GLOBAL SOCIAL ACTIVE ACTIVISTS

Today I would like to answer all questions in LECTURE NOTE WEEK EIGHT. Hope it would be useful for any of you. For study purpose ofĀ unit ALC203.

Questions:

  1. What are social movements? What has the internet offered activists that they may not have had in the past?
  2. Research an ongoing social movement relating to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nonhuman animals, politics, and the like. What use(s) of social media are being made in relation to the cause within the movement? What platform(s) seem to have the most traction and why do you think this is?
  3. What is your take on ā€˜slacktivismā€™? Have you ever participated in this? What is its value and/or lack thereof?
  4. What are some benefits and potential drawbacks of undertaking video activism via YouTube? What types of video content have a particular impact on you affectively?
  5. What benefits for activists (and others) does the physical presence of a camera have on protest movements, as shown in this video?
  6. In what situations has the mainstream news media relied on cyberactivists for information in its reporting of social movements in different places around the world? What are the positive and negative elements of this?
  7. How might cyberactivism backfire for a movement and do considerable harm to a cause? What examples are you familiar with? What could have been done to prevent or ameliorate the damage?

MY ANSWERS

  1. Social movements refer to the action by a group of people that are purposefully organized that strive toward a common goal. The group may be small, large, informal, collections of individuals or organizations that carry out political and social issues to bring change, to resist change or to provide a political voice to the people such as the civil rights movement. These social movements bring social change. Social movements use education for disseminating information and increase people’s freedom of expressions.

Modern movements also use technology and the internet to mobilize people such as the social media to facilitate engagement and the civic action of the people. Friedman (2005) says that technology is a driving force behind globalization, while the other forces of social change through social institutions, population, the environment that plays relatively insignificant roles. He puts forth that globalization can be viewed to have taken place in three different periods. First, globalization was spearheaded by military expansion, powered by horsepower and wind energy. The countries best able to make use of these energy sources expanded the most, exerting control over the politics of the globe from the late 15th century to around the year 1800.

  1. Advancements in communication and technologies have enabled people to experience significant transformations on communication and sharing of information and ideas in their social life. Communication networks have allowed people to get more reliable and secure information or knowledge based on these social movements; where people can get first-hand information directly without involving secondary sources. Social media such as facebook, twitter, televisions, radios, and WhatsApp provides information to people efficiently. From this type of communication style; users are in a position to show their interests, share photos or videos with the other who uses this kind of communication from their personal pages. Similarly, other members can access their fellow user’s pages and communicate with them on these channels. The contents shared in the social media spreads very fast, and people often access these materials quickly. Therefore, social media plays a vital role in passing political information and a political forum for people to air their views.
  2. Slacktivism involves actions that are performed through the Internet that provide support to the political or social cause. I recommend it because it is easy to sign such a petition on the internet or joining such a group because it requires little time thus less involving. These activities pose a minimal cost to participants; one click on Facebook or retweet on Twitter and the slacktivism can have the feeling that they have provided support so as to help the cause. On the other hand, purchasing a T-shirt or jewelry may provide support to the program activities. In most cases, the activities require very minimal costs for them to take place. The activists often receive some tangle materials in return instead of donating the full amount require for the program.
  3. Manifesting using videos by YouTube allows the protestors to reach a large population easier than just publishing in the local language. It enables the social movement to be popular and emphasizes on the intensity of the issue addressed. Many people use videos from the internet to get information.
  4. It prevents police from being brutal to the citizens given that protests are legalized in many cases. It also shows the number of people, and how they handle the protests, that is, in a violent or peaceful manner. It gives other onlookers who might be interested in the strike chance to view the ongoing events. As a fact presence of cameras during a protest can later act as evidence for any wrong doings or contentious issues during the protests
  5. In what situation has the mainstream news media relied on cyber activists for information in its reporting of social movements in different places around the world? In global situations for example, during terror attacks, most of the people post such information on the internet. Many people quickly access internet information. With regard to most social media, information from a given site on the web can be used or spread as news to the general population. The information is usually reshaped and sent which reach a lot of people. This may facilitate the rise of tension and sometimes aggression depending on the recipient of the information.
  6. Ā Cyberactivism can backfire when people opposing the movement interfere with critical issues and information that it intends to relay. This gives a different meaning of the issues such a movement is advocating for. Such attacks include; terrorists with ill intentions about the movements. This may further facilitate more security risks other than information and system interference.

To prevent the damage, there should be close collaboration within the computer networking and software industries. This should be done in order to enhance technology security capabilities where safety is designed in and not added on.

References:

Earl, Jennifer and Kimport, Katrina 2011, Digitally Enabled Social Change: Activism in the Internet Age, MIT, Cambridge.

Gerbaudo, Paolo 2014, Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism, Pluto, New York.

Gong, Rachel 2015, ā€˜Indignation, Inspiration, and Interaction on the Internet: Emotion Work Online in the Anti-Human Trafficking Movementā€™, Journal of Technology in Human Services, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 87-103.

Hansson, Niklas and Jacobsson, Kerstin 2014, ā€˜Learning to Be Affected: Subjectivity, Sense, and Sensibility in Animal Rights Activismā€™, Society & Animals, pp. 262-88.

Herzog, Harold A. and Golden, Lauren L. 2009, ā€˜Moral Emotions and Social Activism: The Case of Animal Rightsā€™, Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 485-98.

Herzog, Harold A., Dinoff, Beth and Page, Jessica R. 1997, ā€˜Animal Rights Talk: Moral Debate over the Internetā€™, Qualitative Sociology, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 399-418.

Jacobsson, Kerstin and Lindblom, Jonas 2013, ā€˜Emotion Work in Animal Rights Activism: A Moral-Sociological Perspectiveā€™, Acta Sociologica, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 55-68.

Jacobsson, Kerstin and Lindblom, Jonas 2012, ā€˜Moral Reflexivity and Dramaturgical Action in Social Movement Activism: The Case of the Plowshares and Animal Rights Swedenā€™, Social Movement Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 41-60.

Jasper, James M. and Poulsen Jane D. 1995, ā€˜Recruiting Strangers and Friends: Moral Shocks and Social Networks in Animal Rights and Anti-nuclear

Protestsā€™, Social Problems, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 493-512.

Hope you all have a good day

Thi Bao Chau Tran

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