Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): Activism in the Social Media Age. “This month marks the fifth anniversary of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, which was first coined following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. In the course of those five years, #BlackLivesMatter has become an archetypal example of modern protests and political engagement on social media: A new Pew Research Center analysis of public tweets finds the hashtag has been used nearly 30 million times on Twitter – an average of 17,002 times per day – as of May 1, 2018.”
The New Indian Express: Vietnam activists flock to ‘safe’ social media after cyber crackdown. “Tens of thousands of Vietnamese social media users are flocking to self-professed free speech platform Minds to avoid tough internet controls in a new cybersecurity law, activists and the company told AFP. The draconian law requires internet companies to scrub critical content and hand over user data if Vietnam’s Communist government demands it.” Are new social media platforms going to rise because of activism, social change, and repressive governments? That’s a different dynamic.
The Independent: Piss on pity: How a new archive captures the radical spirit of the Disability Arts Movement. “Although a highly successful protest group, the Disability Arts Movement is also inspiring because it brought together a wealth of people from Britain’s creative communities – from comedians and film directors to sculptors and artists. Set up to raise awareness, provoke social discussion and dispel the myth that disabled people want or need to be pitied, it was quite simply ahead of its time. And with the launch of the million-pound archive later this year – and its digital arm this month – this radical protest movement is now taking its place in the spotlight.”
6sqft: Help preserve the untold stories of the Stonewall Riots by donating personal photos, letters. “Did you participate in the Stonewall Inn Riots of 1969 and the period of LGBTQ activism in New York City between 1968 and 1971? Do you know someone who did? If so, consider contributing pride memorabilia from that moment in history to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, which is compiling a collection to preserve the history of Stonewall. The project, Stonewall Forever, launched last year after Google granted the LGBT Center $1 million to preserve oral histories and experiences of those present during the riots.”
A thesis from the University of Rhode Island Digital Commons: Making the #Personal #Political: Twitter as a Rhetorical Tool for Activist Campaigning. “This thesis analyzes a compilation of tweets from a specific digital social movement, #YesAllWomen. This campaign was an instance of hashtag activism and digital feminism that appeared on Twitter following the misogyny-fueled Isla Vista shootings as a means of illuminating the persistent issues of harassment and violence against women. The campaign focused largely on personal experience, and a cluster analysis of a published collection of tweets reveals how the use of the #YesAllWomen hashtag and the communication of personal narrative transformed participants into political rhetors. Thus, I ultimately argue the significance of Twitter as a rhetorical tool for activist communication.”
Quartz: How a pan-African network of cyber activists has been strengthening democracy online. “During a recent visit to The Gambia’s capital Banjul, digital activist Cheikh Fall spoke about the power of the internet to improve governance in Africa. Fall, 35, is a co-founder of the pan-African network of online activists and bloggers for democracy (AFRICTIVISTS), a community of 200 cyber-activists from 35 different countries on the continent. The Africtivists were on tour to train 500 journalists in cyber-security, traveling from Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal, to Niger, and Burkina Faso.”
Hoodline: African American Museum receives grant to digitize rare protest footage. “Rarely-seen footage of protests from the 1960s – 70s will soon be freely available online thanks to a grant awarded to the African American Museum & Library at Oakland…. The grant will be used to digitize 98 films and four audiotapes documenting protest movements, including protests by the Black Panther Party, students protesting the Vietnam War and union demonstrations.”