26
Oct 16

Wael Ghonim “Cyberoptimist”

anatomy-1751201_960_720Wael Ghonim, an Egyptian cyberactivist who participated in the uprisings of the Arab Spring in his country, was one of the speakers who participated last December in the TEDGlobal talks with a speech entitled “Let’s design social media to promote a real change.” In his talk, Ghonim makes an interesting reflection, based on his personal experience about the effects and evolution of actions promoted over the Internet and social media. This action adds to a list of previous papers that addresses the issue of power of social media, and is closely related in particular to the presentation given by the academic Clay Shirky in June 2009 about the power of news reporting through social networks by citizens in repressive regimes. The diffusion of the Internet May Have a palpable bearing on civic participation (Morozov, 2011). Continue reading →


25
Oct 16

Hackers – Could They have Found New Kinds of Activism?

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A few weeks ago, while searching for documentaries to watch, I landed on two interesting ones about hackers in two free-of-charge streaming websites of UR—The Swedish educational broadcasting company—which is an independent public service company that operates together with SVT (Swedish public television). The first documentary is a 28minutes-long episode that is a part of an 8-episodes series called Aktivismens Tid (Activism Time) from 2014 that is produced by UR. The second one is almost an hour-long called Internetaktivisterna (Internet Activists) from 2015 by the French director Flo Laval. What I found interesting about these documentaries was that they show not only the different kinds of activism hackers engage with, but also the way they propagate and share technological knowledge with “ordinary people”, primarily knowledge about internet surveillance/censorship and the ways people can avoid it, that is, use the internet in a safer way. Thus, from, generally, being focused on working with other hackers on projects like open-source/free software, hackers have been engaging in a more collaborative work with others like ordinary people and different kinds of social organizations who have no previous relation to hacker culture. Continue reading →


19
Oct 16

Social Networking & Activism “Tweets and the Street”

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As we know, the main instrument within the New Media Activism are the  “new communication technologies like the internet, mobile phones, and more recently social media applications — especially social network- ing platforms like Twitter or Facebook — [that] are regarded by many as drivers of revolutionary changes in our societies”(Archetti, 2012, p. 182). These changes are not only social, but they also play a large role in politics.  “New media, such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, have played a major role in episodes of contentious political action. They are often described as important tools for activists seeking to replace authoritarian regimes and to promote freedom and democracy, and they have been lauded for their democratizing potential.” (Aday et al., 2010, p. 3) Continue reading →


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