DPI-665 Politics of the Internet      Mar 19, 2012  Open/Networked PoliticalMovements: The Tea Party and     Occupy Wall S...
Topics for discussion• In structural terms, how are the Tea  Party and Occupy Wall Street similar?• How do they differ?• H...
Beginnings• Pre-existing networking    • Pre-existing networking  (#tcot, Freedom Works)       (Wisconsin, NYABC)• Rick Sa...
Growth phase• Aug 2009 town halls • Labor/community• Sept 12 Glenn Beck     march on Oct 5,  DC rally               2011 i...
Tea Party in the news• Fox News  anticipates the  news, helping build  support for the first  April 15, 2009  rallies (Sou...
Tea Party in the news (cont.)• The same was  true for July 4  and August  recess Tea  Party events  (Source:  Williamson, ...
Occupy in the news• Early  coverage was  self-  generated• Police  clashes were  central
OWS: Twitter vs newspapers
Occupy vs Tea Party (news)• Tea Party boosted  by early coverage  from Fox News
Occupy growth on Facebook• Local Occupies  rapidly multiply via  Facebook• Initial burst of  affiliation levels off
Viral saturation
Role of networking• Tea Party Patriots    • Occupy relied more  relied more on Ning     heavily on Twitter,  group, weekly...
#tcot• As of July  2009, Top  Conservatives  on Twitter were  a vibrant  interconnected  community
Occupy Livestreams
TPP on Ning• 92,000 active  members
TPP on Facebook• 855,000 likes, but  not that many  people “talking  about” TPP as of  now.
Freedom Connector• 171,000 active  participants; still  growing.• More varied base,  includes  evangelicals, not  just TP
The role of e-groups• FreedomWorks  email list goes out to  more than 1 million  members• Relationship  between Occupy  an...
NYCGA Structure
NYCGA Working groups
OWS on Facebook
What do they have in             common?• Anyone can start a       • Confusion as to  chapter                             ...
How do they differ?• Several top-down       • No top-down list  hubs/lists (Freedom    • Wary of ties to  Works, TPP list)...
Core elements of a movement:     How well do they do?• Sustained, organized public effort  making collective claims on tar...
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Open/Networked Movements: Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party

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In this class we looked at the similarities and differences in how Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are structured; how they burst onto the American political scene; the role of mainstream media in affecting their growth; and the challenges that come with open and networked political movements.

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Open/Networked Movements: Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party

  1. 1. DPI-665 Politics of the Internet Mar 19, 2012 Open/Networked PoliticalMovements: The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Strengths and Weaknesses Micah L. Sifry Audio: http://bit.ly/H3NLXH CC-BY-NC-SA
  2. 2. Topics for discussion• In structural terms, how are the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street similar?• How do they differ?• How has the Internet enabled these movements?• What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  3. 3. Beginnings• Pre-existing networking • Pre-existing networking (#tcot, Freedom Works) (Wisconsin, NYABC)• Rick Santelli CNBC • Adbusters “call to “rant” Occupy Wall St”• Local meetings --> local • Local rally becomes a rallies “general assembly”• Local coordinators start • Sept 17 occupation at to network Zuccotti• Fox coverage starts • First “pepper spray” (pre-April 15) incident
  4. 4. Growth phase• Aug 2009 town halls • Labor/community• Sept 12 Glenn Beck march on Oct 5, DC rally 2011 in NYC• Movement growth • Occupations spread peaks to hundreds of cities• Shift to GOP primary in October challenges in 2010 • Crackdown and and 2012 pres dispersion by end of primary November • Now what??
  5. 5. Tea Party in the news• Fox News anticipates the news, helping build support for the first April 15, 2009 rallies (Source: Skocpol and Williamson)
  6. 6. Tea Party in the news (cont.)• The same was true for July 4 and August recess Tea Party events (Source: Williamson, Skocpol and Coggin)
  7. 7. Occupy in the news• Early coverage was self- generated• Police clashes were central
  8. 8. OWS: Twitter vs newspapers
  9. 9. Occupy vs Tea Party (news)• Tea Party boosted by early coverage from Fox News
  10. 10. Occupy growth on Facebook• Local Occupies rapidly multiply via Facebook• Initial burst of affiliation levels off
  11. 11. Viral saturation
  12. 12. Role of networking• Tea Party Patriots • Occupy relied more relied more on Ning heavily on Twitter, group, weekly calls Facebook, YouTube• Local TP Meetups • Google Groups• #tcot • Livestreamers
  13. 13. #tcot• As of July 2009, Top Conservatives on Twitter were a vibrant interconnected community
  14. 14. Occupy Livestreams
  15. 15. TPP on Ning• 92,000 active members
  16. 16. TPP on Facebook• 855,000 likes, but not that many people “talking about” TPP as of now.
  17. 17. Freedom Connector• 171,000 active participants; still growing.• More varied base, includes evangelicals, not just TP
  18. 18. The role of e-groups• FreedomWorks email list goes out to more than 1 million members• Relationship between Occupy and MoveOn not as close
  19. 19. NYCGA Structure
  20. 20. NYCGA Working groups
  21. 21. OWS on Facebook
  22. 22. What do they have in common?• Anyone can start a • Confusion as to chapter goals• No one leader giving orders • “Bad apple” problem• Loose coordination of hard to control chapters• Competition of tactics• Dispersion of information by social media
  23. 23. How do they differ?• Several top-down • No top-down list hubs/lists (Freedom • Wary of ties to Works, TPP list) Democratic groups,• Close ties to billionaires national GOP • Includes civil groups, billionaires disobedience• Mostly law-abiding
  24. 24. Core elements of a movement: How well do they do?• Sustained, organized public effort making collective claims on target audiences (“a campaign”)• A repertoire of shared political actions• Unity, numbers and commitment

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