- Social media and activist communication
- Book title
- The Routledge companion to alternative and community media
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
While the rise of social media has made activists much less dependent on television and mainstream newspapers, this certainly does not mean that activists have more control over the media environments in which they operate. Media power has neither been transferred to the public, nor to activists for that matter; instead, power has partly shifted to the technological mechanisms and algorithmic selections operated by large social media corporations (Facebook, Twitter, Google). Through such technological shaping, social media greatly enhance the news-oriented character of activist communication, shifting the focus away from protest issues towards the spectacular, newsworthy, and ‘conflictual’ aspects of protest. Simultaneously, social platforms not only allow users to engage in personal networks but also steer them towards such connections. While personal networks and viral processes of content dissemination can generate strong sentiments of togetherness, they are antithetical to community formation.
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