Internet Activism

I was reading this article about how activism has become institutionalized and so much less radical (for better or for worse) and it made me wonder how activism would work in a modern age. In the 60s and 70s, predominant activist movements involved sit-ins, rallies, and write-in campaigns. As decades have passed, institutions have moved to deal with these kinds of activism (such as institutionizing activist groups as described in the article). However, despite some grassroot internet campaigns, I feel like a vast majority of social activism hasn’t moved to reflect this technological shift. While any kind of radical movement may now seems a little foreign (airport “sh*t-ins” anyone?), there is arguably still a need for a stronger form of activism than currently exists on campuses now.

So: connecting this to the digital age. Imagine, instead of people chaining themselves to trees, or a rally outside Pres. Oxtoby’s house, a virus that clears someone’s email of everything but a message from an interest group. While this is both extreme and an invasion of personal space (both of which were frequently violated during the civil rights movement for a greater cause), perhaps consider the less radical option of flooding someone’s inbox with emails. All I’m saying is that as institutions have changed, in today’s day and age, activism needs to change too, get technological, and get effective.

One response to “Internet Activism

  1. I still think traditional activism is effective, but I see your point. for example, workers for justice ? had both online and offline efforts — maybe pairing the two will be more worthwhile?