As Facebook spirals into the vortex that is our U.S. stock market and examples of using social media and networking to organize for a cause grow more impressive by the day we want to ask....
What role do these sites (FB, Twitter, MoveOn, Care2, etc.) play in the world of activism? What role should they play?
We will help stimulate discussion with a little note of our own below:
Our belief is that current social media as well as cause networking sites do one or both of the following two things that keep them from launching the world of activism into a more organized and successful endeavor.
1. They use the mathematical power afforded to us via the internet and computers to connect, usually, corporate advertisements with the individuals who seem to like a similar product to what they are selling. In other words they "commercialize" the powerful automation function which has become inherent in these communication technologies.
2. They predetermine which causes the site will be active in organizing. This could mean organizing only one cause as a single organization or organizing only "left" leaning causes such as Care2.com or Change.org.
These realities tend to "water down" the power of communication technologies to organize the world of activism or they simply leave out large constituencies which are needed to reach critical mass and cultivate resolutions on any particular issue. This leaves activist groups with no reliable source for organization due to either the misuse of technological functions or the political leanings of a particular organization.
Please share your thoughts with us! What do you think of our point of view? Ready, set, discuss....