Tagged: Activism Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:42 on 30. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Activism, Cybercrime, , Denmark, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Slovenia, , , , , , , , ,   

    Internet Freedom vs. Government 

    TC: Twitter’s new policies demonstrate the complicated relationship between Internet freedom and government; http://eicker.at/2o

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 08:35 on 27. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Activism, , , , , , , , , Countries, , , , , , , , , , Nationalisation, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Twitter Censorship 

    Twitter censorship becomes nationalised: starts censoring tweets country by country; http://eicker.at/TwitterCensorship

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:35 on 27. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Twitter, 2011: “The Tweets Must Flow – The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. This is both a practical and ethical belief. On a practical level, we simply cannot review all one hundred million-plus Tweets created and subsequently delivered every day. From an ethical perspective, almost every country in the world agrees that freedom of expression is a human right. Many countries also agree that freedom of expression carries with it responsibilities and has limits. – At Twitter, we have identified our own responsibilities and limits. There are Tweets that we do remove, such as illegal Tweets and spam. However, we make efforts to keep these exceptions narrow so they may serve to prove a broader and more important rule – we strive not to remove Tweets on the basis of their content. – Our position on freedom of expression carries with it a mandate to protect our users’ right to speak freely and preserve their ability to contest having their private information revealed.

      Twitter, 2012: “Tweets still must flow – As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content. – Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries’ limits was to remove content globally. Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country – while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why. – We haven’t yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld. As part of that transparency, we’ve expanded our partnership with Chilling Effects … which makes it easier to find notices related to Twitter. … One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user’s voice. We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can’t. The Tweets must continue to flow.”

      GigaOM: “The company said laws around what content is legal to distribute differ from country to country, and the new system will allow it to remove tweets only for users in a specific area, rather than censoring the entire network. But no matter how Twitter phrases it, this news is going to concentrate attention on one thing: that a corporate entity, however well-meaning, controls which tweets are seen or not seen. … Of course, making it public didn’t help Twitter in its fight to resist the court order – in the latest decision in the case, a court ruled that it would have to turn over the data, which includes IP addresses and email addresses – but at least it made it obvious what was happening. … That said, however, the reality is that Twitter has just opened itself up to all kinds of conspiracy theories about what tweets it is or isn’t withholding – and on whose behalf it is removing them. … More than anything else, Twitter’s announcement highlights both how integral a part of the global information ecosystem it has become, and how vulnerable that ecosystem can be when a single entity controls such a crucial portion of it. How Twitter handles that challenge will ultimately determine whether it deserves the continued trust of its users.

      RWW: “In an email, Twitter spokesperson Jodi Olson said the company was not backing off its commitment to free expression. – ‘Just to be clear, this is not a change in philosophy and there are still countries to which we will not go,” Olson said. ‘We hold freedom of expression in high esteem and work hard not to remove Tweets.‘ – The three major, U.S.-based social networks are all currently banned in China, a country analysts all agree is crucial for future growth. While Twitter’s post did not specifically mention China, it clearly positions the company ahead of Facebook and Google+ in articulating a career policy for handling content that may rile Chinese government officials. … ‘This launch gives us the ability, when we have to, in response to a valid legal request, withhold a Tweet in a specific country and to keep that Tweet visible for the rest of the world,’ Olson said Thursday. ‘Our policy in these cases is to 1) promptly notify the affected users, unless we are legally prohibited from doing so; 2) withhold the content in the required countries only, rather than worldwide; 3) clearly indicate to viewers that a Tweet or Account has been withheld, and 4) make available any requests to withhold content through our partnership with Chilling Effects.‘”

      VB: “Should you believe the company’s assertions (and we do), you can boil it all down to this: Twitter has craftily granted itself the ability to honor the requests it has to in order to remain operable in some countries and yet still simultaneously uphold its commitment to freedom of expression. – Twitter has also made a promise to be more forthcoming with members about any tweets it decides to withhold from them. The company has decided to make public a page with a record of cease and desist orders, and will attempt to let a user when his or her tweet is withheld.”

      TC: “In a way, it’s a good solution: countries where it is forbidden to speak ill of God or well of Hitler will now be able to extend those restrictions to Twitter. But, on the other hand, countries where it is forbidden to speak ill of God or well of Hitler will now be able to extend those restrictions to Twitter. … The problem is that in a way, that is worse. Twitter, and the net in general, are by nature a global communication platform. National conflicts on the internet (for example, an album being released in October in the UK and December in the US) are strange and illogical. Before this announcement, Twitter was a global platform on which something was either said or not said, on a global scale. Now, Twitter’s new power to enforce censorship depending on your country both legitimizes the blocks and concedes international territory specifically to countries that ‘have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression.’ This diplomatic casting of the restriction of speech, from a company that is built around the idea of free communication, is troubling. … A meta-national community like Twitter must both transcend and respect its constituent parts, and that requires some tough decisions. Let’s hope they made this decision with the promise of better global communication in mind.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:37 on 13. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Activism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    We Work For The Internet 

    Wales thinks about a blackout of Wikipedia to protest SOPA. – We Work For The Internet; http://eicker.at/WeWorkForTheInternet

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:38 on 13. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      VB: “Strike! Wikipedia founder floats idea of site blackout to protest SOPA – Wikipedia, the web’s edit-friendly encyclopedia, is considering drastic action to get the government to back down from passing the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), a bill that opponents consider the equivalent of legalizing web censorship. – In a note posted to his personal page Saturday, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales floats the idea of a community strike that would make the entire site blank to U.S., and possibly even global, visitors.

      Wales, Wikipedia: “A few months ago, the Italian Wikipedia community made a decision to blank all of Italian Wikipedia for a short period in order to protest a law which would infringe on their editorial independence. The Italian Parliament backed down immediately. As Wikipedians may or may not be aware, a much worse law going under the misleading title of ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ is working its way through Congress on a bit of a fast track. I may be attending a meeting at the White House on Monday (pending confirmation on a couple of fronts) along with executives from many other top Internet firms, and I thought this would be a good time to take a quick reading of the community feeling on this issue. My own view is that a community strike was very powerful and successful in Italy and could be even more powerful in this case. There are obviously many questions about whether the strike should be geotargetted (US-only), etc. (One possible view is that because the law would seriously impact the functioning of Wikipedia for everyone, a global strike of at least the English Wikipedia would put the maximum pressure on the US government.) At the same time, it’s of course a very very big deal to do something like this, it is unprecedented for English Wikipedia. … So, this is a straw poll. Please vote either ‘support’ or ‘oppose’ with a reason, and try to keep wide-ranging discussion to the section below the poll. – To be clear, this is NOT a vote on whether or not to have a strike. This is merely a straw poll to indicate overall interest. If this poll is firmly ‘opposed’ then I’ll know that now. But even if this poll is firmly in ‘support’ we’d obviously go through a much longer process to get some kind of consensus around parameters, triggers, and timing.”

      I Work For The Internet: “We work for the Internet. We know first-hand that the Internet powers the American dream. American innovators have built the world’s most popular sites, selling products and services to every corner of the globe, creating high-paying jobs from Maine to Hawaii. If Congress passes the Stop Online Piracy Act, America’s most promising engine of future jobs and opportunity will be put at risk. Don’t stop us now – we’re just getting started! Tell the world you work for the Internet.

      TC: “Congress is moving ahead with trying to pass SOPA – the so-called ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ that includes all sorts of draconian measures that would stifle free expression as we know it. Here’s a simple action you can take to tell everyone how you feel about that. – A site called ‘I Work For The Internet’ lets you upload a photo and first name, and what you do for a living. … You might not change any votes by sharing your photo, but you’ll get some comfort out of participating if you’ve been feeling that the bill has been incorrectly portrayed as ‘media companies versus tech companies,’ like I have. Browsing the site will also give you a visceral sense of who all those other random internet users are out there.”

      GigaOM: “In contrast to SOPA and PIPA, which many critics said were far too wide-ranging in their definition of what constitutes an ‘infringing site’ – a net some believed could easily have trapped popular media and content sites like YouTube as well as obvious piracy-focused services – OPEN narrows that to concentrate on those ‘dedicated to infringing activity.’ It also requires that the International Trade Commission be the independent arbiter of whether a site qualifies, whereas SOPA gave companies the ability to shut down websites with just a court order. – In a long analysis of OPEN, technology and intellectual-property law expert Eric Goldman said the new proposed law isn’t perfect, but is a ‘useful starting point’ for a conversation about how to implement anti-piracy legislation – and how to do this without caving in to what he called ‘rent seekers’ in the media and entertainment industries, and without breaking the Internet by forcing ISPs to change the domain-name system. … Whether any of these efforts will result in Congress turning away from its support of SOPA and PIPA remains to be seen, but it appears a number of forces both inside the government and outside are determined not to let that happen without a fight.

    • Gerrit Eicker 20:34 on 13. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Zeldman: “THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do today: help STOP SOPA once and for all. – The Stop Online Piracy Act could pass this week. U.S. friends reading this, call your Representatives now to be heard before the bill is finalized and voted on. Fightforthefuture.org makes it easy. Go there and do this. – We thank you.

      VB: “So far, 87% of Wikipedians support an anti-SOPA blackout – Wikipedia might see a blackout to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which goes before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this Thursday, December 15. – Wikimedia chief Jimmy Wales recently started a poll to determine whether Wikipedia’s vast community thought SOPA was worth protesting. He noted that a similar protest conducted on the Italian Wikipedia site had a profound impact and asked users to weigh in on a blackout for the English-language version of the site.”

      RWW: “There is already a well-functioning administrative body for handling intellectual property disputes between U.S.-based companies and parties in foreign countries. It’s the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), and if you’ve followed the many disputes brought by Apple against mobile phone makers, by mobile phone makers against Apple, and among IP portfolio holders such as Qualcomm and Broadcom, no doubt you’ve heard of USITC. – So why didn’t Congress consider the Commission as a solution for the burning problem of resolving piracy matters with unknown parties outside U.S. borders? That’s a question being asked, and possibly even answered, by an alternative bill introduced last week to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP bills in the House and Senate, respectively. This morning, a cavalcade of leading tech companies known to oppose SOPA already have signed on as supporters of the USITC-based alternative.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:34 on 25. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Activism, , , , , , , , Fear of Isolation, , , , Momentum, Moral Issues, , , , Opinion Issues, , , Public Opinion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , Visible Momentum,   

    Spiral of Silence 

    Does social media end the spiral of silence? Probably not, but it might lessen its impact; http://eicker.at/SpiralOfSilence

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:34 on 25. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      RFERL: “Social Media And Ending ‘The Spiral Of Silence’ – There’s been a spate of good pieces on digital activism recently. ‘Technology Review‘ had a great story on the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, detailing all the ways activists used social networking (among other online and offline tools) to get people out on the streets. – There was also an interesting piece in ‘The New York Times‘ reporting on a new paper that argued that social-networking tools can ‘make you passive, can sap your initiative, (and) leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone.’ This wasn’t an exercise in moral techno-panics (this is your brain on social media!), but looked at how, in the eyes of the report’s author, social media actually kept people off the streets during the Egyptian crisis. Or: Full connectivity in a social network sometimes can hinder collective action… When people think of social media and revolutions, I think the tendency is to think solely of activists organizing rallies on Twitter and Facebook (they do do that too.) But more important seems to be the way that social media and shared cell phone video footage help in building a shared consciousness, or as Tufekci calls it a ‘visible momentum.’

      Tufekci, TR: “New Media and the People-Powered UprisingsAnother key dynamic is what’s known as ‘preference falsification’ to political scientists and ‘pluralistic ignorance’ to social psychologists: when people privately hold a particular view but do not share it in fear of reprisal, punishment, or violating a social norm. In autocracies, this can cause a ‘spiral of silence‘ in which many wish for regime change, but are afraid to speak up outside of few trusted ties. … It is in this context Facebook ‘likes’ of dissident pages such as ‘We are All Khaled Said,’ sharing of videos of regime brutality, online expressions of political anger, and acceptances of Facebook ‘invitations’ to protest all matter as they help build a visible momentum which, itself, is a condition of success. A public is not created just because everyone individually holds an opinion but because there is multi-level awareness of other people’s views leading to a spiral of action and protest. (I know that you know that I know that you know that we know …). – That is why the new media ecology is a game-changer and that is exactly the process John Pollock’s extensive on-the-ground reporting unravels.There has been a false debate. Was it social media or the people? Was it social media or the labor movements? Was it social media or anti-imperialist movement? Was it social media or youth? These questions are wrong and the answer is yes. The correct question is how.

      UT: “Neumann (1974) introduced the ‘spiral of silence’ as an attempt to explain in part how public opinion is formed. She wondered why the Germans supported wrong political positions that led to national defeat, humiliation and ruin in the 1930s-1940s. … The closer a person believes the opinion held is similar to the prevailing public opinion, the more they are willing to openly disclose that opinion in public. Then, if public sentiment changes, the person will recognize that the opinion is less in favor and will be less willing to express that opinion publicly. As the perceived distance between public opinion and a person’s personal opinion grows, the more unlikely the person is to express their opinion.

      Wikipedia: “The spiral of silence is a political science and mass communication theory propounded by the German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. The theory asserts that a person is less likely to voice an opinion on a topic if one feels that one is in the minority for fear of reprisal or isolation from the majority. … The spiral of silence begins with fear of reprisal or isolation, and escalates from there. The fear of isolation is the centrifugal force that accelerates the spiral of silence. Individuals use what is described as ‘an innate ability’ or quasi-statistical sense to gauge public opinion. The Mass media play a large part in determining what the dominant opinion is, since our direct observation is limited to a small percentage of the population. The mass media have an enormous impact on how public opinion is portrayed, and can dramatically impact an individual’s perception about where public opinion lies, whether or not that portrayal is factual. Noelle-Neumann describes the spiral of silence as a dynamic process, in which predictions about public opinion become fact as mass media’s coverage of the majority opinion becomes the status quo, and the minority becomes less likely to speak out. The theory, however, only applies to moral or opinion issues, not issues that can be proven right or wrong using facts (if there, in fact, exists a distinction between fact and value).

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:31 on 19. January 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Activism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Recruiting, , , , , Social Internet, , , , , , , , , Voluntary Groups,   

    Social Internet 

    Pew (PDF): The internet is now deeply embedded in group and organizational life in America; http://eicker.at/SocialInternet

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 08:41 on 3. June 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , Activism, , , Digital Activism Decoded, , , , Meta-Activism Project, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Digital Activism Decoded 

    The Meta-Activism Project publicised its book Digital Activism Decoded (free PDF); http://j.mp/dk7Zg7 (via @pfandtasse)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:48 on 3. June 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Press Release: “There are over one million books on Amazon.com, but if you search for ‘digital activism’ the title at the top of the list is Digital Activism Decoded. Though this is the first book explicitly devoted to the topic, it is not the first to explore the intersection of digital technology and activism. – There have already been guides that instruct activists in the use of popular applications like blogs and social networks. There have also been scholarly works that analyze the effect of the Internet or mobile phones on political dynamics, both in rich democracies where politicians ‘tweet’ and under repressive regimes. Best sellers have tried to explain the digitally changing world, including the impact on activism. – Yet Digital Activism Decoded is the first book to attempt to map the field of digital activism in its entirety. The book begins with a section on Contexts, addressing not only the technology of network infrastructure, devices, and applications, but also the social, economic, and political environment in which digital activism occurs. An analysis of Practices follows, not in the usual format of case study analysis, but by presenting different ways of thinking about these practices. The section begins with a chapter on pre-digital social movement theory, while a second chapter takes the digital perspective of web ecology. Both constructive and destructive activism practices are discussed. – The final section on Effects seeks to address the range of opinions on digital activism’s value. While optimists see the great potential for citizen empowerment, pessimists believe that the empowerment of forces of repression is equally likely. Skeptics view both askance and do not believe digital activism makes much difference at all. – Many of the authors of this anthology are young scholars from around the world, while others are activists, private sector consultants, and even futurists. The editor, Mary Joyce, was New Media Operations Manager on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel