Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Continuous Analytical
Reflection
21st Century Revolutions
21st Century Revolutions: an overview
• While the late 20th century saw a relative lack of
"mainstream" political activism...
Social media in the 21st century
• Social media is "a group of Internet-based applications that build
on the ideological a...
The Arab Spring (2011-present)
• Arguably the most notable "socially-driven" revolution in the
21st century is the Arab Sp...
"Occupy" movement (2011-present)
• The Occupy movement is (was?) a loose political movement with the intention of
bringing...
SOPA and copyright (2012)
• SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) was a bill proposed by US
senators for the purpose of cracking d...
Annotations
1. ["Occupy" movement (2011-present)] The "political activism" of Anonymous is often highly mocked (and outrig...
Text References
• Beaumont, Peter. "The truth about Twitter, Facebook and the uprisings in the Arab world."
The Guardian, ...
Image References
1. http://thelittlelocalmarketingcompany.co.uk/?page_id=188 The Little Local Marketing
Company (accessed ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Reflection - 21st century revolutions

757 views

Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Reflection - 21st century revolutions

  1. 1. Continuous Analytical Reflection 21st Century Revolutions
  2. 2. 21st Century Revolutions: an overview • While the late 20th century saw a relative lack of "mainstream" political activism compared to previous decades, the advent of the internet became the catalyst for the rise of a new "protest culture" [Gerbaudo, 2012] • Social media and websites, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, have allowed for better organisation of political activism, without regard to physical borders • This slide covers the importance of social media in political activism in the 21st century, and covers three specific movements; the Arab Spring of early 2011, the Occupy movement of late 2011, and the activity against SOPA in early 2012 A list of the most prominent examples of social media (1)
  3. 3. Social media in the 21st century • Social media is "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content." [Haenlein and Kaplan, 2010] • Due to the global nature of the internet, it has been a popular method of communication among political activists of all ideologies, and particularly those who consider themselves "anti- authoritarian" in some way; as such, it is often used to circumvent state censorship [Gerbaudo, 2012] • Facebook has proven particularly dominant, with over a billion (estimated) unique users • Other sites and devices used in the spread of social media include Twitter,YouTube, and smartphones of all sorts • Governments have reacted variously to the advent of social media; in some cases embracing them, and in others attempting to regulate them or block access entirely [Beaumont, 2011] Social media in 2013 (2)
  4. 4. The Arab Spring (2011-present) • Arguably the most notable "socially-driven" revolution in the 21st century is the Arab Spring, a series of political activism in the Middle East and related countries; it began in late 2010 in Tunisia (leading to the ousting of its government), and has since caused a "domino effect" throughout the Arab world • These protests led to many governments attempting to cut off access to the internet (and phone lines!) in an effort to prevent the revolution from making further progress; supporters, both domestic and foreign, banded together in order to facilitate alternate means of communication [Beaumont, 2011] • Various writers have noted the prominent role of social media in the Arab Spring, with Facebook and Twitter in the spotlight (to the point of their being celebrated in political graffiti by the protestors) [Gerbaudo, 2012]; it can be seen as building upon earlier political activism with the use of such devices and sites. In these cases, Facebook was the more popular outlet of choice, demonstrating its sheer dominance in the internet landscape [Beaumont, 2011] Arab Spring protestors from various countries (3)
  5. 5. "Occupy" movement (2011-present) • The Occupy movement is (was?) a loose political movement with the intention of bringing to attention the economic crisis and its effects on the masses [Gerbaudo, 2012] • In Occupy's case, Twitter was the social site of dominance regarding organisation and mobilisation (as seen in the original poster to the right, with the #occupywallstreet Twitter hashtag) • Unlike the other movements mentioned in this presentation, Occupy began as a "shot in the dark" by the Canadian alternative news source Adbusters. Perhaps they were trying to replicate the the success of the Arab Spring? Either way, for various reasons, the movement proved disappointing in both turnout and activity; Gerbaudo notes that its failure may be due to the fact that it lacked a "resonant narration, capable of motivating people to take to the streets" [Gerbaudo, 2012] • One of the most prominent internet presences would be that of the group "Anonymous", known for its "We are legion, we do not forgive, we do not forget" creed and its support of Wikileaks and other "anti-establishment" movements [Gerbaudo, 2012] (that said, Anonymous isn't so much a "group" than it is simply the sum total of the internet; a summary of its origins can be found in the notes below) • Critics of the movement have accused it of "lacking a purpose"; supporters counter that the mass media led a "smear campaign" against it, leading to its fizzling and slow dissolution [Gerbaudo, 2012] OccupyWall Street's original promotional poster (4)
  6. 6. SOPA and copyright (2012) • SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) was a bill proposed by US senators for the purpose of cracking down on sites accused of online "piracy"; critics attacked the bill, accusing it of draconian policies and supporting its advocates at expense of independent creators [Pepitone, 2012] • In protest, many websites (among them Wikipedia, Reddit and the Pirate Bay) "blacked out" their sites on January 18, 2012, and petitions were launched online in opposition; SOPA and its sister bill PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) were indefinitely postponed in the aftermath [Pepitone, 2012] • Unsurprisingly, social media played a prominent role in spreading this information; Reddit in particular originally began as a site for technology-related news, appealing to such a crowd • Fredriksson [2014] mentions "harsh resistance from the Napster generation" in regards to such actions; having grown in such a technology-saturated era, any attempt to halt it is seen as censorship, and they inevitably fight against it (tying into the "anti-authoritarian" air cultivated by the millennial generation as mentioned by Gerbaudo) Logo of the Pirate Bay, one of the most prominent sites in the movement for net neutrality and copyright reform/abolition (5)
  7. 7. Annotations 1. ["Occupy" movement (2011-present)] The "political activism" of Anonymous is often highly mocked (and outright hated) by veterans of 4chan, where the meme originated as a crass in-joke referring to the back-and-forth flood of trolling and insults of anonymous posters on the site. Indeed, said "activism" originated as yet another trolling raid (this one against Scientology, in early January 2008), which quickly spun out of control when new users who failed to understand the joke took it seriously. It's almost an unspoken rule that one does not talk about political activism positively on the site, else one risks facing extreme backlash from the site's users (the Scientology raid seems to serve as a source of old shame for them). That is putting it politely; 4chan's Random board (/b/) is known as (and forgive my crudeness here, but I find it necessary) the "asshole of the internet" for good reason. Suffice to say that shock sites would almost be a relief compared to 10 minutes on /b/. The Guy Fawkes masks are a reference to the comic book series "V for Vendetta" (worn by the protagonist V, an anarchist), and are prominent in the "Epic Fail Guy" meme, which depicted a mask-wearing man failing spectacularly in his various endeavours. 2. [SOPA and copyright] Napster was one of the earliest peer-to-peer files to gain prominence (around the year 2000); it has since been shut down due to legal action taken against it. Thus, the "Napster generation" is a general term for those who grew up in the technologically-dominant age of the new millennium. Debate over copyright and file-sharing has occurred for almost as long as the internet's existence; the revolt against SOPA is simply the most prominent example in recent years.
  8. 8. Text References • Beaumont, Peter. "The truth about Twitter, Facebook and the uprisings in the Arab world." The Guardian, February 25, 2011. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/feb/25/twitter- facebook-uprisings-arab-libya (accessed May 25, 2014). • Fredriksson, Martin. "Copyright Culture and Pirate Politics." Cultural Studies (2014), doi: 10.1080/09502386.2014.886483 • Gerbaudo, Paolo. Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism. London, England: Pluto Press, 2012. • Haenlein, Michael and Andreas M. Kaplan. "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media." Business Horizons 53 (2010), 59-68. • Pepitone, Julianne. "SOPA explained: What it is and why it matters." CNN, January 20, 2012 http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/17/technology/sopa_explained/index.htm (accessed May 25, 2014).
  9. 9. Image References 1. http://thelittlelocalmarketingcompany.co.uk/?page_id=188 The Little Local Marketing Company (accessed May 25, 2014). 2. https://conversationprism.com/store/The Conversation Prism (accessed May 25, 2014). 3. http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2013/05/11/the-arab-spring-conspiracy-theory-or-national- will/ Foreign PolicyAssociation Forbes (accessed May 25, 2014). 4. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2011/10/18/before-occupy-wall-street- i-too-was-a-revolutionary/ Forbes (accessed May 25, 2014). 5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Pirate_Bay_logo.svg Wikipedia, via the Pirate Bay (accessed May 25, 2014).

×