Tag Archives: social media

Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Civil Resistance

For the last six days I was in Madrid, Spain to help facilitate a workshop that married the two fields of citizen journalism and civil resistance.  The goal of the workshop was to prepare journalists, bloggers, and communicators from around the world to better understand the strategic dynamics of nonviolent social movements so they can more effectively report on these struggles in ways that will help them to succeed.  26 citizen journalists participated in the workshop coming from the following countries: Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, UK, Phillipines, Mexico, Spain, Israel/Palestine, Brazil, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Macedonia, Ukraine, India, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Serbia, France, and Finland.

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From Cairo2Hanoi Panel Discussion

Yesterday I participated in a panel discussion event organized by Viet Tan – an organization that engages in actions that empower the Vietnamese people. Specifically, they seek to roll back existing restrictions against two key human rights: freedom of expression and freedom of association and assembly. These enabling freedoms are the pillars for civil society (Viet Tan).

The event looked at the role of social media in the nonviolent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and whether or not there are any relevant connections that can be made between those who engaged in civil resistance and digital activism in Tunisia and Egypt with those who continue to struggle in Vietnam.  I had the pleasure of speaking alongside to amazing activists and organizers.  Continue reading to learn more…

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The Social Revolution

This week I gave a couple a couple talks at Rutgers University.  I was invited by Dr. Kurt Shock, who is an associate professor of sociology and global affairs at Rutgers and is one of ICNC’s academic advisors.  I first spoke in his colloquium course, where I gave a presentation titled, The Social Revolution: Digital Media, Cyber-Pragmatism, and Nonviolent Movements, which I will outline in greater detail later in this post.  The second presentation I gave was to his undergraduate class on social movements, where we looked at the role of the internet and social media in social movements more broadly.  In both presentations I used the uprising in Egypt as a case study in exploring these themes.

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Key Insights from Clay Shirky’s Book, “Cognitive Surplus”

Imagine treating the free time of the world’s educated citizenry as an aggregate, a kind of cognitive surplus…One thing that makes the current age remarkable is that we can now treat free time as a general social asset that can be harnessed for large, communally created projects, rather than as a set of individual minutes to be whiled away one person at a time.

…young populations with access to fast, interactive media are shifting their behavior away from media that presupposes pure consumption.

The social uses of our new media tools have been a big surprise, in part because the possibility of these uses wasn’t implicit in the tools themselves…the use of social technology is much less determined by the tool itself; when we use a network, the most important asset we get is access to one another.  We want to be connected to one another, a desire that the social surrogate of television deflects, but one that our use of social media actually engages.

Access to cheap, flexible tools removes many of the barriers to trying new things.  You don’t need fancy computers to harness cognitive surplus; simple phones are enough.

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The Digital Duel: Resistance and Repression in an Online World (Webinar)

This past Thursday I presented my very first webinar, The Digital Duel: Resistance and Repression in an Online World, which looked at the emerging role of digital tools, new media, and the Internet in waging nonviolent struggle across the world.  It also looked at how repressive regimes are also using these same tools to censor and clamp down on dissent and civic mobilization.

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