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The Internet Social Networks

Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change? 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-come-a-long-way-since-"sign-my-petition" dept.
Lucas123 writes: "Several high profile protests have circulated across the Web in the past few weeks, garnering social and news media attention — and even forcing the resignation of one high-level executive. There are two components driving the trend in Internet protests: They tend to be effective against Web services, and online networks allow people to mobilize quickly. According to a study released last month by Georgetown University's Center for Social Impact Communication, active Web useres are likely to do far more for a cause than simply 'like' it on a website. And, because a few clicks can cancel a service, their actions carry weight. But there may be a coming backlash as people can grow tired of online activism; and corporations may also take a more proactive stance in response to them."
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Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?

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  • by braindrainbahrain (874202) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @03:19PM (#46735115)

    Answer: No. At least not for anything of consequence. Just look at how many successful petitions came out of change.org.
    Anyone that thinks a web based protest would be effective should read "The Revolution will not be Tweeted" by by Malcolm Gladwell, published in New Yorker magazine, to understand why.

    http://www.newyorker.com/repor... [newyorker.com]

  • by swb (14022) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @03:35PM (#46735227)

    That's what they're saying in Tunisia, Egypt and Ukraine now.

  • by David_Hart (1184661) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @04:12PM (#46735453)

    Yeah, that Mozilla guy stepped down, but there aren't a lot of real consequences to that (save for him being out an easy paycheck ).

    Take a look at Occupy Wall Street. That was a real movement with real impact. It was also systematically (and very effectively) shut down before it accomplished anything :(.

    Occupy Wall Street was a protest by a bunch of unorganized 18 to 20 somethings with no leader, agenda, or coherent message. It had no impact whatsoever, other than on the local police overtime budget. Nothing real came out of it simply because there was no real foundation to build on.

    If you want to talk about a movement that was systematically destroyed, take a look at the Tea Party. It was originally started by a coalition of conservatives and democrats for the express purposes of promoting of fiscal responsibility within government. It was systematically taken over by the conservative far right and bears no resemblance to what it originally stood for.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin