Internet activism: How are political movements shaped online?

Internet activism: How are political movements shaped online?


So if someone is thinking about how to build
some kind of team to really build and develop an online political or other type of campaign,
it’s really important to think about who is part of this team. Is it people who understand the audience,
right? Do you really know that everyone has internet
access or not, or uses a specific platform or not? And also, does the team really have a really
clear division of labor? That is one of the most important pieces that
I found. That rather than let’s build a Twitter platform–
or presence. Let’s build a Facebook presence. Let’s use Instagram. And it takes more than just building the platform. It really takes developing it. And what I found is the architecture of the
platform is really important. The groups that tended to have the highest
levels of participation really built them for participation, which I know sounds kind
of silly. But Facebook in particular, but other platforms
have different ways that you can actually set up their platforms to either encourage
other people to post or to really restrict that. And I think to really understand how those
platforms work, it takes someone dedicated to understand the next platform that we don’t
even know exists now, and is able to spend time learning and training. And the problem is that groups that have very
little resources where they just rely on volunteers who are also doing a million other things,
simply can’t keep up with all these changes. I talked to one activist who had gone to a
training on how to build a website and to update their website. They had a website. But then six months later, because they weren’t
doing it on a regular basis, because this organizer had multiple other tasks to do,
wasn’t really able to remember six months later how to engage. And so that’s the most important thing in
really building political online presence is to really having dedicated people. And it doesn’t have to be paid staff people. A lot of grassroots conservative activists
were volunteers, but they were spending an enormous amount of time online. And part of that was they had a motivation
to use it, right? It might not make sense for every organization
to actually have a strong online presence. And that’s the other interesting twist to
this is, does it really matter for what you’re trying to build to have every single form
of social media engaged, or is there a specific platform that might work better for your audience
and your constituency? So really to have a strong online presence,
it does take expertise. And expertise doesn’t necessarily mean throwing
the online engagement to a young intern. In fact, I think that’s something that is
an assumption that is not always valid. That young people automatically just know
how to use social media. In fact, I was very interested in finding
that it was sometimes older Tea Party activists, sometimes in their 70s, who were the most
digitally savvy. Because not only did they spend a lot of online–
a lot of time online– I’ll say that again. So not only did they spend a lot of time online,
but they also went to trainings. And this is where having resources do really
matter. Yes, there is free information online, et
cetera. But what I really found was that however grassroots
a lot of these conservative groups were, they did have connections to very resource rich
organizations that provided consistent training on how to use digital media. And not only the training and how to use it,
but they also were given and sent a lot of posts and memes, and et cetera, that really
worked for the political message that these groups were trying to make.

11 Comments

  • DoomRulz says:

    I prefer to think of it as slacktivism.

  • Tom Doyle says:

    I see the failures all the time on YouTube. They all follow the classic Growth, Maturity, and Death curve. Birth to Death can be a matter of weeks or months. Few last more than a year.

  • Zack Terson says:

    Clueless establishment boomers

  • blue_tetris says:

    The key is to put your activism onto a picture of Minions. Your aunt loves 'em! But sometimes she doesn't know how to get them off Facebook onto her phone. =[ Will you help your aunt get the activism onto her phone, please?

  • Czeslaw K. says:

    Internet activism? Say anything YouTube, Facebook & Co. don't like and you're getting shut down. You don't even have to say really nasty shit – exposing the idiocy of being religious is enough. Or advocating against eating animals, or too much immigration. Don't like that there's trannies everywhere for our children to see and potentially harm them in their psychological growth? That's it, you're out.

  • ran van says:

    inter NET act movements… #gap #void

  • Geoff Menna says:

    I'm not saying vote Libertarian Party, but research libertarianism, then support libertarian leaning candidates, whether you're Republican or Democrat.
    We're rapidly losing our freedom in America.

  • S says:

    can we pay this woman more next time "big"think? Looks like she's held at gunpoint or having a corpse in front of her while she talks

  • rreeves0710 says:

    I love when non youtubers try to explain how youtube works. Shut up. Stahp. Do some actual research.

  • David Hodgin says:

    #teamtrees

  • TheMoon says:

    well first it starts with a circle, and then follows a whole lot of jerking.

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