Social media for activism – Driver for societal change or overhyped myth?
For a while now I am following what seems to be a trench battle between the so-called “cyber-utopians”, who see social media as the guarantor of a new age of equality, democracy and civil rights, and the critical skeptics who point out that they’ve seen it all before and who see social media as an overstretched hype with no real impact on the real world. The Arab Spring and the related media coverage regarding the role of social media have surely added a new quality to the conversation and seems to have sharpened the above cleavage even more. The debate gained such prominence, that entire training courses are now dedicated on social media activism, like the TechChange course on “ Global Innovations for Digital Organizing ” which I just participated in during the last three weeks. A key point of this discussion is the question whether or whether not social media actually helps spurring and supporting social activism, or whether all the protests that occurred lately would have happen