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Culture & Religion

How Social Activists are Transforming Digital Technologies

Instead of asking how digital technologies are transforming advocacy, is it more appropriate to ask how contemporary advocacy is transforming digital technologies?

What’s the Latest Development?

The Occupy movement is not only harnessing digital tools, but adding to the evolution of new media available to today’s advocates, developing new tools and appropriating existing ones. This first became apparent in the U.K., with the “Uncut” protests, where student protesters developed a new tool called Sukey to help each other avoid police barricades.  

What’s the Big Idea?

This fall, in New York’s Zucotti Park, occupiers used the blogging platform Tumblr, transforming the tool into one more amenable to advocacy. Occupiers have also tried to create a “mesh network,” a localized version of the Internet and, when it became clear that cellphone microphones were insufficient for disseminating information across Zucotti Park, they pooled forces with technologists to build a phone-powered tool for real-time information sharing.


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