Posts Tagged ‘Evgeny Morozov’

KOMMUNIKATION: Evgeny Morozov skriver i Prospect om varför den ökade användningen av sociala medier inte med automatik underminerar diktaturer.

Artikeln är ett bra botemedel mot den alltför utbredda naiva tron att social medier kan bota allt mellan himmel och jord.

Despite what digital enthusiasts tell you, the emergence of new digital spaces for dissent also lead to new ways of tracking it. (…)  

Social networking, then, has inadvertently made it easier to gather intelligence about activist networks. Even a tiny security flaw in the settings of one Facebook profile can compromise the security of many others. A study by two MIT students, reported in September, showed it is possible to predict a person’s sexual orientation by analysing their Facebook friends; bad news for those in regions where homosexuality carries the threat of beatings and prison. And many authoritarian regimes are turning to data-mining companies to help them identify troublemakers. TRS Technologies in China is one such company. It boasts that “thanks to our technology, the work of ten internet cops can now be done by just one.” (…) 

[T]he advent of blogging and social networking has also made it easier for the state to plant and promote its own messages, spinning and neutralising online discussions before they translate into offline action. The “great firewall of China,” which supposedly keeps the Chinese in the dark, is legendary. In truth, such methods of internet censorship no longer work. (…) Governments have long lost absolute control over how the information spreads online, and extirpating it from blogs is no longer a viable option. Instead, they fight back. It is no trouble to dispatch commentators to accuse a dissident of being an infidel, a sexual deviant, a criminal, or worst of all a CIA stooge. 

Moreover, the distracting noise of the internet—the gossip, pornography, and conspiracy theories—can act as a de-politicising factor. Providing unfettered access to information is not by itself going to push citizens of authoritarian states to learn about their government’s crimes. (…) [M]ost people, whether in democracies or not, prefer to read about trivia and what’s useful in daily life—restaurant and film reviews and so on—than about the tedious business of governance. (…) 

Authoritarian governments know that the internet could be a new opium for the masses. They are tolerant of rampant internet piracy, as in China. In many cases, they push the cyber-hedonistic pursuits of their youth. Government-controlled internet providers in Belarus, for example, run dedicated servers full of pirated digital goodies for their clients to download for free. Under this new social contract, internet users are allowed plenty of autonomy online—just so long as they don’t venture into politics.

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KOMMUNIKATION: Har det sociala nätverkandet på exempelvis Facebook gjort människor snålare och latare?

Det finns en hel del tecken som tyder på detta enligt Evgeny Morozov på Newsweek;

”The proliferation of social-networking sites like Facebook has spawned a new and particularly superficial form of activism. It asks nothing more from participants than a few mouse clicks and makes everyone feel good. But these empty campaigns may not accomplish much, if anything, in the way of social change, and could even distract people from supporting legitimate causes. (…)

Many campaigns appear to be based on the assumption that raising awareness is enough to solve any problem. That works for some local causes (…) For global problems like genocide in Darfur or climate change, the payoff is unclear. According to some fundraisers and activists, the rise of awareness campaigns has made it that much harder to raise significant sums of money or elicit action from volunteers. (…)

The best Web campaigns may be those that don’t pretend to ask anything high-minded of their participants. FreeRice, a Web site developed by the U.N. World Food Programme, offers a game that helps players learn English and shows them ads to raise money for sending rice to poor countries. This may not be glamorous, but at least it gets some work done.”

Kritiken har också framförts bland de som anser att den svenska oppositionen idag är både tandlös och utan idéer.

Daniel Strand, journalist och verksam på bokförlaget INK, skrev t.ex. så här i Arena (nr 4: 2009) om ett politiskt engagemang som alltmer tycks ha förvandlats till den ”enskilda individens intressen och projekt”;

Varje civiliserad människa förväntas i dag agera politiskt genom aktiva val i konsumtionen och livsföringen. Hur motverka klimatförändringarna? Genom att koldioxidkompensera på DN:s hemsida. (…) Att på detta sätt ”göra något” utan att behöva lyfta blicken från latteglaset är naturligtvis bekvämt ur ett konsumtionscentrerat nyborgerligt perspektiv (…)

Lagen som föreskriver att en pendel rör sig fram och tillbaka kanske också kan ge en indikation om att problemet håller på att lösa sig av sig själv.

När Facebook och övriga sociala medier inte längre kan ge hela det önskade resultatet i en kampanj slår pendeln över till mer ”back to basics” och traditionella kampanjmetoder.

De politiska partierna planerar exempelvis för ännu mer dörrknackning än vad som är vanligt som strategi inför valet 2010. Socialdemokraterna har t.o.m. studiecirkel (!) i dörrknackning.

Förr eller senare kommer det att infinna sig ett mellanläge som består av lite av varje och beroende på partiernas tillgängliga resurser. Knock, knock! Who’s there?

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