Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Good Old Fashioned Protest

I think the role of high profile folks in uniform chaining themselves to the White House railings the last couple of months had an effect comparable to the one it had for the suffragists under Wilson. I think activists need to move on (so probably should MoveOn, come to think of it) from the endless online petitions and sternly worded letters to the facilitation of flash mobs and other forms of real-world nonviolent but truly disruptive protest.

Online activism enabled by social software, like so much "participation" online facilitated by social networking sites -- all just so much "befriending" of strangers and commodities, so much self-promotional confession without substantial engagement, so many blogposts and tweets of "self-expression" without the substantiating expectation of a hearing or a real response -- amounts to little more than the usual harmless mass media marketing and surveillance and consumption in the service of incumbent elites. When resistance has a logo, you can be sure it isn't resistance but capture.

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