Unlike Us #3 - Social Media: Design or Decline
Session 5: Facebook Riot: Join or Decline
Thomas Boeschoten (NL): Project X: Participation and Mobilization on Facebook
Conference Day #2 (23 March 2013)
The tendency to praise Twitter and Facebook for their revolutionary powers has mostly passed. We might even think first about the London riots and Project X when it comes to the mobilizing qualities of these networks. Still, the concept of ‘liberation technology’— information and communication technologies that empower grassroots movements—continues to influence our ideas about networked participation. Could there even be something like #Occupy without social media? Activists use social media to further their goals, but in that way are also dependent on the platform. Is a non-commercial, free and open network essential in that respect? But then, how do you reach as many people as possible? How do social media and the control issues of internet influence the practice of protest? Governments can use the same social media tools for surveillance, propaganda or detection. We need to envision organized networks based on strong ties, yet open enough to grow quickly if the time is right.