by Iulia

Alternative computing relates to the hardware, software, and institutional power and gatekeeping of the material ICT infrastructure. It is the province of highly skilled programmers and engineers who oppose and work around commercial or political constraints on access to information or information technology.

Commons-based peer production is a term coined by Harvard Law School professor Yochai Benkler. It describes a new model of socio-economic production in which the creative energy of large numbers of people is coordinated (usually with the aid of the Internet) into large, meaningful projects mostly without traditional hierarchical organization. These projects are often, but not always, conceived without financial compensation for contributors. The term is often used interchangeably with the term social production.

A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use and build upon a work that they have created. CC provides an author flexibility (for example, they might choose to allow only non-commercial uses of their own work) and protects the people who use or redistribute an author’s work, so they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the conditions that are specified in the license by which the author distributes the work.

Culture jamming is a genre which critiques popular mainstream culture, particularly corporate capitalism, commercialism and consumerism. Here media artists and activists appropriate and ‘repurpose’ elements from popular culture to make new works with an ironic or subversive points – put another way, culture jamming ‘mines’ mainstream culture to critique it.

Dadaist and Situationist movements originated in Europe during the World War I with an objective to overturn dominant and taken for granted meanings in terms of culture and politics. These early attempts of ‘remix culture’ through juxtaposition, recombination of disparate elements of text, sound and image to create new meanings can be compared to modern day activists objectives and new media cultures (Lievrouw, 2011, pp. 29-30)

Indignados/ 15M Movement is an independent activist movement which started in May 2011 in 58 cities of Spain against the two party political system which has failed the youth and the public in terms of unemployment and basic rights. Approximately 8 million Spaniards have so far participated in this movement so far according to Wikipedia.

Mediated mobilization relates to the domain of politico-cultural organizing and social movements. It takes advantage of web-based social software tools like social network sites, personal blogs, flash mobs and email list servers, as well as DIY digital media, to cultivate interpersonal networks online and to mobilize those networks to engage in live and mediated collective action.

Mediation refers to the use of technological channels to extend or enhance communication, and the interpersonal process of participation or intervention in the creation and sharing of meaning.

Networks of Counterpower is a term explained by Castells (2013), according him information is “the fundamental source of power and counter- power” in a battle “over the minds of the people.” He does not see the media as holders of power, but as creators of the space in which power is decided. Although the medium impacts the type and effectiveness of the message, it does not determine the content or the effect of those messages. Technology simply provides the field upon which the battle for minds is fought. He explains that a number of media trends are changing the relationship between those who hold power and those who contest and resist power. With the emergence of a horizontal form of communication made possible by the new media technologies in which people communicate on an equal basis such as in the case of activists gadget prototypes created during the Indignados movement.

Open Collaboration is any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants, who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and non-contributors alike.

Reverse Jamming is a term explained in Lievrouw, (2011, pp.80-82) when Culture Jamming creates an alternative culture as a critique to mainstream culture as an outcry toward inequities, hypocrisies and absurdities – these trends of culture jam are again cross-appropriated by marketers to create cool subcultures to sell products, fashions and ideas. I refer to the case of activism which similarly borrowed the commercially popular design (Re-Reverse Jamming) of lingerie patterns launched by Victoria’s Secret toward creating a socially responsible fashion in the favor of the company rather than against it. 

The Streisand effect is an Internet-coined name (although the effect predates the popular usage of the Internet) for a phenomenon whereby an attempt to censor or gag a report has led to great interest in the story or work that nobody would have noticed had they not attempted to ban or censor it in the first place. Some people have proposed that it be called Streisand’s Law on account of how inevitable the effect is.