Social Media and Collective Action:From the Middle East to MichiganDr. Cliff LampeSchool of InformationNovember 2, 2011 Flicker: Kemal Y.
“May you live in interesting times.” - ancient curse
Social media does not*cause* collective action, itfacilitates it.
The Past Year
People engaged in collectiveaction
Which is not always positive
The role of informationtechnology and social media
Social media tools reduce the cost of distribution
Mobile hardware makeseveryone a media producer Flickr: mbaudier
Ubiquity of the tool spread ideasGuardian.co.uk
Distributed and independent
A rich social media environment was inplace before the protests - mostly youth
Social media provided an alternative to state controlled media
What is social media?
Common characteristicsUser generated contentDirect user-to-user interactionBundles of applications
Cautions about social media
More local examples
SummarySocial media tools: Reduce the cost of mass distribution Work with ubiquitous hardware Allow for “network effects”Concerns Deception Infrastructure is vulnerable SlacktivismNext steps Education - social media literacy Research - What worked, what didn’t.