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A Short History of Net Activism


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An overview of net activism from to Sanders 2016 in connection with interview of Professor Matthew R. Kerbel, who is the author of the newly released Next Generation Netroots: Realignment and the Rise of the Internet Left on Cyber Law & Business Report.

Published in: News & Politics
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A Short History of Net Activism

  1. 1. A Short History of Net Activism 1
  2. 2. 1998 founded, delivers 500,000 signatures in opposition to Clinton impeachment. Creates PAC to target pro-impeachment leaders. 2
  3. 3. 2000 John McCain raises $500,000 online in 24-hours following New Hampshire primary win. John McCain raises $500,000 online in 24-hours following New Hampshire primary win. 3
  4. 4. 2002 Daily Kos founded by Markos Moulitsas, who would go on to be among the first bloggers given press credentials to cover the Democratic National Convention. 4
  5. 5. 2003 Howard Dean’s presidential campaign draws huge crowds using Meetup. 5
  6. 6. 2003 launches. Site was credited by Columbia Journalism Review for being one of the first media sources to have framed the [Niger] uranium deceptions as part of the President’s familiar M.O. 6
  7. 7. 2004 ActBlue, a clearinghouse for fundraising for Democratic campaigns. It has raised $1,198,272,426 to date. 7
  8. 8. 2004 Rock the Vote campaign registers an estimated 1.2 million new voters. 8
  9. 9. 2005 YouTube and Huffington Post launch. 9
  10. 10. 2006 Netroots Nation conference debuts as Yearly Kos in Las Vegas with 1,200 attendees. 10
  11. 11. 2006 The importance of YouTube becomes evident when Sen. George Allen (R-VA) called opposition campaign volunteer S.R. Sidarth “macaca.” The video went viral and is seen as a major turning point that led to Allen’s defeat and the Democrats retaking the Senate. 11
  12. 12. 2007 The beginning of the presidential race saw new innovations – Money Bombs, the use of Ustream to live stream events, the first YouTube debate and the expansion of the race into social media. 12
  13. 13. 2008 Americans For Prosperity launch Right Online in effort to match Netroots Nations. 13
  14. 14. 2008 “Yes We Can,” the video for Senator Obama was a viral sensation with over 21 million views by July 22, 2008. It won a Webby Award for "Artist of the Year“. 14
  15. 15. 2008 The Obama campaign introduced the first campaign mobile app and text messaged its selection of a running mate. 15
  16. 16. 2008 Senator Obama dominated the internet, raising over $500 million online. He had huge advantages in support on Social Media: Facebook - Obama has 380% more supporters than McCain YouTube - 905% more viewers than McCain Twitter - 240 times more followers in Twitter than McCain 16
  17. 17. 2009 Obama administration partners with 17
  18. 18. 2012 Internet Blackout to protest Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) involves 70,000 websites. Triggers 10 million petition signatures, 8 million calls and 4 million emails to Capitol Hill. As a result, 19 Senators came out against legislation including 7 former sponsors. 18
  19. 19. 2012 Romney 47 percent comments captured on video and goes viral. 19
  20. 20. 2012 President Obama continued his digital domination, raising $690 million online. Expanded use of social media, to organize events, hold town halls. The tweet to the right was the most retweeted of the year. 20
  21. 21. 2014 John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight rant on Net Neutrality encouraging viewers to submit comments to Federal Communications Commission causes FCC website to crash after 45,000 comments the next day. 21
  22. 22. 2016 Bernie Sanders retained Revolution Messaging led by veterans from the Dean and Obama campaigns. He matches Dean in drawing big crowds. While Sanders does not match Obama’s level of fundraising, he nearly matches Clinton in fundraising – raising $216 million out of approx. $230 million total online. 22
  23. 23. 2016 Sanders most ardent online supporters earn the moniker “Bernie Bots” or “Bernie Bros” and actually become a campaign liability. 23
  24. 24. 2016 Sanders is not able to rebuild the Obama coalition, however, as his strength online does not translate into support with traditional Democratic constituencies who largely back Hillary Clinton with Sanders main edge being among white males. . 24