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<nettime> Mini-Conference: Social media activism in the Arab World and C
Thomas Poell on Mon, 3 Dec 2012 23:13:50 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Mini-Conference: Social media activism in the Arab World and China (Amsterdam, Monday 21 January 2013)

*Social media activism in the Arab World and China *
*Amsterdam, Monday 21 January 2013*

During the Arab Spring revolts, a spontaneous yet coordinated activist use
of social media developed. Activists established strategic communication
spaces through Facebook groups, such as ‘We are all Khaled Said’ and the
‘6th of April Youth Movement’, as well as through Twitter hashtags, like
#sidibouzid and #egypt. At the same time, on the other side of the world,
Sina Weibo –the Chinese equivalent of Twitter– is quickly developing in one
of the world’s largest social media platforms. Although the Chinese
government heavily censors this platform, it is widely being used for
activist purposes. This massive social media use in authoritarian states
triggers various questions. How is online activism shaped by state
censorship? Why do activists so enthusiastically embrace social platforms?
What strategies have they developed to communicate through these platforms?
And, most importantly, what role does social media activism play in
revolution and political change?

*To reserve your place in the two seminar sessions, please send an email to
Penn Ip: t.t.ip {AT} uva.nl*  (Registration for the public debate in the evening
is not necessary).

*First seminar session: case studies on social media activism *
(10.00-12.30 uur, Vondelzaal, University Library, Singel 425, Amsterdam)

• Daniela Stockman - The Chinese Internet Audience: Who Seeks Political
Information Online? (http://daniestockmann.net/)
• Florian Schneider - The Diaoyu/Senkaku Island Dispute Online - Analyzing
Nationalism in Chinese Digital Networks (
• Jeroen de Kloet, Thomas Poell & Zeng Guohua – Will the Real Weibo Please
Stand Up? Chinese Online Contention and Actor-Network Theory (
• Miriyam Aouragh - Revolutionary Maneuvering: The Internet as a Blessing
and Curse for Arab revolutionaries (http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/?id=151)
• Sarah Van Leuven – A ‘Facebook Revolution’ in foreign coverage? A
quantitative content analysis of journalists’ sourcing practices during the
Arab Springhttp://www.cjs.ugent.be/index.php?id=50#VanLeuven)
• Thomas Poell – Social media activism (

Respondents: Sami Ben Gharbia, Guobin Yang, and Paolo Gerbaudo

*Second seminar session: reflecting on social media activism*
(13.30-16.00 uur, Vondelzaal, University Library, Singel 425, Amsterdam)

• Geert Lovink – Unlike Us: From Critique to Alternatives for Social Media
Monopolies (http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/geert/biography/)
• Seda Guerses – An activist and a consumer meet at an online social
network http://homes.esat.kuleuven.be/~sguerses/)
• Tamara Witschge - The limits to online dissent (
• Michael Dieter – Tactical Media, Real-Time Streams and Everyday
Temporalities (http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/m.j.dieter/)
• Eric Kluitenberg – A feeling in the air - Preliminary notes on political
formation in hybrid space (after the end of tactical media) (

Respondents: Sami Ben Gharbia, Guobin Yang, and Paolo Gerbaudo

*Tweet, Share, Like & Censor: A public debate on social media activism in
the Arab World and China*
(20.00-22.00 uur, Doelenzaal, University Library, Singel 425, Amsterdam)

• Sami Ben Gharbia (advocacy director of Global Voices): one of the
founders of the collective Tunisian blog Nawaat, which translated and
distributed the infamous TuniLeaks, and inventor of the Cross-posting for
Advocacy Strategy (http://globalvoicesonline.org/author/sami-ben-gharbia/)
• Guobin Yang (Annenberg School for Communication): a leading expert on
Chinese online contention, civil society, and the Chinese environmental
movement (http://sociology.sas.upenn.edu/content/guobin-yang-0)
• Paolo Gerbaudo (King’s College London): researcher working on
contemporary global activism, recently published the book Tweets and the
Streets (http://www.tweetsandthestreets.org/)

The debate will be led by José van Dijck, professor of Comparative Media
Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

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