Introduction: Four Phases of Digital Activism and Cyberconflict
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This book introduces four waves of digital activism and cyberconflict. Digital activism began in 1994, was transformed by the events of 9/11, peaked in 2011 with the Arab Spring uprisings and then entered a transformative phase of control, mainstreaming and co-optation, accentuated by the Snowden revelations in 2013. Digital activism is defined here as political participation, activities and protests organized in digital networks beyond representational politics. It refers to political conduct aiming for reform or revolution by non-state actors and new socio-political formations such as social movements, protest organizations and individuals and groups from the civil society, that is by social actors outside government and corporate influence. Cyberconflict is defined as conflict in computer-mediated environments and it includes interactions between actors engaged in digital activism to raise awareness for a specific cause and struggles against government and corporate actors, as well as conflicts between governments, states and corporations. The rationale for distinguishing these phases is based solely on political effects, rather than technological developments.
KeywordsPolitical Participation Digital Network Falun Gong Digital Activism Occupy Wall Street
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