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  1. Hey Julen,

    At first glance, A4C presents as a textbook case of what Postill (via Doctorow) labels “the mainstreaming of nerd politics” (p. 414), whereby freshly radicalised hackers remobilise their traditional concern with free culture, in the hopes of leveraging their know-how to midwife broader social engagement.

    The targeted, process-oriented qualities of apps like Buycott and FireChat bolster Postill’s argument that we’re witnessing the deliberate creation of an internet protest culture primarily characterised by a self-aware techno-pragmatism, one that bears little resemblance to the deluded slacktivism of caricature. And the fact that Podemos has made productive use of Appgree certainly speaks to Postill’s contention that all this represents a “convergence of internet freedom activism and broader popular struggles” (Ibid.)

    That said, watching Appgree’s glibly naïve promotional film gives cause for pause, and suggests to me that the—albeit, unintentional—dystopian undertones so derided by Morozov have not yet been stricken from the field of new media activism. Appgree’s faith in the wonders of aggregation is worryingly reductive, and runs the risk of substituting what I call passive Potemkin participation for truly deliberative engagement, recasting activism as so much window-dressing.

    So it all feels a little ‘two steps forward, one step back’ to me.

    Morozov, E. (2013). To save everything, click here: technology, solutionism and the urge to fix problems that don’t exist. London: Penguin Books, 2013.

    Postill, J. (2014). Freedom technologists and the new protest movements: A theory of protest formulas. Convergence, 20(4), 402-418. doi:10.1177/1354856514541350