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 →
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 →
In an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, it was reported that last month, Tali Coral, the operator of the page When He Pays, was blocked again by Facebook, only two weeks after the social network had admitted that previous sanctions against her and the page, which is used to combat the Israeli prostitution industry and its customers, were imposed by mistake.
Image taken from When He Pays Facebook-page campaign
According to Coral, she was blocked from publishing on the campaign-page for three days because a customer reported her for one of her posts: she published a screenshot of an email she received from him under a pseudonym in which he described to her in details his encounters with a “service provider” while paradoxically reprimanding her for accusing him of being a client of the sex industry. Two weeks beforehand, Coral’s personal account was blocked for 24 hours, and some of the posts on the campaign-page were deleted due to “violation of Facebook’s community standards”. Since it was her third warning, the social network threatened to delete the entire page. Continue reading →