SOCIAL MEDIA, POLITICALCHANGE, AND HUMAN RIGHTS Sarah Joseph (2012)
So what’s it about? The role of social media in progressive political change is examined•“Does social media deserve the plaudits it hasreceived?” (p146)•Arab Spring Uprisings 2011 – “Twitter Revolutions”?? – Was Twitter’s role in the uprisings THAT instrumental to their success? *IT WAS A CATALYST FOR ACTION* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6S8iQ5KSkU
Malcolm Gladwell & The Skeptics• “SLACTIVISM” (p150)• “Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things people do when they’re not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice” (p150)• It distracts people from “real” activism > DELUSION http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc
A QUICK MOMENT ON KONY 2012 (and social media)• We like to make fun of KONY. And Facebook. And Twitter. A lot.• WE are sitting in a world renowned, democratically free educational institution• It is my democratic right to tell you this• It is your democratic right to listen (or not)• Do we take this for granted?
Clay Shirky & The Believers• FORMATION OF WELL-CONSIDERED POLITICAL THOUGHT: 1. ACCESS TO INFORMATION 2. USE OF THAT INFORMATION IN CONVERSTAION AND DEBATE• “Social media has revolutionized how people form political opinions and has made information so widely accessible that more people than ever are able to develop considered points of view” (p152)• EYEWITNESS ACOUNTS: “Reporting is no longer confined to traditional sources like journalism” – “Information is spreading faster and farther… [it has] allowed us to see into many parts of the world that were previously shrouded by oppressive governments or geographical boundaries” (p153)
• “Anyone in the vicinity of an event with audacity and a camera can document brutality and spread it on the internet” (p153) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgCziE-Qxg
ETHAN ZUCKERMAN’S CUTE CAT THEORY OF DIGITAL ACTIVISM
THE FORCES OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS (Morozov) A facilitator of pro-democratic revolution? or A tool of oppression?•GPS systems on internet used to track dissidents in Iran and Belarus•‘Friend’ connections can unravel entire dissident networks rather than justone person•Data-mining sensitive keywords•Facial Recognition•“Personalization” (p169)
PLEASE WAKE UP.• Log onto Facebook• Grab a pen and paper• Write down 3 to 5 people you ‘stalk’• Write down 3 to 5 ‘things’ you do on the internet (online shopping, health and fitness blogs, travel/accomodation, celebrity gossip, music) NOTICE ANYTHING INTERESTING?
CENSORSHIP it’s a fine line.. “Even violence is sometimes legitimate, as in the case ofproportionate self-defense against a government crackdown, as may have occurred in Libya and Syria” (p181) QUESTION:In such situations, should social media companies remove pages that advocate fighting back against a violent regime? Where and when can we make this exception?
“Just because you can mobilize a hundredmillion people on Twitter… does not mean that you should” (Morozov, p187)“Just as social media can coordinate legitimate and profound political mobilization, it canundoubtedly play a role in provoking mayhem” (p174) http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=k7H02HSip_c&feature=fvwrel
CONCLUSIONS“Perhaps Gladwell’s skepticism over therevolutionary potential of social media is correctwith regard to the developed world” (p186) BUT“The increase of unfiltered connectionsbetween people of different cultural, political,and economic outlooks is likely to have someunprecedented and beneficial consequencesfor…global activism” (p186)