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Re: <nettime> social media & political activism redux
Geert Lovink on Sat, 1 Nov 2014 15:55:42 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> social media & political activism redux


Thanks a lot, Allan, this is interesting. The question imho is not how social media relate to the inadequate responses of political parties but if they will generate sustainable 'new institutional forms' over time. What if the current social media only produce one-off events? Protests without a cause? The social in these cases then gets reduced to the self-mirroring of the masses on the streets. That's old school spectacle and has remarkably little to do with the capacity of these social media to network, organize, debate. Mass mobilization these days disappears very fast, so fast that even the most involved insiders are baffled. I personally do not think this has much to do with the 'absence' of leadership and the absence of an avant-garde (and their artists). Politics, our politics, have become submitted to the same laws that rule everywhere: the law of the meme, in this case. Geert

On 1 Nov 2014, at 12:26 PM, allan siegel <siegel.allan {AT} upcmail.hu> wrote:

> Hello,
> The recent massive public demonstrations in Budapest against a repressive internet tax, amongst other issues, raises once again questions of the role of social media (and Facebook in particular) as mobilising vehicles for social protest and political activism. As Alice Neerson writes in Open Democracy, "social media facilitate differing degrees of involvement in political action. By lowering the barriers to activism, they make it possible for more people to take small steps as part of a larger movement. When expressed through social media in much larger numbers, public opinion has the potential to influence those in power and to give emotional momentum to those… on the front lines of a struggle.” (Sept. 29) The Budapest demonstrations offer, yet again,  <...>


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