Re-Interpreting Internet Activism: A Study of Its Relationship with the Nature of State Introduction

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With the increasing number of protests mobilised through social networks, the Internet is coming to be seen either as a force of liberation or as the new generation’s “cyber-utopia”, creating unfounded optimism and hopes of emancipation. The former view claims that social networks play a key role in shaping debates about protests and in spreading democratic ideas around the globe (especially in the case of Arab Spring).The latter view advocates that the role of internet has been exaggerated in the narratives of these protests because the very working class which fuelled the revolution did not have access to these technologies. This view suggests that it is not Facebook or Twitter that has brought about these revolutionary changes but…show more content…
With the increasing number of protests mobilised through social networks, the Internet is coming to be seen either as a force of liberation or as the new generation’s “cyber-utopia”, creating unfounded optimism and hopes of emancipation. The former view claims that social networks play a key role in shaping debates about protests and in spreading democratic ideas around the globe (especially in the case of Arab Spring).The latter view advocates that the role of internet has been exaggerated in the narratives of these protests because the very working class which fuelled the revolution did not have access to these technologies. This view suggests that it is not Facebook or Twitter that has brought about these revolutionary changes but other important elements of human life like values, experiences and the political will of people. The proliferation of access, ease of acquiring a presence, possibility of rational debate along with reasonable outreach makes cyberspace an ideal tool of advocacy. With the increasing number of protests mobilised through social networks, the Internet is coming to be seen either as a force of liberation or as the new generation’s “cyber-utopia”, creating unfounded optimism and hopes of emancipation. Much research has been conducted on internet activism, its effectiveness or ineffectiveness in mobilizing mass protests, its power in overthrowing the ruling regimes and its role in strengthening participatory processes. The digital media has played

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