I find the Occupy movement to be  interesting in that it was born digital. We are so used to living in an era that is dominated by digital and social media that sometimes its interesting to think about how things were done without it and what benefits and drawbacks there are to social media networks. Since the movement was started via the internet it is said to have been a leaderless movement because there was not one single individual leading the whole thing but rather groups of people all over were involved in the movement and had the opportunity to have their voices heard because they were easily able to communicate via the internet. Thus, in a sense the playing field was leveled.


6 responses »

  1. zainjazara says:

    Occupy Wallstreet is believed to be leaderless because it started on social media, but I wonder what was different in Egypt where the revolution is largely attributed to social media but one of the founders of the “We Are All Khalid Said” page (Wael Ghonim) was hailed as the leader. He tried very hard to dissociate himself with that title but a vast number of Egyptians referred to him as the leader and asked him to be the face of the revolution…

  2. katyschaefe says:

    The use of the internet and social media does blur the lines of what one would traditionally consider a leader, however, it is important to recognize that it does not remove the ability to discern particularly active members of a group or organization.

  3. chloekissane says:

    It is interesting how social media websites are able to unify people all over the world for social change. Social media provides a platform for everyone’s voices to be heard. But then again, people can emerge as prevalent and active members within the group.

  4. lagray700 says:

    I do think it is interesting to note however that people still crave a leader in a seemingly leaderless movement. even in the occupy movement, people have been noted to be somewhat as leaders. specifically, i think that Anonymous (the masked figure) has definitely been used to signify as a leader in this movement or at least become the face of the movement in a way

  5. amihk says:

    I agree with what lagray700 says. I also think that it made it easier to function leaderless because the subject of the movement was relatable to many people.

  6. jivikar says:

    The issue of leadership within social movements is really fascinating. I studied a fair amount of history in high school and we always talked about the personalities and leadership styles of the initiators of various wars etc. because these were so central to the outcome of many historical conquests. Social media is at its core a facilitator and I believe those who run these facilitation platforms for social change movements become “lead facilitators” in a sense. So many of Occupy Wall Street’s strengths and weaknesses were tied to its (lack of) leadership and it will be very interesting to see where we go from here in terms of leadership. I don’t think we have figured out the balance of power between social media and figureheads / representative leaders yet, but doing so is essential if we are to effectively use the tools at hand to create sustainable response mechanisms that integrate the virtual with the more traditional, physical realms of action.

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