In Meikle’s chapter 6 of Future Active, “Hack Attacks and Electronic Civil Disobedience”, the author starts off by arguing that Woody Allen’s two requirements for a revolution: “someone or something to revolt against and someone to actually show up and do the revolting”, now requires only the former due to hacktivism. Throughout the article I found myself amused by the technique, hactkivism, which he explains it as a “virtual sit-in” but felt nevertheless a better plot twist for a science fiction novel. In my opinion, one of the most powerful tools that can be implemented by activists is the human presence. This is what makes protests so powerful, the physical commitment to giving up everything to fight that cause in that moment. Moreover, without the physical presence of protesters, hactkivism is likely to reach less people and less be more of a method of annoyance towards big companies than a way to spread the message. Finally, I feel as if hacktivism is highly reminiscent of one of my least favorite, contemporary activist techniques, which is internet activism: this is someone who sits at their computer all day sharing links on the internet about different issues but then never carries through to fully know about or take action on any given one. I would counter to Meikle, while hacktivism is a great way to create a “digital storm” is far from a solution to the problem!

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One response »

  1. taliat says:

    I am inclined to agree with you on this issue–although I do think the internet provides some great activist activities that may not have been possible before, there is a huge risk of people becoming complacent and defaulting on an online presence as a way to feel like you are contributing and advancing things without actually doing so.

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