Does social media enable political movements hinder their formations?
Two opinions on social media:
- Social media is a tool for political activism
- Terrorists, hackers use the same networks for communication
The affordances of social media can make engagement in political activism easier or harder, safer or more unsafe, powerful or less effective.
Power: The ability to influence people or things.
Weber: three types of power
- Charismatic power: charismatic power can make a celebrity or politician gain fans or followers
- Totalitarian power: One person being in control over the means of violence, the military, and the legal system. Examples: Government in Egypt blocked the internet. The government in China have blocked websites like Google and Facebook.
- Bureaucratic power: the ability to influence people based on rules or procedures in some organized hierarchies.
Power can be obvious or implicit.
Terms-of-service agreements -> companies have power over personal data
Personal medical records -> doctors have power over the patient
Public sphere: Habermas describes public sphere as the space where people can come together to debate social issues.
Three traits of a public sphere:
- Disregard of status
- Common concerns
Assemblages: groups of actors that come together for a common interest, but can be reshaped when the context changes.
Counterpublics: Counterpublics are created in opposition to dominant cultural norms and values. Political action is not required of a counterpublic.
Social movement theory
Social issue: a topic that people collectively agree should be addressed politically, economically or culturally.
Social movements tactics:
Cultural and cognitive models of social actions are called tactics. These are repertoires of actions. Models of how to take action. Examples are petitions, marches, and sit-ins.
Using for example twitter for social actions are called etactics. They are hybrid adaptions of the traditional tactics.
Mobilization: The ability of political activists to translate existing resources, for example, money or people or ideas into political actions.
Flash activism: activism that appears and then disappears overnight as the attention for the cause increases and decreases.
Microcontributions: social media allows for microcontributions that are made by people who normally are not involved. Mobile phone text to donate money for a cause is an example.
Slacktivism: Online activism that substitute for offline activism. Liking a Facebook post can make you less likely to donate money because you do not feel as obligated to donate.
Hacktivism: Using digital technology to disrupt organizations or people that the social movement opposes.
Social media use and participation: Social media can make a lot of people aware of a topic but people do not have time to engage in all social issues that arise on social media. Social media can make information reach a wide audience but do not always lead to a political movement.
Framing: Framing is the process of referring to a social issue and highlight some attributes and downplay other attributes.
Agenda setting: The ability of news media to influence the importance of topics in the public sphere. The effects of a story can be different if traditional media write about it first or if blogs write about it first.
Citizen journalism: People are able to live update about happenings on social media. People can be the source and the reporter.