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Convenient Products Of Activist Site - An A-z

I'm likely to be talking to you today concerning the role of the Web in political activism. So I spent time with these activists and asked them whether they certainly were using social networking, whether or not they certainly were engaging with the Web, and why they may be doing it.

Going out to the field and talking with political activists is vital, since it gives you an insight into their ideology, their motivations, and why they believe it's important to utilize certain Web technologies.

In order to go and speak to these activists, I wanted a method of research that combined computer science and social science. And that's where Web science came in.

I've a background in international relations, so I knew about political ideology the theory is that and doing an MSc in Web science, D13 and knowing about networks and organisation online was really essential for me.

So with this in your mind, I turned up in London, ready to observe how these political activists were utilizing the Web due to their protests. And what I discovered was that, broadly now, in 2013, there seems to be lots of apathy, as well as outright hostility, towards the Web and social media.

The main reason? The NSA.

The story had just broken that large American online corporations, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, were cooperating with the NSA and collecting a lot of private data about citizens from not only America, but all over the world. This is something which had kind of been known beforehand, however, not to the scale. And it put lots of these activists off engaging with one of these mainstream websites and these mainstream social media services, because they saw them now included in the establishment.

If you appear back towards the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring, these technologies were technologies of liberation for many people. Nevertheless now, only 2 yrs later, they have become technologies that symbolise surveillance by their state, the increasing loss of privacy by individuals, and the general ability for both corporations and governments to help keep citizens in line and stop these kind of protests.

Discovering this was extremely important for both my research, but also for Web science. Because I do believe it showed how it is essential to check out both social and the technical aspects of the Web together.

The Web is this thing, that will be computers, but additionally humans. It's humans influencing technology, and technology influencing humans. And if you do not look at how one affects the other, it is extremely tough to state for certain how society is being changed and developed.

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