Unlike Us #2: Understanding Social Media Monopolies and Their Alternatives
Session 5: Pitfalls of Building Social Media Alternatives (Debate)

Elijah Sparrow (USA) from Crabgrass
Conference Day 2: March 10 2012 Amsterdam, 13.30 – 15.30

Crabgrass is a software libre web application designed for social networking, group collaboration and network organizing. Our goal is to create communication tools that are tailored specifically to meet the needs of bottom up grassroots organizing. While social movements have grown more adept at using the web to communicate publicly, we are still mostly using inadequate tools to communicate amongst ourselves. Most groups rely heavily on email, lists, and wikis–but these tools are not suited for the complexity of relationships that activist organizations face in the real world. The internet may herald a deep change in democratic communication, but the internet is simultaneously the most effective tool for mass surveillance ever devised. The goal of Crabgrass is to become a secure alternative to surveillance-based online tools that most activists rely on today.


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