Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Social Movement Media Strategies - Immigrants' Rights Movements

One of the central projects that I have been involved with during the fall semester examines the role of media and technology in immigrants' rights movements. I have been able to conduct several interviews with student organizers and community members, which have been very insightful into media strategies. The three most significant findings thus-far are: 1) The need for low cost and sustainable media and technology in order to facilitate organizing efforts 2) The centrality of social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter to reach communities at large and 3) The important role that national alliances and networks play in organizing efforts, especially in conversation with state level and federal level legislative measures. The goal for this project is to provide a comparative study of media strategies amongst immigrants' rights movements on a national level, in order to understand effective uses and also challenges posed. More interviews are yet to come, mostly from Eastern states, as much work on the subject has already been gathered on the South West.

The Spanish Revolution & the Internet: From free culture to meta-politics

Anonymity's Role In Activism

[I wasn’t able to spend time on IRC this week, as by the time I gained access to the Etherpad to see the assignment, I was at my office. Ironically, almost half of the links from the articles were blocked; gaining access to IRC from my current client’s office is laughable at this point.]

I’ve been thinking a great deal about the role of anonymity in discourse and consensus lately: anonymity as an enabler, anonymity as a deterrent. At his SXSW keynote last year, 4chan founder Christopher Poole referred to Mark Zuckerberg’s assertion that anonymity online could be equated to cowardice. Poole wholly disagreed with the statement, noting that anonymity “lets you create without the fear of mistakes.”

Desobediencia digital en Costa Rica

En el momento que escribo este texto, un grupo de hackers llamado el Security Warriors Team SWT, lanzó un ataque al sitio web de la empresa de teléfonos celurares Movistar de Costa Rica este viernes 18 de noviembre. Los hackers sobrepusieron la imagen del sitio y logo de su grupo en la portada del sitio web de Movistar.cr. La imagen esta a continuación: http://www.nacion.com/2011-11-18/Portada/Hackers-atacaron-pagina-web-de-...

Something Short

Using Ukraine as my point of reference, I decided to list some of the pros and cons of online media in democratic transition and consolidation. My eventual aim is to gain an understanding of why the same tools that enabled Ukraine’s democratic transition have been so ineffective at the stage of consolidation. Mind you, I am trying to avoid falling into the trap of techno-determinism. Rather than scrutinize the inherent qualities of the technology itself, I am examining how ICTs have functioned in the context of a real-life movement, particularly when they are co-opted by traditional civic actors.

Strengths:
- Disseminate info more quickly and to a wider audience (ex. exposing election fraud, organizing protests, etc.)
- More platforms for critical discussion – especially important in non-democratic regimes where fewer opportunities exist offline.
- Online coverage keeps international community informed of developments, more likely to provide monetary support and/or place pressure on government for democratic reform.

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