Dec 042014
 
 December 4, 2014  Misc

Helen Lewis writes:

… What happened with Sabu goes to the heart of an idea explored by Malcolm Gladwell in his influential New Yorker essay “Small Change”, which carried the provo­cative strapline “The revolution will not be tweeted”. Gladwell describes the sit-in protests in America of the 1960s. He notes that participation in the civil rights movement was dangerous: it could cost someone their university place or their job, or it could cost their life. Researchers have since found that what separated the committed activists from those who dropped out was their personal connection to the movement and how many friends they had who were also participating. “High-risk activism,” writes Gladwell, “is a ‘strong-tie’ phenomenon.”

[…]

What applies to LulzSec and Anonymous also goes for online activism more generally. Malcolm Gladwell was right: there is now enough evidence to say that social media and hacker groups are great at generating noise and gaining attention, but weak ties make for fragile activism. If you want real change, you need not to be Anonymous.

Read more on New Statesman.

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