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joaquinhrts

Deciding Upon Fast Solutions In D13

I'm likely to be talking to you today about the role of the Web in political activism. So I spent time with your activists and asked them whether they certainly were using social media marketing, whether these were engaging with the Web, and why they may be doing it.

Heading out to the field and speaking to political activists is vital, since it gives you an insight to their ideology, their motivations, and why they think it's important to utilize certain Web technologies.

In order to go and talk with these activists, I wanted a way of research that combined computer science and social science. And that's where Web science activism came in.

I've a background in international relations, so I knew about political ideology the theory is that and doing an MSc in Web science, and knowing about networks and organisation online was very important to me.

So with this at heart, I turned up in London, prepared to observe how these political activists were using the Web because of their protests. And what I found was that, broadly now, in 2013, there appears to be lots of apathy, or even outright hostility, towards the Web and social media.

The key reason? The NSA.

The story had just broken that large American online corporations, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, were cooperating with the NSA and collecting plenty of private data about citizens from not just America, but all over the world. This is something which had type of been known beforehand, however not to the scale. And it put plenty of these activists off engaging with your mainstream websites and these mainstream social media marketing services, simply because they saw them now as part of the establishment.

If you look back towards the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring, these technologies were technologies of liberation for several people. However now, only 2 yrs later, they have become technologies that symbolise surveillance by the state, the increased loss of privacy by individuals, and the general ability for both corporations and governments to help keep citizens in line and stop such protests.

Discovering this was extremely essential for both my research, but also for Web science. Because I believe it showed how it is vital to check out both the social and the technical facets of the Web together.

The Web is this thing, which will be computers, but in addition humans. It's humans influencing technology, and technology influencing humans. And if you don't look at how one affects the other, it is extremely tough to express for many how society is being changed and developed.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl