Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice
The Internet played a pivotal role in some of the most memorable instances of political activism in recent years. 1999′s “Battle of Seattle” saw more than 70,000 protestors come together by means of online organizing to take on the World Trade Organization. Similar ad hoc groups were assembled largely with the aid of decentralized online information sites at the April 2000 World Bank protests in Washington, D.C.; at the Republican and Democratic Convention demonstrations; at George W. Bush’s inauguration; and most recently at the World Economic Forum protests in New York. Cyberactivism is a timely collection of essays examining the growing importance of online activism. The contributors show how online activists have not only incorporated recent technology as a tool for change, but also how they have changed the meaning of activism, what community means, and how they conceive of collective identity and democratic change. Topics addressed range from the Zapatista movement’s use of the web to promote their cause globally to the establishment of alternative media sources like indymedia.org to the direct action of “hacktivists” who disrupt commercial computer networks. Cyberactivism is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the impact of the Internet on politics today.