Our fellow students in the other group focusing on social media, Making Sense of Social Media , put up this video yesterday that I would like to share here as well as it connects to several points we have discussed.

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Why not exclusion in social media

by Therese Sjödin on October 21, 2013

in Activism,Social Movements

I want to share this interesting clip of Evgeny Morozov with you, connecting to what I have been discussing here regarding exclusion and expertise in social media for development as well as the debate on “slacktivism” brought up by Peppi.

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Why exclusion in social media

by Therese Sjödin on October 18, 2013

in Activism,Social Movements

Why is expertise privileged in social media debates for development? I have looked into this some more since I find it very interesting how an easily accessible technological tool (for those with internet access of course, which is not a big part of the world looking at the picture below), which at first glance seems to broaden participation and perspectives, turns out to be run by a small group of people who actually had a voice in these issues even before the concept of new media was thought of.

www.internetevangelismday.com www.internetevangelismday.com

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Getting People To the Parks

by Sofia Hafdell on October 17, 2013

in Social Movements

Elcin Turan/SES Türkiye Elcin Turan/SES Türkiye

The concept of “Mediated mobilization” may be useful when analyzing social movements or activists mobilizing through the use of new media, in turn promoting participatory democracy (see Lievrouw, 2011). It blurs the lines between the online and the offline by encouraging citizens to take to the streets after organizing via social media. A recent example discussed here, activists in Turkey gather at park forums to keep their discussion alive following the protests and violent clashes with police during the summer.
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Turn Off Your Televisions!

by Sofia Hafdell on October 15, 2013

in Participatory Journalism,Social Movements

While there is a whole debate going on about whether social media improves our understanding of social and political events, many would agree on that social media allow for wider participation. Blurring the line between media consumption and production, as discussed by media scholars such as Mandiberg (2012), social media may be the key tool to actively post, share, comment, and interact online as well as an alternative to mainstream news reporting. The #OccupyGezi movement shows us how.

OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

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slacktivism1

Photo source: gwangjublog

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT), especially Internet, allows people to expand their knowledge and widen their worldviews, access and share information fast, and learn what is currently happening on the other side of the world. In the globalized world, citizens also become familiar with negative global issues such as poverty, growing inequality, world hunger, child mortality, human rights violations, undemocratic practices, discrimination, and civil conflicts. Nowadays an average person concerned about these issues can rather easily do something and raise one’s voice about injustice and other salient topics. This is made possible with the help of the modern technology, Internet, and especially new media tools.

It seems that it has never been easier to take part for example in global development related discussions and to support a good cause than it is now.  In contrast to the times when our grandparents and parents climbed to barricades to protest with ‘Peace & Love’ signs, we can now raise our voice  and support a certain cause rather effortlessly with the help of  new media applications, such as social media sites. Social media often seems to be seen as a panacea for many different development challenges.  All it takes from us is a ‘mouse click’ and we can become active participants in global development work. Or is it that simple?

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Armchair advocates and social media

by Peppi-Emilia Airike on October 14, 2013

in Uncategorized

In today’s 21st century world, media audiences are more active than in the earlier decades, and they are now also seen as media users, participants and consumers (Lievrouw, 2011; Mandiberg, 2012). The strict line between media producers and consumers has indeed become blurred (Mandiberg, 2012). The new media’s ‘bottow-up’ landscape has created new possibilities for interaction and alternative expression among activists and different groups that challenge the mainstream views (Lievrouw, 2011). Blogs, websites, wikis and social media sites, among others, allow different groups create and sustain communities, become known and gain more visibility, give voice and a platform for alternative and marginal views, and resist and confront the dominant and mainstream politics, power and media culture (Lievrouw, 2011).

Tweeting-a-Revolution1

Photo source: lizadonnelly

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Professional privilege in social media

by Therese Sjödin on October 14, 2013

in Activism,Social Movements

There are many examples of different usages of social media that would be appropriate to bring up here regarding who participates in ICT4D and how. The ones that I want to discuss with you can be seen as showing similar aspects concerning professional privilege while at the same time being different in the aims and the ways they were arranged. First some short background;

  • The #1millionshirts initiative, that Manning (2012) brings up (and Lucia has mentioned here already), spread via the founder’s blog, Youtube and Twitter and it takes place at a local and individual level. The aim is to engage other individuals to practical action as well as creating awareness of problems in Africa (although this was exactly why the initiative was critiqued and later had to close down  – is African countries really in need of one million t-shirts?) You can check out the Youtube video further down to get some more info and hear the founder’s own words about this if you like.
  •  The #MDG summit in 2010 that Denskus and Esser have researched (2013) via blogs and Twitter is taking place at a totally different level which can be seen as global and institutional. According to the authors, the UN sees this kind of global conference as an important tool “to shape our global future” (Denskus & Esser 2013:408). From this and the research, the aim seems to be to share information and reports discussed in the conference but also to discuss the issues brought up at the summit with a broader public.

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Something transformational has been happening online. The participators of the social media have changed. African voices have begun populating social media and we are no longer faced with what is called “the danger of a single story”. New stories are being told through social media such as Twitter, Facebook and other forms. These powerful tools are also used for organising developing African-driven institutions and communities.

Development projects such as: #1millionshirts campaign and Invincible Children’s campaign took a lot of critics by the African diaspora. Misguided development projects such as these two are now in focus of the attention and encourage more collaboration and shared learning. International development gatherings and discussions are now not only held in western countries. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter projects and solutions are shared among the continent. See a foto of Ugandans watch Kony 2012. The video was dismissed by many in the diaspora as ‘over-simplified’ and “misleading”.

Kony 2012 screening Photo source: theguardian.com/ Kony 2012 screening

Through the social media communities all of us in the community can benefit of the community development. African diaspora mean it is important to engage in the political process both at the international and local level. Important for political change is collective voice and money to engage continent. The African diaspora is also using social media to raise funding for projects on the continent.

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Social media are considered as a potentially effective means of improving the relationship between citizens and the representatives. The web encourage actively contributing, collaboration, social networking and interacting. Citizens are no longer viewed as passive receivers, but rather as actively contributing, collaborating in political processes. The traditional relationship between political elites and citizens is transfomered.

With the rise of the media culture social media had a dramatic increase in usage such as weblogs and wikis, and social media applications and services such as YouTube, Facebook and twitter. Many political powers have noticed the change and therefore adopted the participatory approach in their campaigns. This is a result of changing trends in political engagement.

obama Photo source: blogs.monash.edu

 

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