by Michael O’Regan
There’s an observable inclination in some of the literature to automatically associate digital communication with progressive political practices. For example, Hintz’ normative formulation of civil society media explicitly excludes “right-wing movements” (Hintz, 2007, p. 244). Likewise, although Taub et. al (2012) reach overwhelmingly negative conclusions about the techniques and effectiveness of Kony 2012, they acknowledge that the campaign was initially driven by the noblest ameliorative motives.
But it’s salient to remember that new media may also “empower illiberal actors”, (Aday et.al, 2010, p. 7) and can be “fuelled by reactionary tendencies and aims”, (Cammaerts, 2007, p. 217) emboldening those individuals and groups seeking to develop communication against social change. Continue reading →