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[liberationtech] Cyber-sceptics wanted!

Pranesh Prakash pranesh at cis-india.org
Thu Mar 3 03:31:52 PST 2011


Dear Zeynep,
All excellent points, and I wholeheartedly agree on the last point.

I think along with examination of the role of Twitter and Facebook in 
Egypt and Tunisia, we should also examine the role of the traditional 
media: Al-Masry Al-Youm, Al Jazeera, etc.  I find the interplay between 
social media, commons-based peer production and traditional media 
production most fascinating.  (I'm currently hurriedly reading Robert 
McChesney's 'The Political Economy of Media' alongside Benkler and 
Herman & Chomsky.)

I think activism vs. slacktivism needs to look at broader patterns of 
media production, consumption and engagement, and not be boiled down to 
cyber-euphoria vs. cyber-scepticism, though it is very tempting to do so.

Regards,
Pranesh

On Thursday 03 March 2011 03:04 AM, Zeynep Tufekci wrote:
> Here are two posts I've written about this topic:
> http://technosociology.org/?p=178
> http://technosociology.org/?p=305
>
> Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, Malcolm Gladwell has been useful in so far
> as creating a public debate on this issue but otherwise quite unhelpful. His
> essays are well-written which disguise the lack of data, understanding or
> logic in his arguments. He is wrong about role of weak ties in social
> movements, he is wrong about the relationship between week and strong ties,
> he clearly has little to no understanding of social media and I don't know
> what else to say besides, I dunno, ... Egypt? Tunisia?
>
> That is not to say there is no room for debate on this topic. On the
> contrary, I believe the hows and whys of the relationship between tools of
> communication and collective action which also happen to be tools of
> surveillance and propaganda, and social change is rich in detail and
> important.
>
> As long as we don't get lost in point-counterpoint re:Gladwell's one essay
> and change on the topic.
>
> -z
> <http://technosociology.org/?p=178>

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