geniuses'

An NSA Coworker Remembers The Real Edward Snowden: 'A Genius Among Geniuses' | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Perhaps Edward Snowden's hoodie should have raised suspicions.
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Global Voices Meetup in Porto: Journalism, Citizenship and New Media

Global Voices Meetup in Porto: Journalism, Citizenship and New Media | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Journalists, amateur media practitioners, citizens and organisations dedicated to independent projects of online communication will meet in Porto on 14 December 2013 at the invite of Global Voices.
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Former Icelandic bank bosses jailed

Former Icelandic bank bosses jailed | Digital Protest | Scoop.it

Four former bosses from the Icelandic bank Kaupthing have been sentenced to between three and five years in prison.

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How Internet Tools Turned Ukraine’s #Euromaidan Protests Into a Movement · Global Voices

How Internet Tools Turned Ukraine’s #Euromaidan Protests Into a Movement · Global Voices | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Euromaidan protests that began in Ukraine on November 21 have turned into a nationwide movement through new media and mass solidarity on the Internet. Tetyana Bohdanova explains how.
John Postill's insight:

Rebecca MacKinnon ‏@rmack 11 Dec

How Internet Tools Turned Ukraine's #Euromaidan Protests Into a Movement http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/12/09/how-internet-tools-turned-euromaidan-protests-into-a-movement/ ;… via @globalvoices #netfreedom

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Liberation vs. Control: The Future of Cyberspace

Liberation vs. Control: The Future of Cyberspace | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Deibert, R., & Rohozinski, R. (2010). Liberation vs. control: The future of cyberspace. Journal of Democracy, 21(4), 43-57. 

Among theorists of new information and communication technologies, there is a persistent tension between those who see them as technologies of liberation, and those who see them as technologies of control. We argue that the dichotomy itself is misleading, suggesting a basic opposition between forces of light and forces of darkness. In fact, the situation is much more complex and needs to be qualified. Rather than seeing technologies in oppositional terms, as either "empty" vessels to be filled by human intent, or powerful forces imbued with some kind of agency that no one can withstand, technologies are complex and continuously evolving manifestations of social forces of a particular time and place. Once created, technologies in turn shape and limit the prospects for human communication and interaction in a constantly iterative manner. This dynamic is especially evident in the case of cyberspace, a domain of intense competition, one which creates an ever-changing matrix of opportunities and constraints for social forces and ideas. Social forces and ideas, in turn, are imbued with alternative rationalities which collide with each other and affect the structure of the communications environment. Unless the characteristics of cyberspace change radically in the near future, and global human culture grows monolithic, linking technological properties to a single social outcome, like liberation or control, is highly dubious.

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In Search of Antistructure: The meaning of Tahrir Square in Egypt’s ongoing social drama

In Search of Antistructure: The meaning of Tahrir Square in Egypt’s ongoing social drama | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
This paper is about the iterative and contingent relationship between the Egyptian revolution as a social process and the revolution as a constellation of contested narratives through which people assigned meaning to social events.
John Postill's insight:

John Postill ‏@JohnPostill 23s

The meaning of #Tahrir in #Egypt’s ongoing social drama by Mark A. Peterson http://sco.lt/5LgsE5  #jan25 #anthropology

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Occupy studies itself

Occupy studies itself | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
The trouble with trying to tell the story of Occupy Wall Street was that it was always a million things at once.
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A Theory of Fields: A Review

A Theory of Fields: A Review | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
By David Hess A Theory of Fields is the product of the longstanding collaboration that began during the 1980s, when Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam were colleagues at the University of Arizona. They...
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Toward a General Theory of Strategic Action Fields - Fligstein and McAdam 2011

In recent years there has been an outpouring of work at the intersection of social movement studies and organizational theory. While we are generally in sympathy with this work, we think it implies a far more radical rethinking of structure and agency in modern society than has been realized to date. In this article, we offer a brief sketch of a general theory of strategic action fields (SAFs). We begin with a discussion of the main elements of the theory, describe the broader environment in which any SAF is embedded, consider the dynamics of stability and change in SAFs, and end with a respectful critique of other contemporary perspectives on social structure and agency.

John Postill's insight:
Liberationtech ‏@Liberationtech 48m

@julian0liver @danmcquillan @JohnPostill @sdp For institutional theorists, the commons is a contested field: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9558.2010.01385.x/abstract ;…

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Police clash with road link protesters again in Melbourne

Police clash with road link protesters again in Melbourne | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
There have been more angry protests at the site of works on the controversial Melbourne road project, the East West Link.
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The Mission to De-Centralize the Internet

The Mission to De-Centralize the Internet | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
In response to fears about diminished privacy, some programmers want to make the Internet more like it used to be.

 

“Discussions about innovation, resilience, open protocols, data ownership and the numerous surrounding issues,” said Redecentralize’s Bolychevsky, “need to become mainstream if we want the Internet to stay free, democratic, and engaging.”

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EFF's Reading List: Books of 2013

EFF's Reading List: Books of 2013 | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
At the end of each year, EFF puts together a list of some of the interesting and noteworthy books that have been published in the past 12 months or so.
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Melbourne police clash with anti-road link protesters

Melbourne police clash with anti-road link protesters | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
Police have clashed with protesters over the controversial East West Link road project in the Melbourne.
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We cannot afford to be indifferent to internet spying

We cannot afford to be indifferent to internet spying | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
We have reached the moment after which the number of people who give a damn about their privacy will only increase. By Cory Doctorow
John Postill's insight:

Netizen Rights ‏@netizenrights 13 Dec

We cannot afford to be indifferent to internet spying http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/dec/09/internet-surveillance-spying ;… by @Doctorow #NetFreedom

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World's leading authors: state surveillance of personal data is theft

World's leading authors: state surveillance of personal data is theft | Digital Protest | Scoop.it
500 signatories including Günter Grass, Margaret Atwood and Martin Amis demand 'digital bill of rights' to curb state abuses
John Postill's insight:

Liv ‏@mmechomski 10 Dec

State surveillance of personal data is theft say many top writers signing strong protest. http://bit.ly/IC1nAs ; and http://bit.ly/1cypMBZ ;

Followed by The Pirate Org and 1 other

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A Tunisian rapper's last words before going to jail

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Occupy Wall St. via Marisa Holmes

Three years ago Tunisians ousted long-time dictator Ben Ali. They fought for liberty and dignity, inspiring a global wave of resistance. Today, the structures of the regime remain largely intact. A new constitution has yet to be finalized and police violence continues with impunity. There's no transitional justice, and many who speak out are judged by the laws of the old system. Among them, there are artists who are defying the state and re-imagining society by freely express...

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The Consequences of the Internet for Politics - Annual Review of Political Science, 15(1):35

The Consequences of the Internet for Politics - Annual Review of Political Science, 15(1):35 | Digital Protest | Scoop.it

Political scientists are only now beginning to come to terms with the importance of the Internet to politics. The most promising way to study the Internet is to look at the role that causal mechanisms such as the lowering of transaction costs, homophilous sorting, and preference falsification play in intermediating between specific aspects of the Internet and political outcomes. This will allow scholars to disentangle the relevant causal relationships and contribute to important present debates over whether the Internet exacerbates polarization in the United States, and whether social media helped pave the way toward the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. Over time, ever fewer political scientists are likely to study the Internet as such, as it becomes more and more a part of everyday political life. However, integrating the Internet's effects with present debates over politics, and taking proper advantage of the extraordinary data that it can provide, requires good causal arguments and attention to their underlying mechanisms.

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